Kinesis

Kinesis, April 1996 Apr 1, 1996

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 cS APRIL 1996 Conversation with Chrystos... pg 16 CMPA $2.25 KINESIS  #301-1720 Grant Street  Vancouver, BC V5L 2Y6  Tel: (604)255-5499  Fax:(604)255-5511  Kinesis welcomes volunteers to work  on all aspects of the paper. Our next  Writers' Meeting is Mon Apr 1 for the  May issue and Mon May 6 for the  | June issue, at 7 pm at Kinesis. All  women welcome even if you don't  have experience.  I Kinesis is published ten times a year  by the Vancouver Status of  Women.Its objectives are to be a  non-sectarian feminist voice for  women and to work actively for social  change, specifically combatting  sexism, racism.classism, homophobia, ableism, and imperialism. Views  expressed in Kinesis are those of  the writer and do not necessarily  reflect VSW policy. All unsigned  material is the responsibility of the  Kinesis Editorial Board.  EDITORIAL BOARD  Fatima Jaffer, Lissa Geller,  [ wendy lee kenward, Agnes Huang,  Robyn Hall, Alex Hennig  PRODUCTION THIS ISSUE  Dorcas, Dorothy Elias, Persimmon  Blackbridge, Fatima Jaffer,  wendy lee kenward, Agnes Huang,  I Judy Miller, Billie Pierre, Maya Trotz,  Centime Zeleke, Robyn Hall, Laiwan,  Patsy and Ardyth  Advertising: Sur Mehat  I Circulation: Cat L'Hirondelle, Andrea  I Imada, Linda Gorrie, Chrystal Fowler  Distribution: Fatima Jaffer  Production Co-ordinator: Laiwan  Typesetter: Sur Mehat  FRONT COVER  Photo from the Asian Women  Workers Newsletter, Hong Kong  PRESS DATE  March 27, 1996  SUBSCRIPTIONS  Individual: $20 per year (+$1.40  GST)  or what you can afford  I nstitutions/G roups:  $45 per year (+$3.15 GST)  VSW Membership (includes 1 year  Kinesis subscription):  $30 per year (+$1.40 GST)  SUBMISSIONS  Women and girls are welcome to  |  make submissions. We reserve the  right to edit and submission does not  guarantee publication. If possible,  I submissions should be typed, double  spaced and must be signed and  include an address, telephone  | number and SASE. Kinesis does not  accept poetry or fiction. Editorial  guidelines are available upon  request.  DEADLINES  | All submissions must be received in  the month preceding publication.  Note: Jul/Aug and Dec/Jan are  double issues.  Features and reviews: 10th  News: 15th  Letters and Bulletin Board: 18th  Display advertising  (camera ready): 18th  (design required): 16th  Kinesis is produced on a Warner  Doppler PC using WordPerfect 5.1,  PageMaker 4.0 and an NEC laser  I printer. Camera work by OK Graphics. Printing by Horizon Publications.  Kinesis is indexed in the Canadian  Women's Periodicals Index,  I the Alternative Press Index, and is a  I  member of the Canadian Magazine  Publishers Association.  ISSN 0317-9095  I  Publications mail registration #6426  Inside  KINESIS  ^^Ngys  ><\t>c>i_jt:  XX/iomer-i That's   Not  In Tl-ie  Dallies  News  An overview of the federal budget 3  by Agnes Huang  Rally for Filipino migrant workers 3  A call for review of refugee rulings 4  by Marni Norwich  New federal child support strategies 5  by wendy lee kenward  Urgent action appeal for Vilma Gonzales 6  by Robyn Hall  Domestic worker wins sexual harassment case   by Wei Yuen Fong  NFB's Studio D set to close 7  by E. Centime Zeleke  Features  Building solidarity among third world women:  Linking Filipino women in Canada and the Philippines 10  by Jane Ordinario  The language of solidarity 11  by Yasmin Jiwani  Photos from IWD '96 15  Centrespread  Garment workers1 rights in Guatemala:  Interview with garment factory worker Blanca Rodriguez 12  as told to Carmen Miranda  Interview with union organizer Rosa Escobar 13  as told to Carmen Miranda  Interview with labour activist Amparo Lotan 13  as told to Carmen Miranda and Ruth Leckie  Resources and action campaigns 14  compiled by Andrea Imada  Arts  A conversation with two-spirited First Nations poet Chrystos 16  by Chrystos, Conine Lepine, Karen Joseph, Marguerite Laliberte  and Michelle Sylliboy  Review: K. Linda Kivi's If Home is a Place 18  by Emma Kivisild  Review: Larissa Lai's When Fox is a Thousand 19  By Sook C. Kong  Regulars  As Kinesis Goes to Press 2  Inside Kinesis 2  Movement Matters 8  by Joanne Namsoo and Ann Webb  What's News 9  by Fatima Jaffer  Letters 20  Bulletin Board 21  compiled by Lissa Geller and Dorcas  Come to the next Writers' Meeting  on Monday April 1st, for the May issue, at 7 pm  at  #301-1720 Grant Street, Vancouver.  Telephone: (604) 255-5499  6       NFB Studio D dumped .  Ampora Lotan..  IWD '96 .  When Fox is a Thousand.,  KINESIS g     °  1996 was declared the "International  Year for the Eradication of Poverty" by  the United Nations. And although we're  only three months into the year, it actually appears 1996 might better be described as the "International Year for the  Enhancement of Wealth". ..at least that's  what is for some (very few) people.  World-over, right-wing governments and their corporate buddies are  working hard to ensure that the redistribution of wealth keeps on going in the  direction of the "haves," and further  away from the "have-nots."  As Kinesis goes to press, women  across Canada are mobilizing to stop this  increased attack on the rights and well-  being of women, poor people, workers,  immigrants, and other "have-nots."  Grassroots activists and union  women are busily gearing up for the  > tional Women's March Against Pov-  ei l ." The March, being coordinated by  the National Action Committee on the  Status of Women and the Canadian Labour Congress, is slated to take off from  Vancouver May 14 at the CLC's annual  convention. Women in other parts of the  country will start their treks later on in  the month.  It's "On to Ottawa." The plan is that  we !1 all meet up on Parliament Hill June  15- the date coincides with NAC's an-  m general meeting. To find out how to  gc involved with the March, see the  Movement Matters' piece on page 8.  The need to take swift action has  increased in urgency with the release of  this year's federal budget and the onset  [or is it, onslaught] of the Canada Health  and Social Transfer (CHST.) Both the  CHST and the federal budget offer  women very little to cheer about [seepage  3.1  How bad is the federal budget for  women. Well, take, for example, this  headline in The Globe and Mail: "Budget  outKleins Klein." It accompanied a commentary by Michael Walker of the right-  wing Fraser Institute in Vancouver.  Walker says "good show," the new  budget is right on target for decreasing  the deficit—and that of course is what  the be-all-and-end-all goal of government fiscal policies should be about.  Walker applauds the government  for achieving this ever-so-important deficit reduction "through spending cuts  rather than revenue increases." (Of  course, by "revenue increases," Walker  is most likely referring to annoying  things—to right-wing think-tanks and  their friends, that is—like, increasing corporate income tax.)  We do agree with one point Walker  makes, and that is, "...this budget was a  turning point in Canadian fiscal history."  Of course, we probably do differ greatly  from Walker as to the direction of this  "turning point."  For corporations and wealthy people, it's definitely a turning point towards more money for them. For the  Liberal government, it signals a "turning  point" even further to the Right. And as  for women, well, we know where it's all  turning to...and it's not good.  Speaking of the Fraser Institute,  women and anti-poverty activists do  have plans to let them know what we  think of the right-wing think-tank's  agenda and analysis. On April 1st—the  day the CHST becomes a reality—End  Legislated Poverty will be holding an  action right in front of the Fraser Institute. We'll let you know in our next issue  just how receptive Michael Walker et al  were to having protesters outside their  door. Do you think they'll invite us in for  tea?  In Ontario, workers and activists  have been waging an ongoing campaign  letting the conservative government of  Mike Harris know what they think of the  road he's leading them down. As one  Toronto activist says, "It's exciting...Not  three days go by when there isn't an  action against the regressive policies of  Mike Harris's government." Let's hope  he gets the message soon.  Thousands of members of the Ontario Public Service Employees' Union—  who are on strike in a protest the Harris  government's attack on public sector  jobs—and their supporter demonstrated  outside the Ontario provincial legislature on the first day of the Spring sitting.  The situation turned "nasty" when  70 plus members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) who showed up in riot  Our appreciation to the following supporters who became members, renewed  their memberships or donated to Vancouver Status of Women in March:  Alice Keamarden * Maureen Trotter * Regina Brennan * Bayla Greenspoon *  Gillian Smith * Edith Thomas * Dorothy Kidd * Leslie Muir * Denise Nadeau *  Mary Hackney * Cynthia Baxter * Robert Gauvin * Joy Parr *  And a special thank you to our donors who give a gift every month. Monthly  donations assist us in establishing a reliable funding base to carry our programs,  services and Kinesis through the year. Thank you to:  Jody Gordon * Bea McKenzie * Eha Onno * Barbara Lebrasseur * Erin Graham  * Barbara Karmazyn * Elaine Everett * Gale Stewart * Neil Power * Gail Mountain  * Karin Litzcke * Jane McCartney * Elizabeth Whynot *  gear to "disperse the crowd." A number  of demonstrators were injured.  Following the incident, the editorials of many mainstream presses choose  to lambast the protesters for "hassling" a  few government types—demonstrators  tried to blocked Conservative MPPs and  cabinet ministers from entering the building—instead of the OPP for "clubbing  protesters who got in their way."Whose  side are they on...do we have to ask?  More on the agenda of the mainstream media...the corporate dailies in  Toronto and Vancouver also seemed to  have taken some journalistic liberties for  IWD—they completely ignored the IWD  marches held in both cities. (We can only  suppose that the men who control the  newspapers were probably upset it  wasn't "their day.")  Hey, how about this cool action we  heard about (but not in the mainstream  dailies)...On March 8th, a group of lesbians decided to stage a sit-down at an  intersection in downtown Toronto during the morning rush hour, blocking cars  on their way into the heart of corporate  Canada. Unfortunately, the police  showed up rather quickly and whisked  the women away. They're such spoil  sports!  As the right-wing corporate agenda  takes hold, solidarity among women and  workers is growing around the world.  Women are starting to clearly make the  connections between the working conditions for women in countries in the south  and the erosion of social programs and  elimination of decent jobs in the north.  At an IWD event in Vancouver, labour  activist Amparo Lotan visiting from  Guatemala, spoke about the similarities  of our struggles as women in Canada  and in Guatemala [see page 11.1  As Kinesis goes to press, newly  crowned Status of Women minister Hedy  Fry is preparing to set off across the  country to consult with women and women's centres about the fate of independent feminist research and federal funding to women's centres. The consultation  meetings will be held in Laval, Vancouver, Halifax, Yukon, Edmonton, Montreal, and Toronto.  However, many women's centres are  none too impressed by Status of Women's idea of "consultation." Not much  more than a month before the consultations were to take place, the ministry  sent out two documents of more than 120  pages total—two documents necessary  for participation in the meetings—to  women's centres, including a discussion  paper with 27 questions to be considered  before the consultations.  Finally, as Kinesis goes to press,  women in BC are getting ready for a  provincial election. Rumour has it that  the writ will be dropped in mid-April,  with the election being held 28 days later.  In the next issue of Kinesis, we'll be  taking a look at what women are talking  about as we prepare to go to the polls in  BC. (Definitely, one major question concerns the fate of the only free-standing  women's equality ministry in the country.)  Until next month, happy reading.  Ah spring time is here. Well, we  finally had a sunny weekend in Vancouver, and it just so happens that it coincided with production. We've been busy,  busy, busy with this month's issue and  this month, Kinesis made it to press on  time, despite the diversions and hectic  production room.  There's news from the production  room: the pages inside Kinesis have a  new look. Something's different about  the photos and graphic images...yeah,  look again. We are in the process of  switching from using print-ready photos (PMTs) to using more scanned photos and graphics. In case you know as  little about computer-speak as most of  us, a scanner is a gadget that reproduces  an image in dots into the computer for  you to manipulate (fascinating, isn't it?)  One reason for using a scanner is it  reduces the cost of producing Kinesis.  Another is it enables us to try funky new  design possibilities. (Yet another reason  is that Laiwan, our production coordinator, likes to scan...especially if there's a  picture of Jenny Shimizu lying around).  Speaking of production costs... the  rising cost of paper has hit us once again.  As a result of paper cost increases, the  newsprint Kinesis is usually published  on is no longer available to us. We had  two choices: one, to reduce the size of  Kinesis by about six inches—we rejected  that idea; the other is to use a newsprint  called hi-brite. You're holding it in your  hands. It's fancier stuff than our old newsprint but under that shiny exterior, Kine  sis is still the same grassroots, recyclable,  and lovable us. Do let us know what you  think of the paper change.  Good news from our friends at  Canada Post! Thanks to lobbying by the  Canadian Magazine Publishers Association, we will have postal subsidies for  the next three years under what is called  the Publications Assistance Program.  This means we can continue to send Kinesis out to subscribers without huge  postage increases.  It may seem like just yesterday when  we all gathered for the wonderful 1995  Kinesis Benefit, but time flies quickly and  another Benefit will be coming soon to  our neighbourhood. If you are interested  in helping to organize this year's Benefit,  or just interested in hanging out with the  coolest women in publication (!) call us  at 255-5499. Ask for Benefit coordinators  Robyn Hall and/or wendy lee kenward.  Now for our hellos: to this month's  new writers Jane Ordinario, Blanca  Rodriguez, Rosa Escobar, Amparo Lotan,  Carmen Miranda, Ruth Leckie and  Dorcas; and to new production volunteers Billie Moon, Maya Trotz and Judy  Miller. Thanks also to our regulars—the  writers and production volunteers who  helped out with this month's issue.  If you are interested in writing or  joining in on the production fun for the  next issue, call us at (604) 255-5499.  That's all, folks! Until next time...we  hope you get to enjoy springtime in the  sunshine (and vice versa)! News  Women and the federal budget:  A little give, a lot of take  by Agnes Huang  "It stinks," said Piti Gaffar, a Vancouver activist, when asked what she  thought of the new budget written, directed and produced by the federal government of Canada.  Redistributing the Wealth is the continuing saga of the Liberal government's  ever-expanding policies to ensure already-rich people get their fair-er share  of the economic wealth of Canada.  Unfortunately, this tale is not fictional—it is a documentary of what is  going on in Canada. And it's not winning any awards from women.  When Finance Minister Paul Martin  released his government's budget in early  March, it sent a clear signal that the  Liberals are carrying on with their re-  duce-the-deficit-by-slashing-social-pro-  grams agenda.  With few changes, some are calling  it a "no-news budget." But for women, it  is better described as a "no-new budget"-  -no new job creation strategy, no new  national childcare program, no new national standards for social programs, no-  new nothing...  The budget can also be called a "no-  old budget," as Martin did not announce  any changes that would restore the funding cuts of a year earlier—cuts to women's centres, rape crisis centres, arts and  cultural programs, and much more.  In fact, last year's budget saw major  cuts to social programs in Canada  through the new Canada Health and  Social Transfer (CHST). Under the CHST,  which goes into effect April 1st, transfer  payments to provinces will be cut and  national standards for welfare gone.  In 1996, the level of federal-to-provincial funding for social programs such  as medicare, education and welfare will  be slashed by $2.8 billion.  The CHST replaces transfer payments with block funding—a lump sum  given to provinces—and eliminates CAP  (the Canada Assistance Plan,) which ensures national standards. The standards  that no longer apply are: the right of  every Canadian to an income when in  need; the right to an adequate income;  the right to appeal welfare rulings; and  the right not to have to work for welfare.  "The reduction of block funding to  health, education and welfare will directly cause the erosion of those programs, and particularly welfare programs, across the country," says Kay  Sinclair of the Vancouver Women's Committee of the Public Service Alliance of  Canada (PSAC). Sinclair is also active  with a recently formed coalition in Vancouver fighting the CHST.  Sunera Thobani, president of the  National Action Committee on the Status of Women, says the federal government is reneging on a promise it made to  set up new national standards for social  programs after it ditched CAP.  Without national standards, says  Thobani, the CHST "will give right-wing  provincial governments license to further attack our social safety net."  Thobani also condemns the fundamental changes in the budget to the old  age security system, which will see the  end of universal pensions, and a new  system which bases eligibility for pensions on "household" income. The  changes come into effect in the year 2000.  [The government is planning consultations  on the pension issue. Kinesis will have more  on this in a future issue.]  With this budget, the government  also continues to abdicate its responsibility regarding job creation. There are  no initiatives in the budget that will create new working-wage jobs, and no reference to the fact that the federal government is doing the opposite: eliminating  jobs by slashing public sector spending.  "The federal government continues  to cut back on public services and public  sector jobs. These are important services  and jobs for women," says Sinclair.  She adds that the slashing of the  public sector service delivery is increasing the already double-burden on  women. "Women's waged work is being  reduced or limited, while women's  unwaged work is being increased."  In an interesting twist, the government publicly admitted it is unlikely to  create any new jobs, turning to the corporations instead with a plea that they  create new jobs.  The response of some 30 huge corporations was to announce a job-training  program for young people: "First Jobs."  The positions offer a meagre annual salary of $12,000, which falls far beneath  the poverty line.  Thobani says this basically amounts  to a cheap-labour opportunity for corporations who may either lay off workers  or not hire new workers at liveable wages.  "Hugely profitable corporations  have been downsizing dramatically,"  says Thobani. "Whose work will these  young people be doing?"  As for how training programs will  benefit women, "it's not work experience that women lack but access to real  and decent jobs," she says.  One victory for women in the budget  was the announcement that the federal  government would stop requiring custodial parents—primarily women—to  pay income tax on child support payments they receive [see story page 5.]  "This is a tremendous step forward  for us," says Thobani. "Women have  argued for a long time that taxing custodial parents discriminates against  women."  But Thobani says that while this is a  step towards the eradication of the poverty of women and children, by reneging  on its written commitment to legislating  a national childcare program, the federal  government has further eroded the economic status of women and children.  "With this budget, Paul Martin has  shut the door on a national childcare  program. He has given with one hand  and taken away with the other."  Mab Oloman of the Childcare Advocacy Association of Canada says that  Martin has missed a good opportunity to  set up a childcare program.  "He could have taken childcare funding that was transferred to provinces  through CAP and created a designated  childcare fund for cost-sharing with provinces and territories that would result in  quality care for our children," Oloman  says. Instead, childcare monies will have  to come out of the block funding provinces receive and compete with other  priorities for social funding.  PSAC's Sinclair says the federal government's decisions on where to "cut the  deficit"—by slashing publicly funded  services—says a lot about its values.  "The federal government's policies  are part of the corporate ethic that does  not value social programs or recognize  social responsibility," says Sinclair.  "What the federal government is  saying is that the economic status of  women and children is a private matter  rather than a public responsibility."  Rally for Flor Contemplacion  On March 17th, 35 people rallied in  downtown Vancouver to raise awareness about the exploitation of Filipino  migrant workers. The action was held  as a call for justice in memory of Flor  Contemplacion and for the end of the  exploitation of all overseas migrant  workers.  The date marked the one year anniversary of the execution in Singapore of  Contemplacion. March 17th has been  declared an International Day of Action  by women's and workers' rights groups  in the Philippines.  Last year, Flor Contemplacion was  sentenced to death by hanging after  being convicted of killing another domestic worker, Delia Maga, and the  young boy Maga was caring for. Many  believe Contemplacion was wrongly executed—an autopsy done in the Philippines on Maga's body indicated that it  was unlikely she could have strangled  Maga to death [see Kinesis, May 1995].  Actions on the anniversary of  Contemplacion's execution were held  around the world, including in the Philippines, Hong Kong and Toronto.  The rally in Vancouver was organized by SIKLAB-Vancouver, a Filipino  organization supporting the rights of  overseas contract workers, with a focus  on seafarers. The Philippine Women  Centre, the BC Committee for Human  Rights in the Philippines, and the Filipino-Canadian Youth Alliance also  came out in support of the action.  The Filipino organizations all demanded that the government of Fidel  Ramos take swift action to elimininate  the root causes of massive forced migration from the Philippines. In particular, rally participants who read out  statements called on Ramos to end the  repressive economic policy of exporting and exploiting migrant workers in  order to earn foreign remittances.  The groups stress that the desire by  the Philippine government for more foreign dollars to fuel the national economy  has meant that more and more Filipinos  are being forced to go abroad and  work—60 percent of Filipino overseas  contract workers are women [see speech  page 10.]  "The government ships out human  labour through its Labour Export Policy,  chosen as its primary and permanent  solution to the problems of the national  economy," says a spokesperson for  SIKLAB. "Now that the economy worsens through the "Philippines 2000" [economic program,] the government is  pushing people out even harder. We  can see that exporting labour is not really a solution, but only one that helps to  keep all the problems growing even  harder."  APRIL 1996 News  Refugee claimants in Vancouver:  A call for a review  by Marni Norwich  About one hundred people attended  a vigil in downtown Vancouver in late  February held in support of Vancouver-  based refugees who have been ordered  deported.  Refugee rights advocates say the decisions to deny about 200 refugee claimants status were made by members of a  Refugee Board in Vancouver, known for  their hard-line policies. As a result, many  genuine refugees are set to be deported,  says Alicia Barsallo of the Committee for  Equality for Immigrants and New Canadians, one of the organizing groups of  the vigil.  The advocates are pressing Lucienne  Robillard, the new minister of immigration, to order a review of the cases, says  Barsallo. Since 1994, most members of  the old board have been replaced by the  Liberal government.  "If many of those denied refugee  status [under the old board] went before  the current board, there's no doubt they  would be accepted," says lawyer Alison  Sawyer. Sawyer, the president of the  Inland Refugee Society and coordinator  of the Gender Issues Committee for the  Canadian Council of Refugees, says that  the old board took a "hard-line" on issues of credibility.  As well, many feel the board was  under pressure not to admit too many  people as refugees. Sawyer says this appears to be reflected in a low admittance  rate by the board from 1992 to 1994.  One focus of the call for reviews has  been on the plight of Salvadorean Maria  Barahona. In 1993, the refugee board in  Vancouver rejected her claim on the  grounds that since the peace accord was  signed in El Salvador, supporters of the  opposition party [FMLN] are no longer  targets of the government "death  squads." The board also ruled that  Barahona had been away from El Salvador for so long that she would no longer  be in danger.  But Barahona says she fears for her  life if she is deported back to El Salvador.  She left thirteen years ago following  threats made on her life due to her work  as a "courier" delivering food, medicine  and clothing to the FMLN.  While in El Salvador, Barahona says  her five year old nephew was abducted  then released in an attempt to pressure  her family to stop their anti-government  activities. Her two brothers were violently detained by the Salvadorean military, and her sister was abducted after  having been confused with being  Barahona. She was later released.  Barahona adds that as recently as  1992, her name was included on a publicized list of people who had escaped El  Salvador and needed to be captured.  Since December 6, 1995, Barahona  and her five children —all of whom were  born in the United States or Canada-  have been seeking sanctuary at Vancouver's Trinity United Church. In the meantime, she has been trying to have her  deportation order overturned on humanitarian grounds.  Not only Barahona, but also her children, would suffer the consequences if  she is returned to El Salvador, says Linda  Ervin, a minister at Trinity United  Church. Because Barahona's children  have lived all of their lives in the United  States and Canada and are unfamiliar  with El Salvador, should Barahona be  killed or imprisoned after her return,  they would be at high risk of being  "scooped up" into the child sex trade.  Her children are already sharing the  consequences of her indeterminate status by being denied the right to go to  school, says Ervin. Ervin is helping  Barahona petition the Vancouver School  Board to allow the children to attend  classes.  Iranian community and human  rights groups have also been organizing  in support of an estimated 200 Iranian  refugee claimants denied status. Narges  Jahanbakhsh, who works on a Persian  language show of Co-op Radio called  Iranian Women's Voice, says that the  refugee claimants were denied status  because the board found their reasons  insufficient.  However, she says, the claimants  would likely be imprisoned if they returned to Iran on account of the fact that  the government will know they had left  the country and tried to seek refugee  status elsewhere.  Jahanbakhsh estimates that of the  200 Iranian refugee claimants denied status, about fifty are women, some of them  with children.  Women and children comprise the  majority—about 80 per cent—of the  world's 19 million refugees. And women  face unique barriers when applying for  refugee status in Canada, says Barsallo.  While Canada does have guidelines  intended to facilitate its acceptance of  women refugees, many of the guidelines  are not being implemented to their full  potential, says Nandita Sharma, chair of  the immigrant, refugee and migrant  workers' rights committee of the National Action Committee on the Status of  Women (NAC).  The Women at Risk program,  brought in the early 1990s as a result of  women's lobbying efforts, was designed  to help women identified as being at  risk—that is, women living in refugee  camps and under threat of rape.  "When launched it was seen as a  positive step toward recognizing that  there are gender-based grounds for persecution," says Sharma. But she cites the  cynicism of visa officers abroad—the  majority of whom are men-toward the  claims of women refugees as a limitation  of the program.  Sharma says on March 27 the Canadian Council of Refugees plans to meet  with the Ministry of Citizenship and  Immigration to discuss the program and  present suggestions about how it could  be improved.  One recommendation is to train visa  officers around concerns of refugee  women who may have experienced rape  or torture and who may be reluctant to  share their experiences with male visa  officers. Another area of concern is the  admissibility criteria, which currently  includes a focus on a woman's ability to  establish herself financially once she arrives in Canada. NAC would like to see  the criteria eliminated, says Sharma.  While the Women at Risk program is  of no benefit for women claiming refugee status in Canada—women like  Barahona—Canada was one of the first  countries to recognize gender persecution as a grounds for claiming refugee  status.  In 1993, the federal government introduced Guidelines for Women Refugee Claimants Fearing Gender-Related  Persecution. NAC was very active in  lobbying the Canadian government to  accept women refugees on the grounds  of gender persecution.  The guidelines are intended to help  inland women refugee claimants and to  provide Immigration and Refugee Board  Members with criteria for assessing forms  of persecution specific to women, like  rape and bride-burning.  Zari Asli of the Action Committee  on Women's Rights in Iran says that the  recognition of gender persecution is important for women from Islamic countries. In countries where the law is based  on religious rules, Asli says women bear  the burden of being female over and  above political repression.  Sharma says that having guidelines  is a good thing, but because of sexism in  the Immigration Department and with  the boards, there's no guarantee they'll  be taken seriously.  Meanwhile in Vancouver, Maria  Barahona and her children wait for the  Immigration Department to determine  their fate. Barahona says she is "100 percent sure" that if she returns to El Salvador, she will be killed.  The likelihood of this event is reiterated by Linda Ervin who cites human  rights activist Celia Medrano's statistic  of 910 assassinations in 1995 of people  linked to El Salvador's FMLN and human rights groups.  To support Maria Baharona and  other Vancouver-based refugees facing  deportation, write to the Minister of Immigration, the Honourable Lucienne  Robillard, House of Commons, Ottawa,  Ontario, Kl A 0A6; or fax: (819) 953-4930.  For more information about the call  for reviews, contact Alicia Barsallo of the  Committee for Equality for Immigrants  and New Canadians, (604) 879-3246.  Maria Baharona is also seeking volunteers to help her to learn English and  to help school her children while they are  living at the church—contact her c/o  Linda Ervin, Trinity United Church, (604)  736-3828.   Marni Norwich is a Vancouver-based  magazine writer.  Advertise in Kinesis  and support Canada's  sole remaining,  national, feminist  monthly  Telephone: 255-5499  It's worth it!  A<Qh&Iav**.  Canada's best Latin American Women's magazine  covers a broad spectrum of issues and interests,  with interviews, literature, testimonies, essays,  humour, reviews and visual art.  Aquelarre is published four times a year in English and Spanish.  Available at bookstores or  by subscription. Great deal!  Yearly sub. only $15 Cdn.  For more information please call (604) 251-6678  >r write us at P.O. Box 21508, Vancouver, B.C. News  New federal child support strategies:  Half a step forward  by wendy kenward  The federal government's new package of changes to child support taxation  are being touted as good news for women.  However, many women say the changes  are too few, too vague, and don't address  the real issues of child poverty.  On March 6th as part of the federal  budget, Finance Minister Paul Martin  announced the Liberal government's new  Child Support Strategies. The strategies  include the removal of child support payments from the income tax system, which  means child support will no longer fall  under the inclusion/deduction taxation  scheme. Under that system, in place since  1942, non-custodial parents-usually men-  -receive tax credits for the amount of  child support they pay, while custodial  parents—mostly women—are required to  pay tax on the child suppport they receive.  The new strategies also lay out a support payment schedule and a framework  for implementing the payments. At the  same time, the government says it will  take measures to enforce child support  orders.  The government's new strategies  come almost a year after the Supreme  Court of Canada dismissed a petition by  Suzanne Thibaudeau to strike down the  inclusion-deduction system. Thibaudeau,  from Quebec, had filed a claim against  the federal government to try to stop  them from taxing the child support she  and her two children received on the  grounds that the requirement discriminated against her as a single custodial  parent [see Kinesis, July/Aug 1995.]  Since the Supreme Court ruling, women's groups have been calling on the federal government to create fairer systems  for child support. During the Thibaudeau  case, four groups-the National Action  Committee on the Status of Women  (NAC), the Women's Legal Education  and Action Fund (LEAF), the Federated  Anti-Poverty Groups of BC (FAPG), and  the Charter Committee on Poverty Issues—intervened to argue that the inclusion/deduction scheme was discriminatory on the basis of sex.  As of May 1, 1997, the inclusion/  deduction system will no longer be applicable, and child maintenance will be taken  out of the income tax system entirely.  Claire Young, a professor of tax law  at the University of British Columbia,  says it's about time the child support  system was changed. "It's an important  and progressive move to take child support out of the tax system. Generally, that  should benefit women." But she adds,  "The unanswered question is whether  the child support guidelines will be an  improvement."  One major criticism of the new system is that the policies apply only to  agreements that will be negotiated after  April 31, 1997. This means that women  who already have child support agreements or who are negotiating agreements up to that date will still have to  pay tax on their child support.  Only agreements reached on or after May 1st will automatically be excluded from the inclusion/deduction  system. For women who've settled child  support agreements prior to this date,  the only way they can be exempted  from paying taxes on support payments  is by renegotiating their settlements directly with their ex-husbands or through  the courts.  "The biggest flaw [with the new  system] is that it is not retroactive." says  Young. She adds that the government  fears a flood on the courts by men who  would want to appeal their cases if they  made the changes retroactive. However,  it isn't apparent that this is what would  happen, she says.  That the new policies are not retroactive may mean some women will have  to deal with abusive ex-husbands.  "Whether it is done at a court or administrative level, women will still have to  negotiate with their ex-partner," says  Young. "This is unfortunate."  Women who have been pressing for  changes to the child support system say  relying on the courts to be arbitrators of  the level of child support has its limitations. In particular, significant legal fees  and the decreasing availability of legal  aid makes initiating a legal case difficult  for many women. There is very little  legal aid available for family law cases.  Right after the government announced the removal of child support  from the tax system, a flurry of criticism  came from individual men and men's  groups. A lot of men argue that taking  away the tax credit from men will result  in less "financial benefit" for children.  As well, some people believe the inclusion-deduction system is a "valuable"  incentive to ensure men pay their child  support.  In practice, however, the tax deduction has never proven to be an effective  incentive, counters Claire Young.  "When so many payments are in default—approximately 75 percent partially or fully—how can we say it is effective?"  Family law lawyer Kerry Findlay  also points out that non-custodial parent shouldn't need incentives to pay  their child support. "The biggest problem lawyers face is that dads see this as  being about their own rights and not  about what their children are entitled  to. Children's entitlements should come  first."  The federal government says it will  take steps to T>olster' the enforcement  of court ordered support agreements.  Currently, enforcement programs are  operated at a provincial level and are  not very effective.  New enforcement strategies will include giving provincial authorities access to some national data banks such as  Revenue Canada, and the improvement  of computer systems so as to permit computer access amongst provincial, federal  and territorial enforcement services.  Kerry Findlay says the development  of national enforcement schemes is a  major benefit to women and children.  Currently, many men can flout provincial maintenance enforcement policies  and agencies by moving out of the province where their ex-wives live, and effectively evade paying child support. The  linkage of information services "expands  the abilities to trace people," says Findlay.  For persistent defaulters, the federal  government has said it will prohibit them  from obtaining certain licenses, such as  marine and pilots' licenses.  With its new Child Support Strategies, the federal government also established a payment schedule and a plan for  implementing the payment schedule  nationally. National standards of payment have been mathematically derived  and adapted to the income levels of people in each province and territory. Family court judges will be responsible for  assessing and applying the payment  schedule.  As well as the basic payment schedule, the government also listed four areas of "add-ons"-additional areas where  a custodial parent can request an increase in support to address special needs  of the children. These add-ons include:  extended health expenses not covered  by the provincial medical coverage; uncovered childcare expenses; educational  expenses, including private school and  post-secondary education; and extracurricular expenses such as athletics.  Kerry Findlay says it isn't clear yet  whether women will actually get more  child support under the new payment  schedule. The levels of suggested child  support have been adjusted to remove  the tax implications, which were supposed to have been accounted for in  agreements reached under the old system.  At first glance, she says, it appears  the current amounts received by women  may be higher compared to the amounts  in the new payment schedules. The reality may be that women won't get as  much money in child support as they do  now, says Findlay. The difference will be  that women won't have to pay taxes on  the payments.  The removal of child support from  the income tax system will result in a  extra revenue source for the federal government. Under the inclusion/deduction  scheme, the government lost approximately $330 million in net revenue annually in income tax.  Status of Women Minister Hedy Fry  says that about $50 million of tax wind  fall will be divided among the provinces  for legal cases brought to them by women  who want to renegotiate their child support orders.  The remainder, says Fry, will be allocated to increasing the Working Income Supplement (WIS), currently given  to families as part of their child tax benefit. The government says over the next  two years, the annual WIS supplement  will increase gradually from $500 to $750  and eventually to $1000 in July 1998.  Even though these changes will mean  some benefits to single mothers, overall  the new strategies do little to shift the  financial responsibility of caring for children off the backs of women, says Claire  Young. "The state is not taking enough  responsibility for child support."  Although many women say removing the tax on child support is a victory  for single mothers, they agree that the  changes only deal with one aspect of  single mothers' economic status. In reality, a small proportion of single mothers  receive child support, and a high number  of men default on their court ordered  payments.  As well, the federal government has  not taken any real steps towards addressing issues of child poverty, and of  the poverty of women. In fact, it has  continued to follow a regressive neo-  conservative agenda by slashing funding for social programs, cutting public  sector jobs, and eliminating employment  training programs, among other things.  At the same time, the Liberal government has shown a lack of commitment to  meaningful job creation and a fading  commitment to a national childcare program.  When the Canada Health and Social  Transfer (CHST) comes into effect on  April 1st women can expect even less  support. Under the CHST, federal transfer payments to the provinces will be  reduced and national standards for welfare will be removed.  Lumping together all transfer payments into one fund and eliminating  national standards for determining  where monies are spent may result in  provincial governments making decisions that don't necessarily benefit single mothers, warns Mab Oloman of the  Childcare Advocacy Association of  Canada. "This could mean that childcare  might end up being pitted against child  poverty," she says.  wendy kenward is an early childhood  educator.  APRIL 1996 News  Violence against women in Guatemala:  Urgent action appeal  by Robyn Hall  Groups working in support of workers and labour organizers in Guatemala  have put out an urgent call for action  after Vilma Gonzalez was kidnapped  and tortured in mid-March.  According to the United States/Guatemalan Labor Education Project (US/  GLEP), Gonzalez was abducted by two  men in a black vehicle as she left her  house in the morning of March 17th. She  was released two days later after having  been tortured with burning cigarettes.  Her body was covered with more than  60 burn marks.  The assault on Gonzalez was the  second time in two weeks that she had  been kidnapped.  On February 27th, after leaving her  post office job in Guatemala City,  Gonzalez was abducted by a group of  heavily armed men in a van. She was  tortured and repeatedly raped before  being released several hours later.  Gonzales has also received death  threats to herself and her family members.  The Christian Task Force on Central  America, BC (CTFCA), says Vilma  Gonzalez was kidnapped and tortured  Sexual harassment case:  because of the organizing activities of  her brother. Reynaldo Gonzalez is the  Secretary General of the Bank Workers'  Federation (FESEBS) and the union representative to the National Salary Commission.  Reynaldo Gonzalez and other unionists had been providing the US/GLEP  with information about the increase in  violence against Guatemalan workers,  especially those in the maquilas-most of  whom are women—and about the nonfunctioning of Guatemala's labour court  system.  Guatemalan labour activists are trying to get these concerns taken before the  US Trade Commission. They are demanding that the Commission suspend  duty-free benefits to companies that operate in Guatemala-benefits which increase profit levels for these companies-  -unless the Guatemalan government begins prosecuting those who have abducted, tortured and murdered Guatemalan workers in the past six months.  For more than two decades, workers, trade unionists and their families  have been the targets of threats, torture,  disappearances and killings. And since  mid-January, threats against trade un  ionists and their families have increased.  The military and police are often suspected to be linked to these violent actions against workers, as are maquila  owners [see stories beginning page 12.]  Vilma and Reynaldo Gonzalez have  spoken out nationally and internationally about her abductions. She says when  she was abducted the first time, she was  interrogated about her brother's activities and told he would be killed if he did  not leave the country in 72 hours.  Reynaldo Gonzalez and his family eventually were forced to leave Guatemala.  Vilma Gonzalez's captors also told  her that she and her daughters, ages two  and five, would be killed if she made the  abduction public. And on March 8th, her  16 year old son, Sergio Gonzalez, was  abducted, reappearing two days later,  dazed and shaken up.  Since the second abduction, Vilma  Gonzalez and her family have been  guarded by the Peace Brigade, and as of  March 19th were arranging to leave Guatemala.  CFTCA has initiated an urgent letter  writing campaign and is calling on individuals and women's, workers', labour,  and solidarity groups to write or fax  Victory for  domestic workers  by Wei Yuen Fong  A Filipino domestic worker in British Columbia has won a sexual harassment suit against her former employer—  a victory believed to be the first of its  kind in Canada.  In mid-March, Wilma Singson was  awarded more than $8000 in compensation by the BC Human Rights Council for  injury to her "dignity, feelings and self-  respect."  The Council accepted Singson's  claim that her former employer, Douglas  Moore, sexually harassed her during the  10 month period she worked for Moore  and his partner, Marilou Paison, caring  for their one-year-old daughter and doing all the housework.  After she quit, Singson contacted the  West Coast Domestic Workers' Association (WCDWA), and they helped her  prepare her case against Moore. The  Association has staff lawyers who can  provide legal advice and support for  domestic workers.  Before the Human Rights Council,  Singson testified that, among other  things, Moore made suggestive remarks  towards her, pulled on her bra strap, and  suggested that she go and work as a  prostitute. Singson said Moore also made  reference to his past sexual experiences  with Asian women and fondled himself  in her presence.  Her former employers denied her  allegations and tried to counter that  Singson was fired for incompetence. But  the BC Human Rights Council inquiry  officer investigating the case said she  believed Singson more than Moore.  The ruling is an important victory  for all women who migrate to Canada to  work as domestic workers. Women who  come to Canada to work as domestics-  mostly from Asian countries-are only  allowed in on temporary work permits,  granted through the Live-in Caregivers'  Program (LCP.) Under this program, the  women cannot apply for immigration  status for at least two years after they  arrive in Canada.  WCDWA says there are about 5,000  women-mostly from the Philippines and  Thailand—working in BC as domestic  workers under the LCP.  While they are on temporary work  permits, many women say they will not  take action against their employers even  if they are being sexually harassed and  exploited, fearing that they will be fired,  reported to immigration officials, and  deported.  Wilma Singson is now employed as  a worker in a factory. She says she has  applied for landed immigrant status and  hopes to be able to bring her two children  to Canada.  Guatemala's president to condemn the  two attacks and threats against Vilma  Gonzalez, the abduction of her son, and  threats against her brother.  The CFTCA is questioning why the  Guatemalan authorities did not provide  protection promised to the victims; calling on the authorities to take immediate  measures to guarantee Vilma Gonzalez  and her family safety; asking for an objective investigation to bring those responsible to justice; and requesting that  all authorities and companies respect  the freedom to organize unions.  Send letters of appeal in support of Vilma  Gonzalez to: Mr. Alvaro Arzu, President of  Guatemala, Palacio Nacional, Zona 1, Guatemala, Central America (Fax: 011-50-22-  53-74-72).  CTFCA also requests that copies of letters be sent to: Ms. Marilyn McAphee, US  Embassy in Guatemala, Ave. Reforma 7-01,  Zona 10, Guatemala City, Guatemala; and  to: Lloyd Axworthy, Minister of Foreign  Affairs, House of Commons, Ottawa, On-  tario, K1A 0A6.   Robyn Hall is a regular contributor to  Kinesis.  21 MICHIGAN  WOMYN'S  MUSIC  FESTIVAL  Aigiit IMS, 1996  Come and join us as we begi  our third decade of enjoyin;  the woods, the music, the  extravagant days and  star-filled nights...the  womyn and magic  of Michigan.  For brochure & ticket info: WWTMC, P0 Box 22, Walhalla, Ml 49458 (616) 757-4766 News  Feminist filmmaking in Canada:  Studio D dumped  by E. Centme Zeleke  Studio D, the only government-  funded feminist film and video producer/  distributor in the world is the latest victim of the federal Liberal government's  budget cuts.  Studio D was founded over 20 years  ago to promote and give access to women  in filmmaking, and operates as a studio  within the National Film Board (NFB) of  Canada. The closure of Studio D comes as  a result of the NFB's efforts to deal with a  $20 million cut to their budget over the  next two years.  In addition to Studio D, all other separate studios—including Studio One, a program that produces films by Aboriginal  people—will be shut down.  Sandra McDonald, the chair of the  NFB, says, "a slimmer NFB would abandon its current studio system."  And Laurie Jones, a spokesperson for  the film board, adds that "instead of having separate studios, we're going to divide them into three streams: documentary, animation and youth multi- media."  The decision to close Studio D was  made last September by the NFB board.  While the decision to discontinue the studio system is final, the actual closure date  is pending. Ginny Stikeman, the executive director of Studio D, speculates that  it will be in the fall.  At the moment, a number of films are  still in production and, in fact, Studio D  plans to release seven new films in the  fall.  The decision to target feminist and  culturally specific programs as the areas  in which to save money, reflects a change  of values at the NFB, says Stikeman.  Stikeman says she has been told by  others at the NFB that Studio D is "a  victim of its own success." Now that approximately 50 percent of all NFB English  language programming is produced by  women, some in the NFB believe there is  no longer a need for a gender-specific  studio.  Sisters in the Struggle and Forbidden Love: Unashamed Stories of Lesbian  Lives are just two of the 120 films produced or co-produced by Studio D.  The mandate of Studio D has always been broader than just getting more  women into film. Studio D is committed  to producing films "that are conceived  as tools for social change and empowerment," and that address risky sociopolitical issues. "Studio D is part of the  larger women's and progressive movement that tries to be pro-active and equitable. Our filmmakers look for the  gaps in the catalogue," says Stikeman.  Studio D also addresses the issue of  which women get access to filmmaking.  "We tended to choose filmmakers who  were underrepresented, like women of  colour and Aboriginal women," says  Stikeman.  By working with women of colour,  lesbians, poor women, et cetera, Studio  D has been able to produce films that  investigate gender and cultural diversity in a holistic fashion.  She adds that Studio D tried to ensure that more women could access the  studio by not working with any given  filmmaker more than three times.  The NFB says it plans to maintain  equity policy by setting up special mandate teams which will advise the three  new streams it is creating. But because  these teams will have no money for  wWrWlf  •• Coming  Out  » Grief and  Emma  Tigerheart  lH jKHt  Loss  ■'* Relationship  Issues  M.S.W.  ••• Childhood  Trauma  COUNSELLING  THERAPY  Wmf l fl ?  ■• Family  CONSULTATION  I Aw n j||  Issues  ii               Sliding  Scale Fees  Call  Inquiries  327-4437  1               Welcome  Vancouver, bc  Ji^MI    rf**? •W&J"  I  production, a number of filmmakers and  producers at the NFB have expressed  doubt about the effectiveness of these  teams.  Studio D produced films have received over 75 international and national  awards, including a Genie and two Academy awards. In total Studio D has produced or co-produced 120 films. Some of  its more well-known films are Forbidden  Love: the Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Love,  Sisters in The Struggle, and If You Love This  Planet.  The closure of Studio D means that  the New Initiatives in Film (NIF) program will also be shut down. NIF is a  professional development program dedicated to supporting the increased participation of Aboriginal women and  women of colour in Canada's cinema. It  achieved this mandate through  internships, apprenticeships, and scholarships.  Through the Scholarship Program,  Mina Shum was able to do post-production on her film Me, Mom and Mona. Also,  Midi Onodera has been able to develop  her second feature film, Deadlove, through  the one year internship program.  NIF has operated under Studio D for  the last five years. During that time, more  barbara findlay  is delighte  thac she is  with the l<  Smith and Hughes  321-1525 Robson St  Vancouver  phone 683-4176  Hug,  legal sendees  bisexual com  In  is offer a full range of  the lesbian, gay and  nirif? 0j Vancouver,  without charge.  than 22 Aboriginal women and women  of colour filmmakers have participated  in the program.  Claire Prieto, NIF's program producer, says that NIF's importance can be  found in the fact that it has helped move  a number of women out of "limbo hell to  a place where they could actually get  work done."  From the start, NIF had been designed as a five-year program within  Studio D. The women on the NIF advisory board say they have been uncertain  about the future of the program for some  time.  However, rather than waiting for  the NFB to dictate the future existence of  the program's mandates at the filmboard,  the NIF advisory board presented a proposal to the NFB last September. The  proposal, called "The Way Forward,"  recommends that the NFB hire producers of colour and Aboriginal producers,  as well as continue the apprenticeship  and internship programs.  Claire Prieto, says that after five years  of NIF's existence, a lot of ground work  is still being done in order to ensure  equity at the NFB.  The reshuffling of NFB's limited resources has already been felt in Western  Canada with the closure of the NFB's  offices and film library in Vancouver last  year.  Now, anyone in Western Canada  who wants NFB films in a reel to reel  format must order them from NFB offices in Eastern Canada. In addition, Vancouver saw the loss of the International  Women's day film festival that has been  organized jointly by the NFB and the  YWCA.  The closure of Studio D comes at a  time when many publicly funded arts  and social programs are beginning to  feel the crunch of the federal and provincial government funding cuts.  Midi Onodera, an independent filmmaker who has worked with Studio D,  feels the closure of the studio comes at a  very bleak period for independent filmmakers in Canada, particularly since  support for Canadian culture in general  is at an all time low. "Just when women  are beginning to develop their own voice  in the arts, the economic signposts that  allow them to continue doing so are being cut down," she says.  E. Centime Zeleke is going to sell her video  machine after next fall.  VANCOUVER  WOMENS  BOOKSTORE  315CAMBIEST.  VANCOUVER, B.C. HOURS:  V6B 2N4 MONDAY - SATURDAY  TEL: (604) 684.0523 10 AM - 6 PM Movement Matters  listings information  Movement Matters is designed  to be a network of news, updates  and information of special interest  to the women's movement.  Submissions to Movement  Matters should be no more than 500  words, typed, double spaced and  may be edited for length. Deadline is  the 18th of the month preceding  publication.   by Joanne Namsoo  Campaign against  homophobia  Diverse City, a new project aimed at  eliminating discrimination against East  and South East Asian lesbians, gays and  bisexuals, was launched in Vancouver on  March 21, coinciding with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial  Discrimination.  The theme of Diverse City—"to be  treated with respect and dignity is a human right"—echoes the need to end all  forms of discrimination, such as racism  and homophobia. The project is the first  ethnic-specific initiative in Canada  targetting homophobia.  Diverse City is being coordinated by  the Asian Society for the Intervention of  AIDS (ASIA), with direction coming from  a planning committee of representatives  from the East and South East Asian communities. A number of community  groups—Bamboo Triangle, a support  group for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and  transgendered persons of Japanese Canadian descent; Gay Asians of Vancouver  Area (GAVA); and the Vancouver Association of Chinese Canadians—are also  sponsoring the campaign.  The initiative will involve producing  a poster and a pamphlet addressing homophobia which will be printed in Chinese,  Japanese, Tagalog and Vietnamese. The  centrepiece of the poster will be a community portrait of over sixty community  leaders and representatives who have  gathered to show their support in denouncing homophobia. The portrait will  be taken in mid-April and the poster and  pamphlet are planned to be released in  May.  For more information about the Diverse  City project, contact Henry Koo or Denise Tse  Shang Tang at AISA, #507-1033 Davie St.,  Vancouver, BC, V6E 1M7; telephone: (604)  667-5567; fax: (604) 669-7756.  Action against anti-  fertility vaccines  The Women's Global Network for  Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) in the  Netherlands has launched an international postcard action demanding a halt  to research on anti-fertility "vaccines."  The action was started on March 8th, International Women's Day.  WGNRR is appealing to women  around the world to send a postcard to the  Human Reproduction Programme (HRP)  of the World Health Organization calling  on them to put an end to the research,  development and testing of these particular types of contraceptive methods.  Various kinds of immunological contraceptives are currently under research,  but the most "promising" type for researchers is a vaccination against the female pregnancy-hormone hCG. The vaccine would produce an anti-body to fight  against the pregnancy hormone, and  would remain effective—and therefore,  irreversible—in a woman's body for at  least one year. [See Kinesis July/August  1995.1  The HRP is one of the major coordinating centres for the research on anti-  fertility "vaccines". WGNRR says one of  the most significant dangers of these anti-  fertility vaccines is that, unlike vaccines  against diseases, they do not prepare the  body to react against harmful germs—  instead, they cause an immunological disorder.  There is growing concern and criticism among women's rights organizations all over the world about the present  direction of contracep five research, which  is mainly guided by the perception that  population growth in so-called third  world countries should be stopped. Hence,  the push for the development of long-  acting contraceptive methods over which  women would have no control themselves.  The international campaign to stop  research on anti-fertility vaccines has been  ongoing for some time now. An "Open  Letter" to the main research institutes and  funding bodies demanding a stop to this  research has already been signed by 446  groups and organizations worldwide.  WGNRR says the International Postcard  Action will be carried out over the course  of the year by many of these groups.  For postcards, leaflets and further information about the campaign contact: Beatrijs  Stemerding, Women's Global Network for  ReproductiveRights, NZ Voorburgal32,1012  RZ Amsterdam, the Netherlands; telephone:  (31-20) 620 96 72; fax: (31-20) 622 24 50; e-  mail: wgnrr@antenna.nl.  Women's march  against poverty  The National Action Committee on  the Status of Women (NAC) and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) marked International Women's Day by announcing  plans to organize a cross-Canada "Women's March Against Poverty."  The campaign is modelled on the  Bread and Roses march last summer in  Quebec [see Kinesis, ]uly/August 1995.] It  will be launched from Vancouver on May  14 at the CLC convention, and from the  East Coast later that month.  The plan is for women to join the  march at points across the country, and to  participate in a variety of activities including rallies, street theatre and concerts.  The March will culminate in Ottawa  on June 15, coinciding with NAC's annual  general meeting.  NAC and CLC have developed several demands arranged around the theme:  "For Bread and Roses, For Jobs and Justice." Among the demands are adequate  funding for women's shelters, the implementation of a national child care program, the development of strong federal  standards for social programs, secure programs for people with disabilities, the  strengthening of the public pension system, and the creation of real jobs for  women.  "In this country, increasing numbers  of women are living in poverty," says  NAC president Sunera Thobani. "We are  marching because women's dream of  equality can never be realized in a society  polarized by 'haves' and 'have nots,' where  the poorer regions of the country are  marginalized, racism grows, and the most  vulnerable members of our communities  are abandoned."  To get involved with the national Women's March Against Poverty, contact your  local women's organization or CLC affiliated  union, or contact the NAC office in Toronto,  1-800-665-5124. In BC, you can call Cenen  Bagon, NAC-BC regional representative at  (604) 876-4119.  Burmese Women's  Union  Many dissident groups and refugees  fleeing Burma's civil war and military  dictatorship have established themselves  in Mae Hong Son, a town along the Thai-  Burma border. Among these groups is the  Burmese Women's Union (BWU), which  was founded in January 1995 by a group  of displaced female students.  BWU was founded to organize  women in Burma. The organization says  its focus is first on the women on the Thai-  Burma border area and in other countries,  and then on the women inside Burma.  Among the group's aims and objectives are: to promote the active role of  Burmese women in politics; to increase  the participation of women in exercising  their rights, as recognized by the international community; and to encourage  women, both at the academic and grassroots levels, to contribute their abilities  towards a future democratic society.  The group says they are seeking the  participation of all Burmese women regardless of their ethnicity, religion, marital status, or livelihood.  BWU, working under very dangerous conditions, has established several  projects for refugee women living along  the border. These include a nursery for  refugee children in one of the camps, various literacy and income-generating  projects, and human rights education for  refugee and internally displaced women.  BWU is very interested in learning  about women's struggles around the  world. They are in a very isolated and  dangerous position, given the war in  Burma and their precarious position in  Thailand.  For more information, write to the Burmese Women's Union, PO Box 42, Mae Hong  Son 58000, Thailand.  by Ann Webb  Feminist shows on  Co-op Radio  A number of special programs produced by and about women will be featured on Vancouver's Co-operative Radio, CFRO 102.7FM, from April 12 to 28,  as part of its annual Spring Marathon  Fundraiser.  Some of the highlights of the women-  focused programs include:  WomenVisions' "Women's voices on  bioregionalism" at 8pm on Monday April  15; and its "Women, Health and the Environment" at 8pm on Monday April 22,  as part of the all-day Earth Day programming.  Between 2pm and 4pm on Monday  April 15, Blue Monday, a program of  music by women, will be featuring the  sounds of Vancouver singers Coco Love  Alcorn and Jennifer Scott, and Eartha  Kitt and Sade. Obaa, a show produced  by, for and about women of colour, will  air special public affairs programming  on Tuesday April 24 from noon to 2:30pm.  The focus of the show will be on "Our  Common Struggles as Women of Colour: Building Solidarity, Strategies and  Action." And on Friday April 26 starting  at 7pm, Obaa will feature two hours of  music, including Soca, Soucous and Sally.  Other women's programming held  during the Co-op's Spring Marathon,  include the Iranian Women's Show, a  new Farsi-language show, at 5pm on  Tuesday April 16. The Lesbian Show  will air special programming on Thursday April 18 at 8pm.  On Tuesday April 23 from 6pm to  8pm, Women Fighting Back features a  discussion on women's work and women's rights as part of all-day programming on "Financial Deceptions: Free  Trade, Big Business and the Myth of  Democracy." The focus of this presentation will be on how women are organizing here in Vancouver as well as internationally. It will include interviews with  women active in Vancouver organizations and tapes from women further  afield.  Be sure to tune in.  For a complete listing of the Spring  Marathon programming, contact Co-op Radio at (604) 694-8494.  Women's programming on  Co-op Radio 102.7 FM  Where women have a voice  Monday, 8:00 - 9:00pm:  WomenVisions  For women about women by women. Health, politics, law, spirituality, arts  sexuality and alternative ideologies.  Tuesday, 7:00 - 8:00pm:  OBAA  By women of colour for women of colour. Local community groups and events,  interviews and music not heard in the mainstream.  Thursday, 8:00 - 9:00pm:  The Lesbian Show  Friday, 8:00-10:00pm: Rubymusic  12 years on the air, Rubymusic features the best in music by women-old, new,  lost and found.  For a free listener's guide call 684-8494 Monday to Thursday, 10am - 6pm  APRIL 1996 What's News  by Fatima Jaffer  Alberta loses forced  sterilization case  The Alberta government has backed  down and will not appeal a court ruling  that found the government was wrong to  have Leilani Muir forcibly sterilized when  she was a teenager confined to an institution for people labeled mentally handicapped. Muir is now 51 years old.  An Alberta trial court judge ruled in  February that the Alberta government  had acted in a high-handed way in forcing the removal of Muir's fallopian tubes  in 1959, using a 1928 statute—Alberta's  Sexual Sterilization Act. It was enacted to  prevent mentally disabled people from  having children and passing on their  genes.  The law was struck down in 1972 as  "morally repugnant" after the Alberta  Eugenics Board had ordered 3,000 forced  sterilizations, mostly on women, under  the Act.  Leilani Muir was 14 years old when  she was sterilized. She says she was never  told she had been sterilized—the doctors  said her appendix had been removed—  until her mother told her four years later.  Muir spent more than ten years at various  specialists, and underwent two operations in the hopes of reversing the procedure and being able to conceive. She gave  up when she was 35 years old.  In court, Muir's lawyer also provided  evidence that mental and physical abuse  at home resulted in Muir's poor performance at school, which led to Muir being  diagnosed as mentally disabled and being incarcerated at the Red Deer Provincial Training School for Mental Defectives.  Tests conducted when she was an adult  show she has average intelligence.  Muir charged that the province was  wrong to have put her in that school and  sought financial damages for her incarceration.  The court awarded Muir almost $1  million in damages for the wrongful sterilization in the first case of its kind. Her  lawyer, Sandra Anderson, says there are  30 women who had been awaiting the  outcome of this case to pursue similar  lawsuits against the province for wrongful sterilization.  The Alberta Association for Community Living has been lobbying for a mass  compensation package for the women,  but the province has rejected the idea so  far.  NAFTA attack on  health care  In the early 1990s, when women's  groups, labour and other social activists  opposed to the North American Free  Trade Agreement (NAFTA) warned that  NAFTA could threaten the social safety  net, free traders vehemently denied this  would happen.  Now, two years after NAFTA was  signed, it looks like NAFTA could undermine health care in Canada. On April 1st,  the deadline expires for provinces and  states to exempt any of their health care  urograms from the broader rules of  NAFTA.  Currently, member countries of  NAFTA—the United States, Canada, and  Mexico—can exempt services "for a pub-  APRIL 1996  lie purpose" from the free trade agreement's provision that allows, in most  cases, Mexican or US investors compete  for business in Canada under the same  terms as Canadians.  That provision being in force could  result in a host of claims by profit-making large corporations and pharmaceutical companies against the provincial  legislation and policies intended to "protect" health care services in Canada from  for-profit foreign competition.  Unless provinces have applied for a  service to be exempted, any health service not insured by medicare is likely to  face competition from US and Mexican  companies. These include dental or chiropractic care, physiotherapy, cosmetic  surgery, X-rays, eye surgery, psychological counselling, and even annual  check-ups.  As well, as the list of uninsured  services gets longer due to health care  cutbacks, new areas of health care will  be opened up to foreign big business.  Despite the impending threat, two  years later there still seems to be disagreement as to what "for a public purpose" means. Federal officials still claim  medicare is protected, while the US and  Mexico are already showing signs that  they are prepared to launch lawsuits  challenging Canada's "protectionism"  in health care services.  The first lawsuit against Canada is  already underway using the NAFTA  section which protects foreign investors' rights to compete for business  equally with Canadian business. The  Mexican drug company Signa S A de C V  is seeking $50 million in damages on the  grounds it is being unfairly prevented  by federal patent regulations from selling their generic version of a Canadian  drug.  Currently, reports indicate that only  Quebec and BC have applied for exemptions for health care and other social services. Quebec's list of services  they provide "for a public purpose"  include welfare, income security, social  insurance, social services, public education, training, health and child care programs.  A likely scenario in upcoming  months is that we will see a slew of  lawsuits from other American and Mexican companies, followed by further  trade dispute wrangling between  Canada and the US, and the very likely  prospect of NAFTA causing even further damage to Canada's social safety  Violence in new  women's prisons  A number of women have been killing or hurting themselves and others in  the new regional prisons that have been  set up to replace the Kingston Prison for  Women (P4W). Last month, a prisoner  at the Edmonton Institution for Women  killed herself. Another allegedly attacked a nurse. In January, three women  mutilated themselves.  The Edmonton institution is one of  five regional facilities incarcerating minimum-, medium- and maximum-security women prisoners established to replace P4W—the only prison for federally sentenced women.  The conditions at P4W had come  under much criticism—violence, sui  cides and inhumane behaviour by prison  guards towards the women were common. And an inquiry is still deliberating  on the incidents at the prison in April  1994 in which a number of inmates were  forcibly stripped by male riot police and  placed in solitary confinement for extended periods.  The other new institutions already  open are in Truro, Nova Scotia and Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. Two others—  in Joliet, Quebec, and Kitchener, Ontario—will open this spring.  The regional prisons are supposed  to be an improvement over P4W by providing programs that include counselling and support to enable women to  deal with their violent behaviour, which  is often the result of many years of physical and sexual abuse.  The wardens of the three open institutions say the violence of the last two  months are just expected "natural reactions" to the conflicts and tensions that  arise from such a dramatic change for the  women prisoners transferred from Kingston to the regional facilities.  But says Michelle Clarke of Calgary's  Elizabeth Fry Society, "If these are natural reactions, why aren't [the prison wardens] prepared?" She points out the programs aren't in place yet to deal with  some of the issues the women are having  to cope with during the transition.  Meanwhile, the wardens say they  expect more women will try to hurt themselves as more prisoners are transferred  from P4W to the new facilities.  Kuwaiti women fight  for their rights  In a rare public demonstration, 40  Kuwaiti women lawyers, scientists and  academics marched with placards outside the Kuwaiti legislature demanding  the vote and the right to run for parliament.  Some of the women protestors are  former members of the civilian resistance during Iraq's 1990-91 occupation.  These women had held similar daily  demonstrations at the NGO Forum of  the United Nations 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing last fall.  The women have accused the elected  government of reneging on its promise  made during the US invasion of Iraq and  the Persian Gulf crisis to give women  political rights.  UVic PoliSci gets a  new chill  The political science department at  the University of Victoria—the site of  controversy in 1993 around sexual and  racial harassment—has a new male chair,  despite an external recommendation that  they should hire a woman.  While one woman and two men were  shortlisted for the job, it was James Tully,  a former McGill University political philosopher and former member of the Royal  Commission on Aboriginal People, who  was chosen to run UVic's PoliSci department beginning July 1st.  The chair of the Women's Studies  Department, Christine St. Peter, says that  while there were some strong woman  candidates, most women did not apply  because of the department's reputation  for sexism and feminist-bashing [see Kinesis, June 1993.]  Of a total of 60 candidates in the  international recruitment search, six were  women. Five of the nine people on the  search committee were women. The  PoliSci department's faculty of eight men  and two women have approved the appointment.  In March 1993, the Chilly Climate  Committee had reported on harassment  and hostility towards feminist views in  the department. Male faculty objected to  the findings, and launched a harassment  campaign against the Committee's one  faculty member, Somer Brodribb, and  attempted to discredit the Committee's  report as biased.  The backlash extended beyond UVic,  and feminism came under increased attack in several campuses throughout  Canada. Issues such as racism, sexual  harassment, "academic freedom," "political correctness," chilly climate committees, and professional conduct were  hotly debated.  At UVic, the administration was  eventually forced to hire external investigators to follow up on the Chilly Climate Report, which made several recommendations in January 1994, including hiring an outside chair, preferably a  woman.  Tully's appointment shows the university's "complete disregard" of the  recommendation, says Tina Walker, the  head of UVic's Student Society.  And a former member of the Chilly  Climate Committee says it's basically  "more of the old boys' network."  Federal lesbian and  gay rights revisited  After Canadian Human Rights Commissioner Max Yalden accused the federal government of reneging on its promise to bring in human rights protection  for lesbians and gays, the government  seems to have backed down.  Last month, Yalden gave a scorching  report on the state of human rights in  Canada. He noted that the Liberals had  not kept their promise to deliver gay and  lesbian human rights legislation. He also  pointed out that, under the Liberals,  Aboriginal peoples, immigrants, refugees and people of colour also face increasing attacks and disparities in social  and political rights.  As well, Yalden criticized the government for its record on taking action  towards achieving women's equality  and, in particular, slammed the Liberals  for not moving on pay equity.  Following Yalden's speech, justice  minister Allan Rock admitted the Liberals were not going to bring in human  rights legislation that would cover lesbians and gays before the next election. But  the next day, Prime Minister Jean  Chretien contradicted Rock and said very  clearly—in response to a comment from  the Bloc Quebecois leader—that he  would fulfill his personal commitment  to enact such legislation made in a letter  before the election.  The Liberals still have two-and-a-  half years to go in their term as government. However, several MPs are either  openly and vocally opposed to gay and  lesbian rights, such as Roseanne Skoke,  or are reluctant to take a stand on the Feature  Women of colour building solidarity:  Onward with the struggle  On March 9th, over 200 women—mostly women of colour—gathered together in Vancouver to relate stories and experiences, and to discuss and critique  strategies for fighting against the global right-wing agenda and ending oppression against women, particularly women of colour.  The event included a panel discussion—"Building Solidarity Among Third World Women "—and was organized as an International Women's Day event  by the Philippine Women Centre; Nuestra Voz, an organization supporting women in Guatemala; the South Asian Women's Centre; and women from the  African community, who are currently trying to establish an organization for African women.  The women speaking on the panel represented the groups organizing the event: Jane Ordinario of the Philippine Women Centre, Tina Bains of the South  Asian Women's Centre, and Maria Luisa Morales of Nuestra Voz. [Someone from the African women's community was scheduled to speak, but in the end  was unable to attend.] The panel also included a special guest—Amparo Lotan, a labour, women's and peace activist from Guatemala [see interview page 13.]  The discussion was facilitated by Marilou Carillo, and the talks by Morales and Lotan, given in Spanish, were interpreted by Ruth Leckie.  In this issue, Kinesis presents the speech given by Jane Ordinario and a commentary by Yamin Jiwani, who attended the event, on the work needed to  be done to build solidarity and move forward.  Organizing Filipino-Canadian women:  Linking with women  in the Philippines  by Jane Ordinario   There are presently over 175,000 Filipino-Canadians, most of whom are distributed in major cities of Canada. Greater  Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Montreal account for about 76 percent of the  total. The rest are distributed in Calgary,  Edmonton, Ottawa, Victoria and other  smaller cities.  The pattern of Filipino migration can  be seen as happening in three major  waves. The first wave took place in the  late 1960s up to the early 1970s. This  consisted mostly of professionals—  nurses, medical technologists, doctors,  managers and engineers. Mostly of petty  bourgeois background, they came to  Canada in search of a better life or standard of living than what they had in the  Philippines. These people had jobs waiting for them upon their arrival.  Most members of this group of Filipino-Canadians have become part of the  so-called Canadian middle class—living  mostly in major cities or in suburbs, and  owning their own homes.  The second wave of Filipino immigrants came in the 1970s after the declaration of martial law in the Philippines.  The political and economic crisis in the  Philippines was a major factor that  "pushed" these Filipinos to leave and  come to Canada. Canada during this  period was experiencing a relatively  rapid economic growth and was in need  of skilled workers. Those who came were  mostly clerical, sales, manufacturing and  garment workers. There were also a  number of professionals from the medical profession, especially nurses, who  came to Canada.  The second wave also included  family members sponsored by the first  wave. They came without any secured  job placements, and therefore it took  them a longer period of time to find  work.  The third wave came mostly beginning in the late 1970s. The majority  of these immigrants were part of a  larger group of migrant workers who  had to leave because of the worsening  economic and political crisis in Philippines' society. They are part of the  overseas Filipinos scattered all over  the world, working mostly as labour-  laws, it takes at least two years before  domestic workers can become eligible to  apply for immigration status and get out  of live-in domestic work.  Filipino migration into Canada  should be seen in light of developments  both in Canada and in the Philippines.  Economics, or the "search for a better  life," is the major factor in the decision to  "  Maria Luisa Morales, Ruth Leckie, Amparo Lotan, Tina Bains, Jane  Ordinario. Photo by Fatima Jaffer.  ers, entertainers, domestic workers,  seafarers and hospital workers.  Between 1982 and 1991, more than  30,000 Filipinos came to Canada as live-  in domestic workers. Admitted by  Canada not as immigrants but as contract workers, these live-in domestic  workers, who are mainly women, are the  most vulnerable to exploitation, both in  the workplace and in the community.  Under Canada's current immigration  immigrate. Worsening unemployment  and poverty under a semi-feudal and  semi-colonial system in the Philippines  have left many people with no other  choice but to try their "luck" abroad.  Even if many are aware that they cannot  practise their profession or use their educational training in another country, they  are still willing to take the risk of going  overseas, if only to be able to improve  their lives and that of their families.  The declaration of martial law in  1972 was a major impetus that "pushed"  these people to leave the Philippines.  Human rights violations, the loss of  democratic rights and the continuous  deterioration of the economy—all these  added to the decision to leave the country. If you factor in the colonial mentality  that the "North is the best and the land of  riches and opportunity," then we can see  why Filipinos would risk almost everything to come to North America.  Canada's immigration policy also  encourages people from other countries  to come. This policy has always been  guided by the dynamics of Canada's economic and capitalist expansion. Canada  opens its doors when there is demand for  workers, and closes them once the demand is filled.  In its drive for rapid growth and  industrialization, Canada's relatively  small population and its demand for  skilled workers and professionals leave  it with no other choice but to bring in  people who can be absorbed outright  into the workplace. It is to Canada's advantage to take in skilled workers and  professionals—then, it does not have to  spend any more money for the education and training of these skilled immigrants. This is the classic "brain drain"  syndrome we often hear about from social scientists who have studied the pattern of migration into North America  during the last couple of decades.  While no comprehensive and definitive study has been done on the Filipino-  Canadian community, a cursory look  would indicate that the pattern of Filipino migration, as well as the nature of  Canada as a class divided society, is  fairly reflected in this community. Generally, the first and second wave of Filipino immigrants are found in the upper  and middle crust of the community's  social ladder and may have upper and  middle petty bourgeois outlooks, even if  many of them are in white or even blue  collar occupations. They take on leadership roles and some even have successful businesses within the community. By  virtue of their length of stay and their  middle class status, they have succeeded  in integrating or assimilating themselves  into the Canadian mainstream.  The third wave are on the bottom  rung of the community's social ladder.  They suffer exploitation not only outside  the Filipino-Canadian community, but  APRIL 1996 Feature  Commentary:  Working out the  language of solidarity  Canada opens its doors when there is demand  for workers, and closes them once  the demand is filled.  Continued from previous page  many also suffer from discrimination  and exploitation within the Filipino community. They are often victimized by  unscrupulous Filipino-Canadians who  take advantage of their vulnerable status  as contract workers or non-immigrants.  The Filipino-Canadian youth is one  sector that needs to be given attention in  terms of understanding the community.  This sector of the community may be  divided into two categories: newly arrived young people and Canadian-born  or raised young people.  The newly arrived youth often finds  it difficult to make the adjustment to the  environment and generally suffers from  "culture shock" in varying degrees. While  they still have close ties to and strong  memories of the Philippines, they are  also under strong pressure to assimilate,  if only to be able to survive or "feel at  home" in their new environment. Some  of them are beginning to realize their  situation in Canada is not necessarily  different from their situation in the Philippines. Also, the added burden of racism makes them more understanding of  the need to organize and fight for their  rights.  Canadian-born or raised youths have  generally adjusted well to Canada and  consider it to be their country. But by  is also responsible for the present Philippines 2000 program of the Ramos regime. Philippines 2000 is the economic  program in the Philippines whose one  outstanding feature is the export of Philippine human labour—at whatever  cost—in order to secure foreign earnings  for the Philippines.  In the Philippines, women have developed their own distinct organizations  and are contributing very important functions and resources—both human and  material—to the overall struggle for social change.  In many places and lines of work,  these women have initiated activities in  and provided leadership to different organizations.  Just as women in the Philippines  have organized themselves, Filipino-  Canadian women must also do the same  in Canada. Their problems are no different from those of women in the Philippines. The forces which have brought  about their migration into Canada are  the same forces that have caused Filipino  women to organize themselves. The process of organizing Filipino-Canadian  women must therefore be within the context of the struggle for their rights in  Canada and in solidarity with the Filipino people.  The process of organizing Filipino-Canadian  women must therefore be within the context of the  struggle for their rights in Canada and  in solidarity with the Filipino people.  virtue of their length of stay and integration into the Canadian mainstream, they  have become more aware of the issue of  racism that people of colour, like them,  face in their daily lives. But their lack of  awareness of their historic roots, heritage, country of origin and the causes of  their parents' migration has become a  barrier to a deeper understanding of their  presence as people of colour in a predominantly white society.  The history of Filipino migration into  Canada has shown that many of these  new entrants—or third wave immigrants—are mostly women and work as  live-in domestic contract workers. They  are part of the global trend or phenomenon now known as the "feminization of  global migration."  Studies have shown that this phenomenon has been brought about mainly  by the rapid globalization of capital and  the structural adjustment programs  (SAPs) which are its essence. The main  enforcer of this feminization of global  migration is the IMF [International Monetary Fund] /World Bank tandem, which  Presently, there is a network of Filipino-Canadian women [involved with  Filipino-Canadian organizations in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa]  that is engaged in the studying of the  impact on women of the IMF/World  Bank structural adjustment programs.  This network has already done considerable work both within and outside the  Filipino-Canadian community.  In working with non-Filipino women's groups in Canada, we should always be aware of our solidarity links  with the struggle of women in the Philippines. We must insist that, while we are  a Filipino-Canadian group, we are also  part of the struggle against the global  economic forces that cause this  feminization of global migration. This  way we become conscious of our relationship with non-Filipino groups and  uphold the principles of independence,  initiative, and mutual respect for each  other.  Jane Ordinario works at the Philippine  Women Centre.  by Yasmin Jiwani  International Women's Day in Vancouver concluded with the same kind of  collaborative spirit that has now become  the hallmark of successful organizing.  Four groups—Nuestra Voz, Women  from the African Community, the South  Asian Women's Centre and the Philippine Women Centre (PWC) came together to host an evening of information  sharing, entertainment, and great food!  As Cecilia Diocsin, chair of the board of  PWC, put it, "we wanted to come together like we used to." And it worked!  The event began with a panel discussion with women from the different  organizations talking about their work  and the services they offer to their communities. And special guest panelist  Amparo Lotan of UNISTRAGUA, the  National Union of Guatamalan Workers, gave a stirring speech outlining the  parallels between the exploitation of  workers in Guatemala and the erosion of  workers' rights and social benefits in  Canada. In the open discussion which  followed the panel, it soon became clear  just how much we all have in common.  While the postmodern variant of  feminism has emphasized our differences, sometimes legitimately, it has also  served to deflect attention away from  our very real commonalities. And even  though difference is important—identity politics have their place, particularly  in the larger society where we all are not  all equal and where we obviously do not  enjoy the same privileges—our common  oppression as marginalized groups is  just as real, if not more so. This reality is  even more pronounced in the case of  women of colour. Although we come  from different cultural traditions, we  have similar encounters with the forces  of "law and order" in Canada—as immigrants, refugees, workers and  dependents. Devalued as women in a  patriarchal society, we also confront racism in a culture of white supremacy.  During the evening, we talked about  some of our commonalities and differences and some of our pain, but we also  shared some of the joy of being together—  sharing our insights. It was clear that we  can no longer afford to let the politics of  difference divide us. We need to come  together and strategize about ways in  which to circumvent the oppression that  bears down on us. But how do we build  the bonds of solidarity while recognizing our differences—the real differences  between us and within us? For even  though we may share to a common cultural tradition, we are not all the same.  In fact, there are probably more differences within us than between us. How  do we deal with generational differences,  sexual orientation, class? In a way, these  differences are similar to those tearing  apart the larger "women's movement"—  if indeed there is one movement.  I believe there is a women's movement and it is a strong, political movement—a movement aimed at equality  and equity. And the success of that movement is contingent on its fluidity—its  ability to give rise to and accommodate  the diverse interpretations of "equality  and access" of its membership.  While our differences structure the  way we see and position ourselves in the  world, there are nevertheless,  commonalities—areas of overlap which  allow us to communicate with one another. In particular, the commonality that  brings us most together is the language  of oppression, of exclusion and  marginalization. But this in itself raises  another spectre and one of which I am  sure many of us are wary: How do we  appreciate that common language without seeming to flatten a hierarchical reality—relativizing our suffering so that  "my suffering is the same as yours?"  On the other hand, we've all experienced the hierarchy of oppression which  can be so silencing and ultimately destructive. It all boils down to the same  question: How do we respect differences,  recognize our differential privileges, and  still talk the same language and fight a  common struggle? It may be that the  issue is not so much one of "differences"  per se, but rather of recognizing and legitimating the expertise of those who  know and feel that difference.  Perhaps this "either/or" perspective is too digital to accept. If we are to  search for a "both/and'" solution, then I  think we need to define the areas of  commonality, and mobilize our efforts  around specific struggles. That may  mean that we put at the forefront some  issues over others, and that in specific  arenas, we mobilize around a particular  set of concerns.  Inreality, this mightbe difficult to do.  But politically, unless we do something,  we are likely to remain fragmented and  divided. I am not suggesting that we swallow our differences and become a monolith—for that too would be untenable.  Rather, as a political movement, we need  to come together around the issues that  concern us.  In terms of the women who gathered  together to celebrate IWD that evening,  the common areas of concern were: the  exclusionary and discriminatory features  of immigration policies; finding equitable  employment and having safe working  environments; violence against women  and children; and battling racismand sexism. We can forge bonds of solidarity on  these issues. They are wide enough and  pervasive enough to include us all, even  though our experiences with each of these  issues may vary.  After the panel discussion, I suggested  that one organization should take the lead  in bringing us together to talk about common issues. I commend the Philippine  Women's Centre for doing so in organizing the collaborative celebration for IWD.  I hope that with the resources we collectively share, we can continue the dialogue  throughout the year.  Yasmin Jiwani works at FREDA, the  Feminist Research Education Development  and Action Centre. She has a PhD in  communications from Simon Fraser  University and is currently teaching a  course in the Women's Studies Department  at the University of British Columbia.  11 Garment workers in Guatemala: mm mm a  Tw* Wir^n oo$+ of clothing  The transformation of global economics in the past  decade has been rapid and far reaching. The combination of free trade and other economic "restructuring"  programs has created a global shopping market and led  to the return of worker "sweatshops" around the world.  The emergence of low or non-existent tariffs under  this new global economic regime has resulted in multinational companies looking beyond their own borders  in a ruthless bidding war for cheap labour. The outcome is what many women feared when we opposed  the free trade agreements in the late '80s and early  '90s—the "lowest common denominator" effect. The  drive to produce goods at the lowest possible price has  left workers—most of whom are women—forced to  tolerate extremely exploitative working conditions in  the daily struggle of poverty, and governments which  are willing to witness, as well as profit from, extreme  breaches of national and international labour laws.  The proliferation of "free trade zones" is not confined to one region of the world, or to just a few  industries. This phenomenon is occurring in the manufacture of clothing, toys, electronics, car components,  and in other industrial sectors which span just about  every consumer good imaginable.  In the garment industry, exploitative and repressive working conditions are occurring not only in the  industrial "special economic zones" in the South, but  also in homes and factories of North America and  Australia.  As is the case in the innumerable circumstances of  deteriorating labour conditions in all corners of the  globe, workers—especially women and child workers—are paying the economic, personal, physical and  emotional costs of corporate competition and greed.  In Guatemala, the maquilas producing clothes for  the global garment industry are the site of some of these  devastating workplace abuses. An estimated 90,000  workers—95 percent of whom are women—work in  the factories churning out garments for export.  Long hours, paltry wages, sexual harassment, confinement and unsafe conditions are a working reality  for many women in those garment factories. And on the  street, kidnapping, rape, violence, threats, and coercion  is often what labour organizers are faced with.  Despite the frightening experiences that have become a visceral reality for labour organizers, women in  Guatemala, Central America and other countries continue their efforts to organize trade unions, confront  employers on atrocious working conditions, lobby governments, and call for responsibility in the multinational garment industry.  There have been some declared victories. The publicized consumer action against US clothing corporation  the GAP ended in December when the company finally  agreed to accept independent monitoring of the factories  that produce GAP gear. [See Kinesis, March 1996]  And in December, the US/Guatemala Labor Education Project announced that the management at the  Marrisa maquila in Guatemala had agreed to come to  the table with former workers who report violent intimidation as retribution for attempting to organize  workers in the factory.  Over the past few months, Guatemalan women  involved in organizing garment workers in Guatemala's maquilas have come to Canada to meet with women's, labour and social justice groups to raise awareness  and build solidarity in their struggle to end exploitative  working conditions. Kinesis had the opportunity to  meet with three of these women and hear about their  work and experiences.  Over these next three pages, Kinesis presents interviews with Blanca Rodriguez, a young woman who  works in a garment factory, and labour organizers and  activists Rosa Escobar and Amparo Lotan. As well,  Kinesis includes a resource list of organizations to contact concerning actions in support of garment maquila  workers in Guatemala.  The work each day  by Blanca Rodriguez as told to Carmen  Miranda   Blanca Rodriguez is 16 years old. She  works in a garment factory in Guatemala City.  Other members of her family also work in the  same factory—her father and her two sisters.  Carmen Miranda: How old were you when  you started working in the maquila?  Blanca Rodriguez: I was 11 years old.  Miranda: Are there many young workers  in the maquila where you work?  Rodriguez: There are 700 workers—more  women than men. Some workers are 11  years old, but they get false identification in  order to seem older and get the job in the  maquila.  Miranda: Do the supervisors know about  the false identifications?  Rodriguez: Yes, yes they do.  Miranda: Can you tell us about the work  day for you in the maquila?  Rodriguez: I have to get up at 5:00am, and  it takes half an hour to get to the factory. We  try to be early, because if we are late, they  deduct five quetzales from our salaries for  every three minutes we're late. We have to  mark a card when we get in, and if we are  late, they stamp on the card how many  minutes we are late, so they can make deductions from our pay.  We start to work at 7:30 in the morning,  we take a break from 10:00 to 10:15. We  have lunch from 12:00 to 12:55, and we  finish the day at 6:00 or 7:00pm.  Miranda: What are the conditions like in  the factory where you work?  Rodriguez: There are four washrooms for  women and two for men. The water is not  sufficient, and they close the washrooms at  8:30am and open them at 10:00am. Then  they close the washrooms at 12:00pm and  open them again at 2:00pm.  There is also no ventilation and there is a  lot of dust. A lot of workers faint because of  the poor air circulation.  Miranda: At lunch time, where do you  eat?  Rodriguez: There are no dining rooms, so  we eat in the streets. We have 55 minutes to  have lunch. At 12:55, we have to be ready at  our work machines in order to hear the bell  and to start working.  Miranda: Have you ever been the victim  of physical violence at work?  Rodriguez: Yes, a lot. I have been beaten in  order to force me to work faster, and even  though I work on a machine, I cannot produce more than the goal they set. So they  say, "We do not want to see you anymore,  go to your home."  Miranda: How much is your required  work production per day?  Rodriguez: They tell us we have to produce 100 pieces per hour—that could be  making pleats or sewing on buttons.  Miranda: Were you in school before you  had to start working in the maquila?  Rodriguez: Yes. I completed third grade of  elementary school.  Miranda: How did you feel when you  knew you had to leave school to go and  work?  Rodriguez: I felt good because I could help  my parents, because if all of us do not work,  we cannot survive.  Miranda: Would you have liked to have  kept studying?  Rodriguez: Yes.  Miranda: Where do they export the products your maquila produces?  Rodriguez: To the United States. They pay  less for labour to do the sewing here in  Guatemala, and then they sell for much  more in the North.  Miranda: How much are you paid for  your work?  Rodriguez: I earn one hundred quetzales  every two weeks. [Equivalent to $16 Canadian every two weeks.]  Miranda: Do you get paid for overtime  worked, and do you get any vacation periods?  Rodriguez: The supervisors say they pay  us for overtime, but it is not in our cheques.  And every year, we work through our vacations, so we do not really have vacation  periods—they want us to work all the time.  Miranda: Do they deduct taxes from your  salary?  Rodriguez: Yes, they deduct a tax for the  Social Security Guatemalan Institute, but  the truth is, we do not receive any medical  services. When  somebody gets  \  sick, the bosses  \  say the worker  is lying, and so  they refuse to   ;  sign the work   !  certificate j  needed in order  to receive the j  assistance. If we  are sick,  we j  have  to  pay  from our own !  money.  Miranda:  What kind of ill-  Rosa Escobar, Carmen Miranda and Blanca Rodriguez.  Photo by Agnes Huang.  nesses are common in the factory?  Rodriguez: Gastritis [inflammation of the  lining or other part of the stomach] is common because they do not allow us to have  food—or at least a candy—while we work.  They check us before we get into the  workplace to see if we have some food  hidden. A lot of women have to go for  many hours without anything in their stomachs, and some also faint because of the  lack of fresh air in the factory.  Miranda: Why did you do this visit to  Canada, and what do you expect from it?  Rodriguez: We want people to realize how  we live in Guatemala, even though I know  that because of this trip I could be fired  when I go back.  Miranda: If you were fired, would it be  difficult for you to get a job in another  factory?  Rodriguez: Yes, it would be hard because  the owners will inform the other factories  that I did this trip and talked about the  maquila situation in Guatemala. And my  family could be fired too.  Organizing the  maquilas  by Rosa Escobar as told to Carmen  Miranda   Rosa Escobar is a team member of the Federation of Food Workers' Unions (FESTRAS)  and is also involved with its Women's Committee.  Carmen Miranda: Can you talk about the  work of FESTRAS?  Rosa Escobar: Part of the Federation's activities is working with the maquila women  workers. We support women and girls when  they do not receive their salaries, or when  they are sexually harassed, or when they're  the victims of any other kind of violence.  We are also in a process of training women  workers with regards to their human rights.  Unfortunately, we have difficulty talking  about a union organization process—we  have had bad experiences trying to organize in the maquilas. Some workers have  been fired as a result of this attempt, and we  do not want them to have to risk losing their  jobs.  Miranda: Have you or other union organizers suffered repression because of your  work?  Escobar: Unfortunately, yes, we have had  victims. In 1995, thecompanera [unionsis-  ter] who works on the maquila issue was  the victim of a physical attack—she was  kidnapped and held for some hours and  raped by three men. First, she received  threats and then she was attacked.  We denounced this crime nationally and  internationally, and we think that our denouncement has had some positive results,  because now her life is safer, as are other  women's lives. The international pressure  helped to stop the violence for a while.  Another companero [unionbrother] was  killed—he was a maquila worker. Following his death, the Guatemalan government  was pestered with hundreds of letters from  women and men asking for an investigation into that crime.  The companero attack, we think, is related to a specific case in a Korean-owned  maquila. The supervisor was sexually  harrassing some 12-year-old girls at the  factory. He told them he was going to teach  them about sexual education. The girls came  to FESTRAS for help and the federation  denounced this situation. The supervisor's  response was to fire the girls.  We presented the case to the Labour Ministry. The Ministry ordered the supervisor  to rehire the young girls, but they did not  want to work there again for dignity reasons. The companero who was killed had  been supporting the young girls and confronting the situation with the maquila  owner. He was the one who signed the legal  documents sent to the Ministry of Labour.  Miranda: How long have you been involved in this kind of work, and how did  you get involved?  Escobar: When I was a student, I was a  member of the Commerce Students' Association. I got the legacy of union organizing  from my parents. My parents taught me  about the real situation in Guatemala, and  in fact, my father was one of the founders of  the National Liquor Companies Union.  In 1986, I started to work on women's  issues, and then I got involved with  FESTRAS. I have been involved in labour  activism for eight years. Our work has been  focused around two areas: class and gender. At the beginning, we worked on the  ethnic issue too—in the maquilas, the majority of the workers are indigenous women.  And most of the maquilas are in the countryside.  Miranda: Does your union work mostly  with the women in the city or in the countryside?  Escobar: The food work factories affiliated with FESTRAS are located in the city,  but the maquilas we work with are in the  countryside—so we work in both areas.  Miranda: How many maquilas are in Guatemala?  Escobar: There are 900 maquiladoras registered in the country.  Miranda: And how many unions are there  in these maquiladoras?  Escobar: There are three unions right now,  but I can only talk about the one which I  have been related to. The women involved  in FESTRAS have a lot of courage—they  forced the owners to register and accept the  union. They used strategies such as sleeping outside the factory and watching the  machines so they weren't taken away by  the factory owners.  Miranda: Is the government aware of the  maquila situation in the country?  Escobar: Yes. Guatemala has a good Labour Code, but unfortunately, nothing really works because there is a lot of corruption. Because of the NAFTA (the North  American Free Trade Agreement,) the government is in favour of the foreign investors because they offer jobs—but under  what conditions? We want good labour  conditions.  The Labour Code says that children can  work only if they are 14 years old. They  must have a Work Inspection license, and  have a permit to study, and they must work  only up to six hours.  But in reality, there are 11 year old girls  and boys working. And they work 12 hours.  The government knows about this, but because of the corruption in the government,  foreign investors are allowed to get away  with violations of the Labour Code.  Children have to work in Guatemala and  in Latin America because they need to make  money to survive. It is a hard thing to say  that a girl or boy who is 11 years old has to  work, but they need to work, otherwise  there are going to be more street kids.  Guatemala has a bad economic system.  The ideal would be that girls and boys  would not have to work—they would be  studying or living their childhoods. But if  they have to work, it should be under good  conditions.  Miranda: What could you say in regard of  international strategies?  Escobar: That's a hard question. There are  risks with some strategies, like boycott campaigns. When a boycott is promoted against  a specific company, the owners could close  the factory immediately in Guatemala, and  move operations to another country in Central America. In one way, this benefits the  company because it does not have to pay  the salaries. And then, a lot of women  would lose their jobs.  One of the strategies could be raising  awareness in other countries about what is  going on in Guatemala. This education work  could help build an organizing consciousness in unions, and then they could work to  stop any situation like the one in Guatemala from happening in their own countries.  Another strategy is to support the actions  taken by human rights groups in Guatemala related to denunciations of exploitative and repressive conditions. It would be  helpful to have a solidarity fund to support  the actions in Guatemala because, even  though people are aware of the situation,  they do not have economic flexibility.  Miranda: Is there a maquila network  throughout Central America?  Escobar: There has been an attempt to  form a network between Mexico and Central America. This effort has been working  for a group of women called De Mujer a  Mujer (From Woman to Woman). Other  organizations in Guatemala are trying to  work in this effort.  With a network, we can work in coordination because there is a lot of work to do  and if we unify our human and economic  efforts, we could face this big octopus which  is suffocating us.  Miranda: What were you hoping to achieve  from this visit to Canada?  Escobar: I hope this trip will result in  concrete actions, because sometimes we  talk and discuss issues like this, but what is  needed is prompt actions. The goal is to  fight against the exploitation and violence  in the maquilas.  Toward real peace  by Amparo Lotan as told to Carmen  Miranda and Ruth Leckie   Amparo Lotan is a member of the Guatemala  Workers' Unions Unity (UNISTRAGUA).  She focuses her work on gender issues with  Amparo Lotan.Photo by Agnes Huang.  unionist women workers, and is involved with  the "Women Building Peace" Coalition—a  coalition of women activists from the union,  student and grassroots sectors—and its work  in lobbying for a genuine and meaningful  peace accord for Guatemala.  Carmen Miranda: Can you talk about con-  ditions for women working in the  maquiladoras?  Amparo Lotan: There are a number of  reasons these companies prefer to hire  women, including the traditional perception that women are "submissive," and the  fact that so many of the women are single  mothers or under-aged girls. Bosses rely on  the fact that these women don't know their  rights—that has been an important part of  the organizing work we are now doing. For  example, the work of the "Women Building  Peace" Coalition has been to raise awareness among women about their own rights.  In terms of the actual conditions in the  factories, they are inhumane. For example,  a worksite of 200 workers may have only  two washrooms. There are no childminding  facilities, even though Guatemala's labour  code requires that any worksite with more  than 30 workers should provide this.  The salaries and hours of work are totally  exploitative and there is constant maltreatment and harassment. Physical abuse is  particularly prevalent in the Korean-owned  factories. When confronted with this abuse,  the owners said treating workers in this  way was a "cultural norm" in their country.  And in Guatemala, where there are no guarantees of state protection, they can get away  with it.  We've seen that it's necessary not only to  unionize workers, but to lobby the government to act to end the exploitation. This  pressure has to come from inside the country and from international organizations  and governments. Political action is necessary because while a few unions have  achieved some small gains in the maquilas,  it's really nothing in terms of the more than  40,000 workers who are being exploited.  We need national actions and strategies  that will help everybody.  Miranda: Can you talk about the involvement of Mayan women and men in maquila  work?  Lotan: Many companies have gone into  some predominately indigenous areas—  for example, in Chimaltenango. They're  buying up land, and for people who traditionally work the land, there is really no  option but to go work in a factory—if you  don't have any land to work.  Some companies are even starting to go  into the prisons too where, obviously, the  labour force is even cheaper. And we hear  some are planning to open factories in areas  where the refugees have recently returned  to. The net effect of all this is, of course,  more exploitation.  Miranda: How does UNISTRAGUA carry  out the work of organizing maquila factories?  Lotan: Well, it's different for each case. In  some cases, women come to us of their own  initiative, but rot necessarily with an idea  of organizing themselves. They usually have  some particular complaint, like not being  paid overtime. Also, they may not know  about or may be afraid of the possibility of  organizing. In that case, our first job is  raising awareness and developing an understanding of the need to organize. After  that, we would need to know that there  were at least 10 to 15 people in the maquila  committed to organizing before we would  initiate an union.  In other cases, organizing is done through  word of mouth in the community or through  our own membership, where somebody  knows somebody or has a family member  working in a maquila.  There are people who do come to us  because they want to organize. In the beginning, some labour organizers were just  going out wherever there was a maquila  and forming unions. But the workers didn't  really know the risks, and some were pressured to sell out the union by their bosses.  Miranda: You are active in pushing for a  real peace process in Guatemala. Can you  talk about the work of labour organizing in  the context of the peace process?  Lotan: The various peace accords being  worked out [covering five issue areas: the  military, displaced people, indigenous people, socio-economic change, and the constitution] together form an umbrella to cover  the needs of the population. While the situation of the maquiladoras is particularly  difficult and has its own characteristics, in  the end, the exploitation and repression is  the same as that in industry in general and  in agricultural work.  In terms of the proposals that have been  broughtby the ASC (the Assembly of Civilian Society) to the peace negotiating table,  the focus has been on socio-economic rights.  They include basic guarantees of the right  to work, as in other international and national agreements. [The ASC was formed  three years ago to facilitate civilian participation in the peace process. The ASC is  comprised of representatives from nine civilian sectors, including: women, indigenous people and labour.]  One specific part of the ASC proposal  says the government should establish a law  or mechanism to protect workers in the  maquila. We're not sure what's going to  happen with it. We hear that it's going  forward, but who knows what will happen.  The maquila phenomenon is part of the  neo-liberal policies affecting us all, and if  it's not included in the peace accord, the  accord will be incomplete.  Continued on next page CENTRESPRE AD  Continued from previous page  Ruth Leckie: Can you tell us more about the "Women  Building Peace" coalition?  Lotan: Our aim has been to share with as many women as  possible information about what the struggle for peace  really means. So often our lives revolve around our immediate realities and there is no possibility of a more global  vision. We've tried to educate people around how important the struggle for peace is. A lot of people are really not  aware—the media has certainly not told us about the [35  year old civil] war.  Many people don't know that thousands of people have  had to leave Guatemala, or have had to flee into the jungle.  Only those who have been directly affected by the repression know this. This silence has meant there isn't a broad  based pressure for peace.  Our campaign has tried to raise awareness that real peace  is something everyone should be concerned about. For  example, in the union sector, we can help people to see that  there can't be peace if we don't even have the right to  bargain collectively.  The Coalition has played an important role in the ASC  and in the women's sector. Of course there are many  limitations—we all have a lot of responsibilities in other  areas, so this is really extra work. Just agreeing on a time to  meet is difficult. We're not working under the same time  pressure as before when the ASC proposals were being  prepared, so it's a different phase of the work now.  Leckie: How has the Coalition been carrying out this  education campaign?  Lotan: We organized forums, placed short advertising  spots on the radio, and printed popular leaflets in plain  language. We mostly used alternative media, sometimes  the mainstream, but it's very expensive. Alternative media  includes the system of educational radio that goes out into  the regions, the radio in the markets.  Miranda: You've met with a number of groups and  activists while in Vancouver. What have you been discussing at the various meetings you've attended?  Lotan: I've been asked a lot what people here in Canada  can do. One way to help is to pressure the Canadian  government to put conditions on aid to Guatemala—to  pressure the Guatemalan government to commit to a real  peace, and to ensure that the accords signed have a real  content. We know that the accords will only be a framework from which to build a real democracy. But if they  don't go beyond just being a framework, we'll find ourselves in the same struggle as always.  Other actions we could take together are possibly organizing a boycott to have a direct impact on the companies  involved. This could have an impact in all of Central  America, since if a particular product and brand is being  targetted for a boycott, the company targetted couldn't  easily get out of it by just picking up and moving their  factory operations to another country—the company would  feel the impact of the boycott anywhere.  This is just an idea right now; nothing has been organized. One of my tasks while here in Canada is to investigate  the connections between companies in Guatemala and  products being sold here in Canada, so we can plan a  boycott strategy.   Carmen Miranda and Ruth Leckie are both actively  involved with Nuestra Voz, an organization working in  support of women in Guatemala. The interviews with Blanca  Rodriguez and Rosa Escobar were transcribed and translated  by Carmen Miranda. The interview with Amparo Lotan was  transcribed and translated by Ruth Leckie.  Blanca Rodriguez and Rosa Escobar came to Vancouver  last November to meet with activists, and women's and  labour groups. Their trip was co-sponsored by the BC  Federation of Labour and Co-Development Canada. Amparo  Lotan's, trip to Vancouver in March was sponsored by  OXFAM-Canada.  Andrea Imada, who compiled the organization resource  list, also wrote the introductory article for the centrespread.  proud go**** °* w*  tSSB£  Sa«:  : W/s aerate psfe, W* vMmz^  e»&, 0.5*/* tM wM *om««' **g»  IttiaSH 6«>:$)S!*es' pstfeets  X4mii! *agei for *oten  JHwge jsttifei &r gwmeni «&»&?  WRING morework o«» of offk m  newmoqsSaforofocfwwscttlspscze ,  1     ibwr wages down to less than 50 eer&  an how for a $«fy hour week.  FLUFF up execoSve salaries smi  corporate d»«iem&  HANG Cenotfen gortnent homewokers  o«t Jo dry w& iowvragss end m benefits  sot(^c!m«*',rVa^08}C«fertv!obe{s ,  flfidot^mstle^ll^wdyswcotsiwps.  Stop the Whitewash  On International Women's Day—March 8th—  Guerrilla Media, a Vancouver-based direct action  group, issued a clear statement in support of garment factory workers.  Guerrilla Media unleashed its campaign to  "Stop the Whitewash" on unsuspecting shoppers  at The Bay in Pacific Centre Mall. About 25 activists snuck in and re-tagged clothes sold under the  Liz Clairborne label. They attached new labels  [shown here] to the high fashion garments, which  explained the exploitative and repressive conditions under which the clothes for Liz Clairborne—  and most other designers—are being made.  [Guerrilla media is the same group that produced and distributed "The Glib and Stale" and  the "Vancouver Smug"—spoofs on the corporatist  newspapers, The Globe and Mail and the Vancouver  Sun.)  Some shoppers missed the new tags, but many  did see them and were quite surprised but very  sympathetic.  Resources and action campaigns  compiled by Andrea Imada  In North America, people are working in solidarity to end exploitative conditions in the garment  factories of Central America. A number of organizations have been involved in demanding corporate  responsibility from the multinational companies  which set up factories in Central America; facilitating consumer education; and lobbying governments—both specifically on issues related to conditions within the garment industry, as well as to the  larger arena of global economics and free trade.  The following list of organizations involved in  solidarity work with people in Central America, and  Guatemala specifically, is intended to be a starting  point for Kinesis readers interested in finding out  more about the situation of women workers and  labour activists in Guatemala:  Christian Task Force  on Central America  (British Columbia group)  PO Box 65899, Station F,  Vancouver, BC, V5N 5L4  Tel: (604) 875-9218 Fax: (604) 872-0709  E-mail: ctfca@web.apc.org  The Christian Task Force on Central America  (CTFCA) has ongoing letter campaigns which are detailed in their "Urgent Action Appeals," put out several  times each month. Current letter writing campaigns are  focused on the targeting of Guatemalan labour organizers and their relatives with violent attacks, rape,  threats and harassment. [See page 6 for information about  CTFCA's most current action.] If you have access to  internet, you can find the Urgent Action Appeals at:  http://www.grannyg.bc.ca  Maquila Solidarity Network  606 Shaw St, Toronto, ON, M6G 3L6  Tel: (416) 532-8584 Fax: (416) 532-7688  E-mail: perg@web.apc.org  A j oint project of Mujer a Mujer (Woman to Woman)  and Solidarity Works, the Maquila Solidary Network  was a key organizer in Canadian involvement in the  GAP campaign. The Network is continuing its work  connecting with campaigns in North American and  Central America, including the Mexican Women  Maquila Workers Network.  Nuestra Voz  PO Box 1797, Station A, Vancouver, BC, V6C 2P7  Nuestra Voz is a Canadian-based organization  which supports Guatemalan women in their communities, as well as raising awareness in Canada  about the women's struggle in Guatemala. Currently, two members of Nuestra Voz are living and  working on popular education campaigns in Guatemala. Nuestra Voz also recently began publishing a  newsletter about their work and the activities of  women in Guatemala.  United States/Guatemala Labor Education Project  P.O. Box 268-290, Chicago, IL 60626 USA  Tel: (312) 262-6502 Fax: (312) 262-6602  E-mail: usglep@igc.apc.org  The US/GLEP puts out a monthly bulletin (called  the US/Guatemala Labor Education Campaign Update) with news, information and campaigns in  Guatemala and more broadly, Central America. In  the fall of 1995, the US/GLEP initiated a campaign  to leaflet deparment stores, Sears, Kmart and JC  Penney because of continuing violence against  maquila workers. All three corporations buy garments produced in maquilas in Guatemala. IWD 1996  Marching against  poverty  International Women's Day (March  8th) was recognized across Canada  through many different gatherings and  events—public talks, film nights, readings, performances, luncheons, information displays, rallies, marches, and more.  This year, IWD was an occasion for  getting together, celebrating and taking  stock of some of our achievements, but it  was also an occasion for strategizing and  mobilizing against the rise of the global  conservative corporate agenda, which is  destroying our social programs and jobs  and pushing women everywhere further into poverty.  In this issue, Kinesis presents some  photos from the marches and rallies held  on March 9th in Vancouver and Toronto—marches against poverty and the  attack on women.  ft The Indian Homemakers  'Association's Traditional Parent  Support program once again led  the way in Vancouver's IWD march.  Above left & right: About 900 women and men and their banners  worked their way from Vancouver's downtown through the streets of the  downtown eastside. The theme for this year's march and rally was:  "Women struggle for equality: poverty and conservatism." The march  wound up at the First United Church, where participants had the chance to  check out information tables set up by different women's organizations,  and to listen to more speeches and entertainment.  Below right: Terri Netsena of the Vancouver Status of Women and the &  Aboriginal Women's Action Network (AWAN) introduced the speakers    '  and performers at the rally outside the Vancouver Public Library. Speakers  included: Florence Hackett of AWAN; NAC's Cenen Bagon; Jan O'Brien  from the BC Federation of Labour; Sedigheh Minachi from the Independent  Iranian Women's Society; Fara, a singer from the Cree Nation, and  Guatemalan labour activist Amparo Lotan.  ■m:*MM:?-W::;M^ X.M?->-sm■' ■*&!.&$:■:&■&■   :j?-i¥     ■;:■.'••■■:■.'     'W.'.'Z?' ■,,&-*B;i.  ■:':■:■:■■ :     ■  ■ .'     ■     "':■■''.:..'.:'''.'''... ■■■        -■■■:■,.■:■...■       :.,■:  Photos from IWD in Vancouver by  Fatima Jaffer. Photos from IWD in  Toronto by Laiwan.  L  Above left: Cenen Bagon, BC regional chair of the National Action  ®   Committee on the Status of Women, was one of the speakers at the  Vancouver rally on March 9th. The day before—on International Women's  Day—NAC and the Canadian Labour Congress officially launched the  "National Women's March on Poverty" [see page 8.]  « Below left: "Women on the march for survival and dignity" reads the Toronto IWD banner. More than 1500  ' women marched through downtown Toronto, past many corporate monuments, including the Toronto Stock  Exchange (building at left.) The focus of the Toronto march was a demonstration of solidarity and strength  against regressive government fiscal and legislative policies, particularly those of conservative Ontario premier  Mike Harris. Members of OPSEU (the Ontario Public Service Employees' Union) were out in force—OPSEU has  been engaged in a month-long strike against Harris' attack on public sector jobs and workers.  s Below right: The newly formed  '    South Asian women's theatre  group, Saheli, performed at Toronto's  Convocation Hall following the march.  A number of activists spoke at the  rally, including: Meerai Choi, Korean-  Canadian Women's Association; Leah  Casselman, Ontario Public Service  Employees' Union; Sunera Thobani,  NAC; and Deb Frenette, Low Income  Families Together. A conversation among two-spirited women:  Connecting with  Chrystos  by Chrystos, Corinne Lepine, Karen  Joseph, Marguerite LaLiberte and  Michelle Sylliboy   In March, two-spirited First Nations artist, writer and political activist Chrystos was  in Canada to read her most recent book of  poetry, Fire Power [Press Gang Publishers.]  Chrystos was born off-reservation, in  San Francisco, of a Menominee father and a  Euro-immigrant mother. She currently resides in Washington State.  She is the author of three other books of  poetry, In Her I Am, Dream On, and Not  Vanishing, and her poetry has appeared in  many anthologies. Chrystos also works on  many political issues, among them: political  prisoners in the United States; battering of  lesbians and heterosexual women; land and  treaty rights; anti-racism and queer safety.  While in Vancouver, she read at a number  of venues, including: the BC Correctional  Centre for Women, the First Nations House  of Learning at the University of British Columbia, and Crabtree Corner, a daycare centre for single mothers.  Following her final reading in town,  Chrystos met up with four other two-spirited  women—Corinne Lepine, Karen Joseph,  Marguerite LaLiberte, and Michelle  Sillyboy—for dinner, massages and lively  conversation.  Corinne Lepine is Metis Cree and is  studying to be a youth counsellor at the  Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre.  Karen Joseph is from the Kwakwaka'wakw  Nation and is completing her Bachelor of  Science degree in microbiology at UBC.  Marguerite LaLiberte is Metis Cree and works  as an alcohol and drug use counsellor in  Surrey. Michelle Sillyboy is from the Mi 'kmaq  Nation and is in her second year of fine arts  at Langara College studying sculpture and  painting.  Michelle Sillyboy: I heard you read at  Harry's the other night. When you're up  there reading, what is your feeling towards the audience?  Chrystos: Well, I feel like what happens with me and an audience is a kind  of love-making, in which I show them  my soul, they receive it and I sort of take  them on a journey with me. It's a pretty  spiritual experience being with an audience, particularly if there's more than  one First Nations person in the audience.  I've had a lot of audiences with one or  less—those are harder audiences. I feel  like I'm having to reach so far to touch  their hearts because a lot of times they  don't know what I'm talking about.  There's a tendency, if you've had a  hard life for some people in an audience  to treat you like, "Ooh, she's really weird,  she's had all these horrible things happen to her." I know that my life is pretty  common for First Nations women, rather  than uncommon or strange. All of us  have usually had a lot of abuse. I'm the  first sober person in my family for four  generations back so that's pretty intense.  I don't think that's so unusual, a lot of us  have come from people who are really  tortured. When I look at my dad, I see  somebody who's really been hurt by the  world. It's amazing that he's still alive  cause of all he went through as a kid in a  boarding school—you call them residential schools here.  Reading at the Longhouse was so  beautiful, as it was today at Crabtree  because many of the women in those  audiences had experienced some of what  I'd experienced, so it's not as lonely. I like  reading actually better than printing  books. Books are nice, but the real magic  happens when you do a reading. Part of  the reason I like reading for an Indian  audience is they laugh at my jokes (laughter). Sometimes, I read a funny piece to  an all-white university audience and they  just sit there really stiff and I keep thinking, "God, don't you get it?"  Marguerite LaLiberte: How did you  get involved in working with women in  prisons?  Chrystos: Well, I did a lot of time in  nut houses, I can't work with people in  nut houses because it's too painful. So  sometimes when you're trying to work  out some issues in your life, you deal  with something that's a little to the side  of it.  I volunteered a while back to do a  writing workshop at the prison in California. I was touched by the pain and  loneliness of the women there, particularly the Indian women because they  don't have families close by who can  visit them. When you realize how invisible women in prison are made in the real  world and how little they have, it's almost like, "how could I not work in the  prisons?"  I learn a lot when I go to a prison  from the different women. They're my  most loving audience. They're very healing. My relationship with the Four Winds  Club has been particulary healing. Some  of the women are two-spirited. [The Four  Winds Club works with women in prisons, and fundraises to buy basic supplies for women in prison.]  I think sometimes the Creator puts  you someplace so you'll see something—  then you can either see it and connect to  it or ignore it. I decided to see prisons  and see what that meant, because the  statistics are so appalling—70 percent of  the women in the US who are in the  federal system are there for nonviolent  first offences, which means drugs.  I met a woman who's in prison for 25  years for using drugs. I used drugs and  going to prison wouldn't have stopped  me. I had to come to that healing on my  own. They can still get drugs in prison.  It's actually easier to get drugs in prison  than out. And they aren't given any  therapy, any help. It seems to me that  imprisoning people for addiction is a  crime. Webecome addicted to substances  because we're escaping pain.  Those of us who've used alcohol and  drugs are doing it because the pain in our  lives, for some reason, has been too much  for us. We didn't know how else to cope  with it. So I think locking women up for  drugs is criminal. And some of the  women have had bad luck with boyfriends, get hooked up with some guy  who's a thief or something and they get  snarled up in that life. It seems to me as  though almost all the women I meet who  are in prison are there because of bad  luck. Some of the women, I really can't  understand why they're in prison; it just  seems like a waste to me.  Hardly anybody does prison work—  at least hardly anybody real. They get a  lot of those candystriper types who come  in with a basket of yarn and say, "Okay,  now we're going to make potholders!"  So I mean a tremendous amount to the  women in prison because I'm real and I  talk about my real struggles and listen to  their struggles, and I love them. I really  do feel women in prison are doing the  time for all of us here on the outside  because I know from being ensnarled up  in the nut house system that who gets  caught is really a matter of bad luck. I'm  just as crazy now as I was when I was  being locked up, but I've figured how  not to get caught.  One time when I was younger, I got  drunk and I decided the earth couldn't  breathe. I took this pick ax and started  trying to chop the street up so the earth  could breathe. I thought it was a very  rational thing to do. But the cops didn't  and they locked me up. Now I've just  learned how not to get caught if I take a  pick ax to cement—I wait 'til it's dark  (laughs).  I was just less aware of the consequences of my actions when I was young  and I think that's true for a lot of women.  They go for a joy ride with some guy  who's stolen a car and they don't realize  that's grand theft felony and it means 25  years of their lives locked up.  Marguerite: What is your relationship with men like?  Chrystos: I've reconciled a little bit  with one of my brothers. He's still using  alcohol so our relationship gets rocky  sometimes. He's a pretty lousy husband  but he's a fairly good father. I try not to  get too mad at him for the way he's  treating his wife. It's not like he beats her  or anything. He's as afraid of intimacy as  I am so he solves it by never being there.  He has a gardening business and he's  always got some client who needs their  lawn mowed, which is more important  than seeing his wife.  I have a couple of close male friends  who are two spirited men. Wesley Thomas, who I mention in the Eagle poem  "Went On," is one of my closest male  friends. I don't have any close straight  men friends and I don't think I'm capable of it, because I got raped from the  time I was 10 to 21 by my uncle. I went  straight from that into prostitution and I  got gang raped. Lots of horrible things  have happened to me with men. I just  can't seem to move past that. I have a lot  of fear when I'm around men.  Marguerite: How do you relate to  your male side in your inner spirit ? How  do you balance the male and female  within your being as a two-spirited  woman, knowing your connection with  men?  Chrystos: I think that the male energy  goes into my writing. [I have a great  story about that.] I love this story. It  happened a long time ago before I was  well known. I was flying to New York to  do a reading and this woman was going  to meet me at the airport. She had read  my poetry but had never seen me. She  was really dressed up, in a tux, and I was  like "wow!" I was so excited, like we  were going to go out on a date. Her face  fell because she assumed from my writing that I was butch, and she thought we  were going to go out on the town and  score girls together, and I was like "I  want you to take me out!" (laughter)  Sometimes I think I'm really confused about the things that happen to me  because my boundaries were violated at  such a young age by my mother. I have a  lot of problems with being female also,  and I think in my mind I'm a neuter. So  I shut out equally my male energy and  my female energy and stay in this kind of  neuter place because that seems safe to  me. I think that as I move on in therapy  I'll be more accepting of those parts of  myself. But I know if I'm making love  with somebody, it has to feel to me that  they really want me to touch them,  otherwise I can't do it because I start  feeling like a rapist and freak out. That's  made problems sometimes in my relationships because I wasn't seen as  agressive enough, whatever that means.  So I'm trying to come to terms with all of  that and you can be an aggressive person  in love and not be a rapist.  Michelle: Marguerite and I talked  about the stereotypes and the labels that  the Europeans have put on themselves.  It always seems to be very one-sided—  you're lesbian or you're gay. Whereas,  coming from a First Nations perspective,  we're two-spirited—male and female—  and when we do gatherings, it's within  the male and female—we're all together.  And so I have a hard time with these  labels, "butch," "femme," "dyke."  Marguerite: I have a problem with  them too. I've never considered myself  lesbian, gay or butch or femme. When  the two-spirited definition came my way  I was overjoyed. I felt very comfortable  [with that term] because that was where  I was coming from.  Chrystos: You gotta remember, I came  out 31 years ago, and there was no concept of a "two-spirited people" then. I  came out as a lesbian into a world in  which I was the only Native woman.  Marguerite: I was in Calgary, where  were you? (laughter)  APRIL 1996 Arts  Chrystos, Marguerite LaLiberte, Michelle Sylliboy, Corinne Lepine and Karen Joseph. Photo by Karen Joseph and  Michelle Sylliboy.  Chrystos: San Francisco...When I  came out, my first lovers were butch  pimps so they turned me out on the  street and we did this thing called  "demos," which is really gross—and I'm  very ashamed of this—-where you would  get a bunch of men and they'd pay you  $50 a head and you'd go to a hotel room  and they'd watch you pretend to make  love. That's the world I came out into. A  lot of my sexuality was imprinted with  those experiences.  Michelle: What kind of response have  you gotten from your piece "Shame On"  [ a poem about a white man who quits his  good-paying job to become one with  nature]?  Chrystos: White people still accuse  me of hating them and that's kind of  tiresome. It seems to me that they should  be grateful to have information about  the truth about our lives and about spiritual appropriation.  Michelle: "Mr. Wind Dancer," that  piece cracks me up. [The poem is about  "wanna-bes" who appropriate First Nations cultures.] It brought me back when  I worked at Chief's Mask, a First Nations  bookstore in Gastown. I had a lot of Mr.  Wind Dancers who didn't like it when I  told them to go back to their own religions, to go back more than 500 years, a  couple of thousand years, in order for  them to understand where they might be  coming from.  Chrystos: I tell people all the time  that the Celtic religions had medicine  circles and stone circles and all those  things. Part of our problem is that the  process of colonization is one in which  the whole world became a shopping mall.  That happened 2,000 years ago. The Romans would go someplace and they  would take all the good stuff from that  place. The Brits did the same. For a long  time in the history of Western civilization, there has been a concept of the  world as a shopping mall—if you want  something you just go there and take it.  There's no sense that our spirituality  belongs to us and is not up for grabs.  It seems to me as though spiritual  appropriation is part of the same thing—  they used to dig up our graves and take  things out of the graves. They have bodies of our ancestors in museums.  That whole issue is about boundaries—what is the appropriate way to be  in the world; where do you end and  someone else begins. Western culture  doesn't acknowledge boundaries. It honours property rights. They build a fence  and say, "this is my lawn and my grass,"  but they have no way of relating to any of  us with respect because we aren't a piece  of lawn with a fence around us. Colonization looks upon people as things. It's  like we're gold, silver, uranium.  Some of our confusion now, I think,  is because we've lived for 500 years without respect, so we have a hard time respecting each other. Indian people often  don't respect each other as we should  because that was taken away from us so  long ago. That seems to be my focus now  in my own healing. I want to learn how to  be respectful of people because I feel I'm  not that respectful.  Karen Joseph: I heard you read quite a  few years ago and then again at the  Longhouse. I was really touched by what  I heard. I can't figure out whether your  writing has gotten "softer," or whether  I'm just more willing to listen.  Chrystos: I think that my writing has  gotten more compassionate. With my  first book, Not Vanishing, first of all I  wasn't sober when I was writing it and I  was still really raw from everything that  had happened to me. As I had people  listen to me and thank me for my words  I became less lonely. I think sometimes  when people say that I'm very angry in  my writing in the beginning, what they  were really seeing was loneliness. I was  very lonely. And as I became less lonely,  I was able to be more compassionate. I  think my writing has changed a lot.  I feel like I can see a lot more than I  used to see—like there's a poem called  "For the Trees" in Fire Power, in which I  examine the whole issue of clearcut. I  challenge myself about being wasteful  and contributing to clearcuts, being a  part of that even though I criticize it.  Being able to come into that full circle is only possible once you're sober. I  don't think you can be compassionate  when you're using. In my opinion anyway, alcohol and drugs make you very  self-centred. All you care about is you  and your bottle and getting what you  want. You hurt a lot of people in order to  stay drunk. I was very irresponsible with  my alcoholism. I ripped people off and  did all kinds of really horrible things.  You can't act like that and not have it  echo throughout your whole being, and  you write with what your being is.  I tried to get sober from the time I  was 20 and I didn't make it until 1988. I'd  have a year when I was sober and I'd go  out and drink, and then I'd be sober for  two years and then I'd drink— that whole  pattern. It took me a long time to realize  that not only was drinking killing me, it  was also hurting other people. I didn't  understand that. So I've been growing  up in the last ten years or so.  Michelle: It's true. When I read Fire  Power, I thought, "Chrystos, is opening  up those doors of healing." Everything  comes together when you're on that healing path, and I'm honored to be in a room  of two-spirited women who together  have been sober for over 35 years—the  connection is wonderful.  Karen: When I heard you that first  time, it was my first year of sobriety. I'd  gone through treatment and was really  on a healing path. I had a hard time  sitting there listening to you read. I felt  that anger, that rawness you were talking about. Then, when I heard you at the  Longhouse the other day, I laughed; I  wanted to cry—I had tears coming out—  I felt proud; I felt connected to the people  who were there, and your writing really  touched me as a First Nations woman. I  don't know how others felt because there  were a lot of people there who weren't  First Nations, but I know for me sitting in  that room listening to you, it was amazing. You and your writing took us  through all of those feelings, and like  you said, they're not all that uncommon.  Chrystos: That's why I say reading is  like love-making. Part of why it's been so  draining for me to do readings is that I've  been physically sick through this whole  tour. I'm tired anyway and I'm going  through a lot of changes of my own. I  started therapy in '92 and I haven't seen  my therapist now for eight weeks—that's  the longest I've ever gone without seeing  her. I'm all charged up with a lot of stuff,  so I have to do a lot of work in order to be  able to give that love to the audience.  I think the main way my writing has  changed is my sense of humour. The  things that happened to me as a young  woman and as a child had sort of murdered my self esteem as well as my sense  of humour. As I gained a greater sense of  self esteem, my humour could come out.  I really love reading stuff like "Mr. Wind  Dancer" because it just makes me chuckle  every time (chuckles).  Michelle: All this talk of alcohol, oppression and poverty, it categorizes  where we all have come from, and how  no one realizes how much we have given  up. A single person on my reserve has to  survive on $182 every two weeks. What  people don't realize is the cost of living in  a rural area; everything is imported in  and the the only way to survive is on  credit at a convenience store, and so on.  Chrystos: Yeah. I was having a conversation with someone just the other  day and said that I feel like I'm really  rich. They were laughing at me because  I have a '76 used car and I rent this little  cabin. So to a lot of people, I would seem  a poor person. But I was so poor that I  feel rich compared to other people—  actually having a running car is intense  luxury, and having a place to live. And I  have land where I can have a garden—  I can actually grow my own food. That's  an incredible luxury. I don't think that  most Caucasian people realize what poverty is like. I've met young lesbian  women—driving nice cars, and they're  dressed in really nice clothes and have  good jobs—who've said to me, "I'm so  broke!" I just look at them like, "You  don't know what broke is, so shut up!"  What they mean is they can't go to a  movie tonight. Broke does not mean,  "how am I going to pay the power bill,  how am I going to get the phone turned  back on, how am I going to pay off the  doctor."  Karen: I'd never really heard about  the Depression [of the 1930s]. I never  even knew what that was. And then,  when I was dating a Caucasian woman,  her grandparents said that it was very  big in their life. I went back and thought  about it and I said, "that's our life."  Chrystos: (laughter) We've never  gotten out of the Depression.  Karen: Since contact, we've been in  the Depression, so you never hear about  any Great Depression because that's just  what we live in.  Chrystos: One of the things I've been  trying to write is an essay about this idea  of privilege. People say, "I come from a  white, middle-class privileged background." I'm sort of turning that over on  its head because I feel like to have never  been hungry, to have never had to scramble around and figure out how to survive  is not a privilege—it's detrimental to  you as a human being if you've lived in  this coddled existence. If anything bad  ever happens to you, you're going to fall  apart. So I feel that growing up as I did—  having nothing—things like not having  any money doesn't scare me because I'll  figure something out.  It's nice to be comfortable but I think  you can let material things destroy your  independence. I especially notice it because of all the rich people I work for. I'm  always polishing something of theirs  (laughs,) their silver or their brass or  their something or other. Their whole  lives are constructed in this way—that  things have to shine and they have to be  perfect. They have materially so much  more than me. Yet, I can see how empty  and desperate their spirits are, and I feel  far richer than they are. Arts  Review of K. Linda Kivi's If Home is a place:  "Home is the trick of going on"  by Emma Kivisild  IF HOME IS A PLACE  by K. Linda Kivi  Polestar Press, Vancouver, BC, 1995  In 1993, my small and scattered family gathered in Tallinn, Estonia. My Swedish cousin and I talked about our amazement that Estonia (where her father and  both my parents are from) really exists.  For both of us, Estonia has always had a  bit of the fairy tale about it. We are both  youngest children, we never learned the  language, we never saw pictures. All our  information came (very sporadically)  from our parents, and how could that  trickle of information compete with the  cultures we lived in? There was no overlap.  For me, the only chink in that armour of fairy tale had been K. Linda  Kivi. I first met her in the '80s, at the  Kinesis office. She had seen my very obvious Estonian byline, and came by to  connect. "Tere (hello)" she said. "Tere," I  said, using up a full 50 percent of my  conversational Estonian.  Linda Kivi knows a lot of Estonian. It  is her "first language and her first culture." She grew up in Canada too, but  right in the middle of Toronto's Estonian-Canadian community.  That day in the Kinesis office I learned  amazing things. First, that she knows all  the words to "The Night Chicago Died"  in Estonian. (Never underestimate an  Estonian's ability to translate something  into Estonian. My grandmother once sent  a complete Estonian language set of  Shakespeare's plays to us in Toronto.)  Second, I learned that there are other  Estonian-Canadians in my feminist community. Third, I learned that you can go  to Estonia because Linda did, even before the political upheavals of 1992.  Although it is a novel, If Home is a  Place is not a fairy tale. It is the very real  story of the women of one family, their  K. Linda Kivi, photo by Ronna Bloom.  exodus from Estonia during the Second  World War, and their years in Canada.  Pinning it together is the 1990s struggle  of one granddaughter, Esther, as she  pieces together past and present to make  a home within herself.  I was surprised at how this book  resonated for me, at how exciting it was  to see Estonian words in print, sound  them out, and hear my parents' voices in  them. And Esther's conflicts with her  family as she asserts herself as an independent woman, living on this land, with  her own values, rang true for me. This is  not my family, but it is closer than most  families I read about.  I was even more surprised at how  enthusiastic my mother was about this  book. Like me, she must feel the dearth  of writing about the Estonian-Canadian  experience. But she recommends this  book on the basis of a different deafening  silence—the stories of Estonians who  lived in refugee camps in Germany during World War II. Talking to her about If  Home is a Place, I am reminded that war is  not simple—it is a chaos of survival. And  of the war that shaped my upbringing, I  know almost nothing.  Probably, for other people, this novel  offers further things. If I have one complaint, it is that this book is perhaps too  ambitious. There are a lot of characters,  and many of them end up being flattened. Much as I identified with Esther's  life, I wanted more complexity from her.  To be fair, it is quite possible that the  things I found less than believable could  be written off as country /city differences.  K. Linda Kivi currently resides in the  Slocan Valley [in south eastern BC] and  she makes its presence felt in her novel.  I am not one for nature metaphors, and I  had hoped for sparer writing.  Maybe I am too tangled in this book  to do it justice. I couldn't read it as just  another novel. I talked about it constantly  while I was reading it, and was thrilled  that it was snatched up by the women in  my family. There are some lovely things  here. Kivi's description of the mother/  daughter dynamics in the middle of a  war are as priceless as they are painful.  The characters of sisters and mother are  deftly carried from childhood to adulthood. The obstinate~and,to Esther, puzzling-silence about parts of the family's  past is very familair.  Esther goes "home" to Estonia. Unlike me at the family reunion, she speaks  the language. But it is not enough-"The  feeling had been growing every day and  though Esther tried to push it away, it  welled up in her as certain as thirst:  Estonia wasn't Esther's home. And it  never would be."  As global migration accelerates, each  of us has to come to terms with geography. What is our relationship to the land  we live on? In Canada, those of us who  are not from the First Nations must place  ourselves on the seesaw of conquest and  immigration. If home is a place, where is  it?  "Home is not a point, a place, a spot,"  writes K.Linda Kivi. "Home is the way in  which points join. It is a grid for reference only, not a firm, fixed thing that  never alters...Home is the trick of going  on."   Emma Kivisild is a writer and artist living  in Vancouver.  >rt fttf ■■  OUR COMMUNITIES!  OUR PUBLIC SERVICES!  ■WlflliK   A message from the Public Service Alliance of Canada   •   (604) 430-5631 Arts  Review of Larissa Lai's When Fox is a Thousand;  History and other fantasies  by Sook C. Kong  WHEN FOX IS A THOUSAND  by Larissa Lai  Press Gang Publishers  Vancouver, BC, 1995  In a recent interview with Karlyn Koh  (Rice Paper, Vol. 2, No. 3, Winter/Spring  1996), Vancouver writer Larissa Laimakes  a very salient comment on the need to  construct one's own version(s) of reality,  especially when one is not representative  of a dominant order. If for nothing else,  it's to spare the racialized-gendered self  from total engulfment.  Lai says: "If all the truths that I can  find are already ideologically determined,  what harm is there in producing another,  true to my own quirky sense of the  world..." Arguably, all versions of 'truth'  are quirky but some are considered more  quirky than others because of systemic  power imbalances that are built upon  enforced elevation and subordination of  race and racialization, gender, class,  sexual orientation and what have you—  levels of reality that many female-  gendered readers must surely be acquainted with first-hand. What is said to  be 'alternative' or 'other' isn't so by natural occurrence but is made so by those  who have the power to say it is so. Not  fact but fiat!  Indeed, the art and craft of writing  can impact significantly on conventional  notions of reality—the so-called 'objective' and 'fact'-driven kind. The pen, in  certain very aware hands, can contest the  domineering ideologies of a  Eurocentricized male-dominated world.  Within the more specific context of When  Fox is a Thousand, Lai's first novel, the  contest lies in rethinking given ways of  being-in-the-world—a process that necessarily entails writing new/er modes of  being, connecting and loving. Lai explodes the boundaries of time, space, culture and genders, and overlays one level  of imagined reality on another, using  dreams, memories, written records and a  fantastical, but grounded, style to fuse  emotion, desire, fantasy and vision into a  text of acute contemporary sensibility.  Fox is a novel that plays, thoughtfully  so, with the conventional structures of  reality and fantasy by deploying the life-  force of female-gendered desire across  ancient time, cultural memory and contemporary consciousness. The complex  desire inherent in the thoughts and emotions animating Lai's novel is strong  enough to make the categories of 'reality'  and 'fantasy' leak into each other, resulting in resonant tales of loving, living and  transformation.  In Chinese mythology, the Fox-spirit  is a supernatural agent of change and  transformation, usually in the fates and  fortunes of men. Lai's Fox germinates  Larissa Lai. Photo by Brenda Miller  from her re-interpretations of a cornucopia of Chinese legends. She brilliantly  reharnesses this element from the Chinese cultural collective by making her  Fox intervene very significantly in the  lives of the female characters, such that  the beauty and strengths of differences  come alive on the printed page.  Throughout Lai's novel, three different icons are used to denote who's  speaking: a rooted tree for the unnamed  Vancouver-based contemporary narrator; a bus(h)y-tailed fox for the 1,000-  year (r)evolution of the magical Fox;  and a willowy Chinese-looking damsel  complete with flowy water-sleeves and  archaic but alluring hairdo for the 9th  century 'poetess' nun Yu Hsuan-Chi.  Even though the icons can serve as  cues to the various sections of Fox, its  textual journey isn't meant to be tri-  compartmentalized. Apart from subtle  overlays and the reader's own associative thought processes, the novel's multi-  worlds do overtly intersect at crucial  sections. Some of the novelistic interstices worthy of the reader's detailed  attention are: the exquisite lead-up to  the scene in which the millennium-old  Fox tells the contemporary Chinese-  American woman Artemis Wong a whodunit of pressing importance; when  Nenuphar, a fox-haunted entity takes  over the storytelling from the immortal  Fox and; when Yu rewrites sexual loving by recalling it in very specific ways.  To say that the textual worlds of Fox  are multiple is surely an overly modest  understatement. The avid reader can  find endless pleasure in occupying the  shoes/paws of the varied characters as  well as inhabit at will the many magical  worlds that are laced with 'reality': loveliness coexists with rapacity and even  gruesomeness. But what's lovely, what's  rapacious, and what's gruesome will  not be what one might usually expect or  associate with these substances of life. If  you're used to reading about life in neat  boxes, jettison those thoughts as you  enter the universe of Fox. And you will  be richly haunted...  When Nenuphar, with her foot on  the accelerator of a Mazda hatchback,  tells a hard-to-please Artemis a fasci  nating story about borderlessness, she  prefaces it with a pertinent lesson on  permeability: "There are gaps in the flow  of reality that can't be filled. They can  grow even between close places, between  the shore and the sea, between the fields  and the house." It is a tale that blurs all  the rigidities of real-unreal,  (de)construction-destruction. The  graspable of the here and now is not all  that you have, the non-graspable is very  much a part of you too. For example, if  there is no death, would life as we know  it be markedly different or would it still  be very much the same?  Many things have been said about  women—most of ungrounded and untrue. Much has been said to deny women  as (potentially) self-empowered and self-  actualizing subjects. Women are not objects, although they have been objectified.  Women are desiring subjects who can  act out desire—let no one tell you otherwise no matter how many times that  stingy narrative is put over on you. Since  discursive and other forms of power are  still not equally shared, one must do all  that is needed to stem social amnesia.  Writing women-focussed versions of history and reality is part of the project of  not forgetting. In this regard, Lai's novel  makes a very substantial contribution.  Part of the problem of leaving female subjects out of documented his/  tory is that women do not have easy or  ready access to the continuum of empowering desire and self-actualized love,  across time and space, that is theirs to  have and to hold. Without adequate  records, time can be a nullifier of women's lives, as some levels of Fox demonstrate. With well-documented pasts, time  can be an empowerer of women, as other  levels of Lai's novel show us.  Time can function as a weaver of  experience, both individual and collective, or it can function to separate one  woman's life from that of another. Which  one it will be for women depends, among  other things, on whether they have access to the lives of their sisters who came  before them and whether their own lives  are made accessible after they are gone.  How many of us have access to the lives  of our sisters from more remote times? In  Lai's reimagination, one does—she  makes available to her readers things  which were once considered lost forever, as for example when Yu reminisces  about sexual loving, making clear the  pertinence of a ninth-century female-  gendered sensibility to a contemporary  one, without omitting the cultural  specificities of either woman:  "The memory of sex is never the  same as when it is actually happening.  Sometimes between the act and the  memory there is a longing that builds up,  quietly feeding on the soul, a longing  almost like the longing for home, or the  longing for death. The longing has its  own intense beauty, all salmon and  mauve and indigo, like sunset, riding on  the belly like the need to urinate, or at the  base of the skull like a dream of falling.  We return to the memory through different doors each time. We return to it in  fragments, a flash of desire flooding  through the chest, or moist breath travelling a jawbone. Here and there a moment  of pain, sometimes intended, sometimes  not—hipbone in the spine, a pinch, a  bite, a scratch..."  Even then, (be)longing and sexual  loving are not narrow-mindedly vested  in one over-touted part of the woman's  body, but pervade every breathing cell  and firing synapse. Furthermore, can  there be love and sexuality without the  body? If so, what kind of upside-down,  over-privileged, culturally based  (non)entity's love and sexuality is that?  Lai's novel raises tricky questions  that can remain open-ended or be  quicklyclosed depending on your state  of mind and where you are located. Creating a space where wonderments never  cease, what becomes of conventional  notions of gender (the strict polarities of  biological male-female, heterosexual  men-women) when desire and loving-  ness are expressed and lived across poly-  gendered bodies, is what Fox explores. If  you are loved, sexually and romantically, by the inimitable Fox-spirit who  can occupy any gendered body she  pleases, what becomes of your own gender and Fox's? What does gender mean  in the realm of love, sex and romance?  Does Lai's lesbian-like Fox have a specific gender? And does it matter?  Fox does come to love women, who  are always-already gendered and socially-constructed, in our end-of-the-mil-  lennium era, and in doing so places into  question our stereotypes of love, sex and  gender—exploring the fluidities of our  libido, our love, our selves. As with the  best of human challenges, the socio-political conundrums are left for the reader  to wrestle with, to sleep with, rather than  solved by the writer. When Fox is a Thousand doesn't insult the reader's intelligence; it makes you think—after you've  majorly felt. Thoughts feel, emotions  think... .life haunts. Myriad readings and  (re)writings. Endlessly.. .endlessly...  Sook C. Kong is a doctoral candidate in  English, specializing in critical and post-  colonial theory, diasporic Asian women  writers and lesbian studies. Prior to  pursuing graduate studies, she was a  seasoned administrator as well as an  award-winning journalist and editor. She  will be teaching a senior Women's Studies  course in the University of British Columbia, "Writingfor Change: Asian Canadian  Women Writers" this coming fall.  APRIL 1996 Letters  dear  readers  Kinesis loves receiving mail. Please  get your letter to us by the 18th of the  month.  If you can, keep the length to about  500 words. (If you go way over, we  might edit for space.)  Hope to hear from you very soon.  Love,  Kinesis  "Vision" is ableist  Dear Kinesis,  I would really appreciate it if you  could pass on this donation to Sandy  Merriman House; I didn't notice the  address in your February issue. Thanx.  I really enjoyed your article on Sister  Vision Press, but I was troubled by the  ableist language that was used. I was  surprised that the interviewer didn't  broach the issue of the use of the word  "Vision" in Sister Vision's name to  mean idea, dream, et cetera. As you  probably know this is an ableist use of  the word because it conflates a  physical ability—sight—with a  mental/intellectual/spiritual idea.  Sister Vision does fantastic work and  I have nothing but respect for them. I  would've like to find out how Makeda  Silvera and Stephanie Martin have  responded to disabled womyn's  objections to that use of the word  "vision," or at least whether or not  they were aware of them.  If the writer felt there wasn't time/  space to broach the issue, then it  would've been a good idea to at least  put in a footnote saying that disabled  womyn as a whole find that use of the  term ableist and explaining why Sister  Vision chose to retain it.  I would also love to find more  articles in Kinesis dealing with issues of  disabled womyn. Federal cuts to social  transfer payments and its Human  Resources Developement Canada and  the rise of assholes like Mike Harris  have created a lot of news (mostly bad  news) in the disabled womyn's  community lately and I'd love it if  Kinesis could focus some of its brilliant  analysis and great coverage on this  area.  I myself am relatively isolated  because of a chronic illness and Kinesis  helps me stay involved in the  movements. For that I'd like to thank  you. I hope my comments have been  contructive. Take care.  In solidarity,  Lynda Collins  Toronto, Ontario  P.S. Thanx for your interesting  coverage of women with disabilities at  Beijing.  The Kinesis Editorial Board responds:  Thank you for your letter. Kinesis has  passed on your donation to Sandy  Merriman House. Kinesis is committed to  ensuring that the issues, perpectives and  voices of women with disabilities are  within in the pages of Kinesis. Comments  such as yours help ensure we better meet  this commitment.  A fan in New Brunswick  Dear Kinesis,  I first discovered your publication in  an alternative coffeeshop/magazine  stand while visiting Fredericton before  Christmas. I thought your coverage of  the Beijing conference from last year  kicked ass. I enjoyed the journal type  approach and the non-formal style  used in the presentation. With so much  going on, one still got a basic taste of  ideas and topics being discussed.  Fortunately I was able to visit  Fredericton again in February and  picked up a copy of your most recent  issue. It is about impossible to find  anything beyond soap opera journals,  the National Enquirer or porno mags in  Bouctouche. Unfortunately the choice  isn't very different in the city of  Moncton—not far from here. The best  newsstand does carry the Canadian  Dimesion and This Magazine—but not  Kinesis.  It's been difficult to return to small  town New Brunswick after living in  Montreal for four years. Often I feel  trapped in a perpetual episode of All In  the Family meets the value system of  Leave it to Beaver. So I wish to express  my delight (excitement) in finding  your publication. As an isolated social  activist, your messages of  empowerment and action are a  welcomed relief from a xenophobic,  homophobic, gun loving, Christian  morals, white male-oriented society  found in rural New Brunswick.  PARAGI  JAPH  f  1  O  N   R E V 1   E W  §500 FIRST PRIZE  DEADLINE JUNE 30. 1996  S14 entry fee includes a  one-year subscription to  PARAGRAPH  for detailed RULES send SASE to:  PARAGRAPH CONTEST  137 Birmingham Street  Stratford, Ontario   N5A 2T1  THECANADIANFIC1  Paragraph's  SHORT  FICTION  contest!!!  Although I usually don't write  letters to the editor—I could not do  nothing after having read about your  unfortunate break-and-enter  experience. Having worked too long in  Campus Radio, I know how financially  strapped non-profit groups are to  begin with—theft usually makes it  more impossible.  Please accept my donation as  support for your work and support in  getting your message out. I strongly  support your views of empowering  women and providing information  from a woman's point of view. If real  change is to happen—we need to hear  more voices from more communities.  Warm greetings from the Maritimes!  Robert Gauvin  Bouctouche, New Brunswick  ■ —                          THE KEEPERTM  ^^■K^,      (MENSTRUAL CUP)  ^Sh^flF'              •;   manufactured by a woman  ;^%»C  pi                   3-month money-back guarantee  *               A   sold for over 40 years  j   life expectancy of 10 years  **a****i"*   no chlorine  l -800-680-9739           100% natural rubber  Call for our frc t>.odu,,e         over 97°,o satisfaction rate  Distributed in Canada by Ecu Logique Inc.  ' Fax(613) 820-1626 / Inki in l:c il.S5V it In end.car1elon.cn  Bed & Breakfast  A Beautiful Place  Centre yourself  in the comfort and tranquility  of B.C.'s Super Natural  Gulf Islands.  Healthy Breakfasts  Hot Tub & Sauna  5 acres of forested  foot paths with ponds  ocean and mountain views  A Memorable Escape  (604) 537-9344  1207 Beddis Road,  Salt Spring Island, B.C. V8K 2C8 Bulletin Board  read    this  Bulletin Board listings have a  maximum of 50 words. Groups,  organizations and individuals eligible  for free space in the Bulletin Board  must be, or have, non-profit  objectives.  Other free notices will be items of  general public interest and will appear  at the discretion of Kinesis.  Classifieds are $8 (+$0.56 GST) for  the first 50 words or portion thereof,  $4 (+$0.28 GST) for each additional 25  words or portion thereof and must be  prepaid.  Deadline for all submissions is  the 18th of the month preceding  publication. Note: Kinesis  published ten times a year. Jul/Aug  and Dec/Jan are double issues.  All submissions should include a  contact name and telephone number  for any clarification that may be  required.  Listings will not be accepted over the  telephone.  Kinesis encourages readers to  research the goods and services  advertised in Bulletin Board. Kinesis  cannot guarantee the accuracy of the  information provided or the safety  and effectiveness of the services and  products listed.  Send submissions to Bulletin Board,  Kinesis, #301-1720 Grant Street,  Vancouver, BC, V5L 2Y6, or fax: (604)  255-5511. For more information call  [604) 255-5499.  INVOLVEMENT  WANNA GET INVOLVED?  With Kinesis? We want to get involved with  you too. Help plan our next issue. All women  interested in what goes into Kinesis—whether  it's news, features or arts—are invited to our  next Story Meetings: Mon Apr 1 and Mon  May 6 at 7 pm at our office, 301-1720 Grant  St, Vancouver. If you can't make the meeting, but still want to find out about writing for  Kinesis, give Agnes a call at (604) 255-5499.  No experience is necessary. Childcare subsidies available.  CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS  Are you interested in finding out how Kinesis  is puttogether? Well...just drop by during our  next production dates and help us design  and lay out Canada's national feminist newspaper. Production for the May 1996 issue is  from Apr 16-23. No experience is necessary. Training and support will be provided.  If this notice intrigues you, call us at 255-  5499. Childcare subsidies available.  ABORIGINAL WOMEN'S NETWORK  The Aboriginal Women's Action Network  (AWAN) holds regular monthly meetings at  VSW, 301-1720 Grant St, Vancouver. We  work towards equality and justice for Aboriginal women. Workshops and projects will be  developed for Aboriginal women in the  Eastside. All Aboriginal women are invited to  participate. On Mon Apr 22, a meeting with  Sunera Thobani, president of NAC, is scheduled. The topic will be "Involvement of Aboriginal women at the national level." If you  have any questions, please call Terri at (604)  255-5511.  INVOLVEMENT  EVENTS  Terry Thomson  Terry Lee Thomson, age 42,  passed away peacefully in  Vancouver, March 16, 1996 after  a lengthy illness. Terry was born  in Vancouver and lived in  Vancouver, Comox, Ladner and    I  Nelson. Her daughter, Amanda,   j  was born in Vancouver in 1981.    I  Terry worked and entertained  her colleagues at the Vancouver   p  Public Library, the Vancouver  Status of Women and Horizon  Distributors. In 1994, she  delighted herself by returning to   I  school and studying to pursue a career in computer programming.  Terry was an intelligent, strong, compassionate and complex woman full f  of curiosity and creativity. She had a keen and invariably hilarious  perspective on human nature. A born-again Taurus, Terry was always  ready to put life in astrological perspective for her friends and coworkers. She was fascinated by snakes, bones and skulls, loved food and    |  good cooking and was a passionate and opinionated reader.  Terry lives on in the hearts of her beloved daughter, Amanda, her  mother Dorothy Johnson, her father Paul Dennis, her sister Pat and her  brother Brad and her close loving friends, Joan, Penny, Nina, Deyanne,  Alison and the many, many others who were touched by her profound  and vibrant connection to life. We will miss her deeply.  VSW PROGRAMMING COMMITTEE        LEILA SUJIR  Learn how to facilitate Assertiveness Training groups. VSW is looking for women volunteers to facilitate our A.T. groups. A two-day  training workshop will take place on Sat and  Sun, April 20 and 21 from 10 am to 4 pm at  VSW office. There is no charge for the training, we do ask for a commitment to run at  least one group after completion. Childcare  subsidies are available. The space is wheelchair accessible. To register call Terri at 255-  5511 by April 10, 1996.  ABORIGINAL WOMEN'S DROP-IN  The Aboriginal Women's Action Network  (AWAN) will be holding a drop-in for Aboriginal women every Tues from 12-2:30pm at  the Vancouver Status of Women, 301-1720  Grant St. Activities such as healing circles,  traditional storytelling and workshops will be  featured. Come and find out what AWAN is  all about. For more info call Terri at 255-5511.  ASSERTIVENESS TRAINING  The VSW will be offering an AT group starting  in May, one evening per week for six weeks.  If you are interested in effective communication skills, cultural sensitivity, feminst consciousness-raising, conflict resolution and  participatory learning models please register  by calling Terri at 255-5511 or drop by the  office.  VSW WANTS YOU!  Want to get more involved but not sure where  to begin? Join us—become a volunteer at  Vancouver Status of Women. VSW volunteers plan events, lead groups, raise funds,  answer the phone lines, organize the library,  help connect women with the community  resources they need, and get involved in  other exciting jobs! The next volunteer orientation will be on Wed Apr 17, 7pm at VSW,  301-1720 Grant St. For more info, call 255-  5511. Childcare subsidies available.  Engage with  feminist politics-  Read oil our backs  Publishing for 25 years, off  our backs specializes in  coverage of feminist  conferences, interviews with  grassroots women, news,  analysis of international  issues, reproductive  rights, violence  ^against women - all  women's issues.  Get a TRIAL SUB today -  3 issues for US $9  Annual sub airmail US $30  (Canada & Mexico $22)  Yes, send to:  The Vancouver premiere of Calgary-based  videomaker Leila Sujir's lush docu-fiction on  memory, history and identity will be held Sat  Apr 27,8pm at Video In Studios, 1965 Main St.  Sujir's video explores the layering of images  and sound connecting the private dreams and  tragedies of immigrants' lives to public fears  and government policies. Sujir will also screen  her work and give an artist's talk on Sun Apr  28, 2pm. Admission for either event is $5  members, $6 non-members. For more info call  Ken at (604) 872-8337.  VIOLENCE PREVENTION WEEK  The BC/Yukon Society of Transition Houses  will kick off "Violence Prevention Week" with  an art exhibit at the Greater Victoria Art  Gallery titled, Why Don't You JustLeave?An  open reception will take place Sun Apr 21  from 3:30-5pm. Plans to tour the exhibit  throughout the province are also underway.  ANN DECTER  Press Gang Publishers is hosting a launch of  Toronto writer Anne Decter's new novel Hon-  ourTues Apr 30 at 8pm at the Grunt Gallery,  116-350 E. 2nd Ave, Van. The launch will be  held in conjunction with the opening of Leah  Decter's art exhibit Hibernacula. The event is  being co-sponsored by Women in Print Bookstore. For more info call (604) 876-7787.  MASTERING MEDICAL TERMS  Birth Enhancement Services and community  midwife Gloria Lemay are offering a workshop  in Vancouver designed to teach midwives and  pre-natal educators how to speak "doctor-  speak." The five evening workshops will be  held on Apr 24, May 1,8,15 and 22 from 7:30-  9:30pm and are intended to acquaint participants with the prefixes, suffixes and roots of  medical terms. Please bring a medical dictionary to class. Cost is $55. For registration and  more info call (604) 327-5627.  MIRIAM WADDINGTON  Miriam Waddington will read from her various works of poetry, including Driving Home  and The Last Landscape, on Tues Apr 16 at  7:30pm at Women in Print, 3566 W. 4th Ave,  Van. Waddington's poetry has recently been  featured in a book of nature photographs,  Romancing the Land. Admission is free. For  more info call (604) 732-4128.  LISTENING TO THE THUNDER  The Women's Research Centre is hosting a  book launch Wed Apr 3 from 4-7pm at Heritage Hall, 3102 Main St., Vancouver to celebrate the publication of Listening to the Thunder: Advocates Talk about the Battered Women's Movement. Come out and celebrate this  important work and meet the writers. Sponsored by VanCity Savings Credit Union. For  more info call Leslie at (604) 734-0485.  LEGAL RESOURCES  FOR LESBIANS  The first comprehensive legal resource book  for lesbians and gays in BC will be launched  Wed Apr 17 from 7:30-10pm at Harry's Off  Commercial, 1716 Charles St, Van. The book-  Same Sex, Same Laws: Lesbians, Gay Men  and the Law in BC—is produced by Legal  Services Society of BC and focuses on fifteen  areas of law and explains how the law includes  or excludes lesbians and gays. For more info  call Penny Goldsmith at (604) 872-1134.  LESBIANS IN YIDDISH FILMS  New York filmmakerand historian Eve Sicular  will be in Vancouver to present A Yingl Mit a  Yingl Hot Epes a Tarn: Lesbian and Gay  Subtext in Yiddish F/'/mThurs May 16 at 8pm  at the Video In, 1965 Main St. Sicular will  show clips from selected films and period  home movies to explore queer subtext in Bulletin Board  EVENTS  EVENTS  GROUPS  GROUPS  Yiddish cinema from the 1920s to the 1940s.  Admission is $5 members, $6 non-members.  For more info call Ken at (604) 872-8337.  LEAF EQUALITY DAY  West Coast LEAF will be hosting an update  and discussion of the Supreme Court of  Canada's decision in the O'Connor case, as  part of its Equality Day celebrations Thurs  Apr 18 7-10pm at the Sarah Dobbs Gallery,  1767 W. 3rd Ave, Van. The evening will also  include video footage of the O'Connor Coalition's intervention at the Supreme Court. A  child care subsidy is available by contacting  the LEAF office. The speeches and discussion will be sign language interpreted. Admission is $10 or by donation. For more info  call (604) 684-8772.   WOMEN AND THE ECONOMY  Oxfam-Canada presents two workshops in  April and May as part of its discussion series  Making the Economy Work for Women:  "Community Economic Planning: Through the  Eyes of Women" will take place Apr 9 at  7:30pm. The discussants will include a representative from WomenFutures and a representative from Nuestra Voz. On May 7 at  7:30pm, the video The Hands that Feed the  World: Women's Role in Food Production will  be screened and a discussion will follow, hosted  by Rebecca Kneen of Farm Folk City Folk and  Linda Moreau of End Legislated Poverty. Both  discussions will be held at the Mount Pleasant  Neighbourhood House, 800 E. Broadway in  Vancouver. Admission is $5, or $3 low income.  For more info call (604) 254-9578.  SAFFIRE  The Virginia-based all-women acoustic blues  trio of Saffire-the Uppity Women Bluesw'iW be  in concert Mon Apr 15, 8pm at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, 1845 Venables St.  This popular group will be performing music  from their last four albums, including their  recently released Old, New, Borrowed and  Blue. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster,  the VECC, Highlife and Black Swan. For  more info call (604) 254-9578.  POWELL STREET FESTIVAL  The Powell Street Festival Society is inviting  all Asian and South Asian women performers, writers and visual artists to participate in  Fusions, a planning workshop for this year's  festival. This is a session for those interested  in presenting their work and/or developing  cross-cultural or cross-disciplinary works. The  workshop will be held Sat Apr 27 from 1 -5pm  at Japanese Canadian Citizens' Association,  511 E. Broadway, Vancouver. The Festival  itself will be held from Aug 3-4. For more info  call Corinne at (604) 682-4335.  SEX ABUSE SURVIVORS  The Voices for Survivors Support Society will  be hosting a forum for survivors of childhood  sexual abuse Sat Apr 20 at the Holiday Inn,  711 W. Broadway, Vancouver. The forum will  include a keynote address by Shirley Turcotte,  who was featured in the NFB film To a Safer  Place. Panel discussions will be held on  healing and strategies for change in different  communities, including lesbian/gay,  multicultural, differently-abled and First Nations communities. Continental breakfast,  lunch and refreshments are included. Cost is  $60. For more info call (604) 298-4516.  ART EXHIBIT  Twenty-four of Vancouver's most innovative  visual artists will feature their works in a  variety of media at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, 1895 Venables St until Apr 15.  The exhibit, sponsored by the Avenue forthe  Arts Society, features works by Arlene Byrne,  Lorraine Davies, Famous Empty Sky, Lori  Kenney, Jo Ann Kronquist, Helene Lanois  and Sylvia Oates, among others. The gallery  is open 10am-7pm weekdays and 3-7pm on  Saturdays.  LESBIAN SEPARATIST GATHERING  A lesbian separatist gathering will be held in  the San Francisco area in June. To find out  more write to SEP2, PO Box 1180,  Sebastopol, CA 9547-1180. For local info on  dyke separatism as a political strategy write:  Rootsisters, PO Box 21588, 1850 Commercial Dr, Vancouver BC, V5N 4A0.  QUEST & HEARTH  Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea present  their joint slide show Quest & Hearth, which  weaves together the spiritual motifs of the  circle and the quest, on Tues Apr 9 at Women  in Print, 3566 W. 4th Ave, Van. Call (604)  732-4128 for more info.  DYKE ART RETREAT  The seventh annual Dyke Art Retreat Encampment (DARE) will be held Jun 30-Jul 7  at Rootworks, wooded women's land near  Sunny Valley in Southern Oregon. Cabins,  tenting space and meals are provided. Cost  is $160-185. Registration is limited. For info  and registration brochure send SASE to  DARE, 2000 King Mountain Trail, Sunny  Valley, OR, 97497.  ART OF HAND APPLIQUE  Learn the traditional art of hand applique—  spend a relaxing day with quilt artist Wendy  Lewington Coulter as you create your own  hand applique fabric piece. Patterns and  written instruction provided—you only need  a basic knowledge of hand sewing to join this  workshop. Beginners welcome! This workshop will be held on Sat May 4, 10am-4pm at  the Mount Pleasant Community Centre, 3161  Ontario St, and is part of the MayWorks  Festival. Call (604) 874-2906 to register and  for more info.  GRRRRLS WITH GUITARS  Grrrrls with Guitars features Kym Brown,  Annie Goodwyne and Colleen Coadic Mon  Apr 22, 9:30pm at the Railway Club, 579  Dunsmuir St, Van. Tickets are $3 members  $5 non members.  THECLA SCHIPHORST  Thecla Schiphorst's Bodymaps: artifacts of  mortality, an interactive, sensor driven installation that explores the sensuality and anarchy of the act of touching and being touched  is on display at the Western Front Gallery,  303 East 8th Ave, Van until Apr 26. For  gallery hours call (604) 876-9343.  MENOPAUSE MYTHS & REALITIES  Menopause Myths & Realities, a forum to be  held on Sat Apr 20 from 9:30am-3:30pm, will  provide women with a chance to gather and  ask questions and investigate ways of dealing with many aspects of menopause. Speakers include Pat Chadwick, Dr. Yuki Hseuh-  Tze Huang, Judy Bennett and Lynn Robinson.  The forum will be at Hyde Creek Centre,  1379 Laurier Avenue, PortCoquitlam. Please  bring your own lunch. Admission is $10 full  day, $5 half day. Advance registration available until April 6th through SUCCESS, (604)  936-5900.  WOMEN  1  IN PRINT  BOOKS & OTHER MEDIA  Discounts for  book clubs  3566 West 4th Avenue  Special orders  Voice   604 732^1128  welcome  Fax       604 732^1129  10-6 Daily ♦  12-5 Sunday  LESBIANS IN POCO  The Port Coquitlam Area Women's Centre  will be holding a weekly discussion group for  lesbians on every Mon at 7:30pm. Come and  meet and bring your ideas, issues and suggestions. For registration or more info call  (604) 944-2798.  GRASSROOTS WOMEN'S  DISCUSSION GROUP  All women are invited to an informal gathering to discuss, analyze and take action on  women's issues. Next topic "What is our  vision for the future and what are the alternatives?" Meetings are held monthly at the  Philippine Women Centre 1011 E. 59th Ave,  Van. For more info call 322-9852.  LESBIAN AND  BISEXUAL MOTHERS!  We are a recently formed,self-run group of  queer moms. So far, we've been socializing,  with and without our kids. We're also into  doing political organizing around various issues as well as general networking. Give us  a call if you're interested. Contact Terra 254-  1588 or Laurel 251-9063.  QUEERS TAKE ACTION  A group of young queer women are planning  a one-time legal action in Vancouver in April  against queer bashing. For more info please  call (604) 254-8782. Women only.  L'ARC-EN-CIEL  Ce mois-ci, les gens du groupe L'Arc-En-  Ciel, les Francophones et Francophiles des  Communautes Gaies et Lesbiennes, vous  invitent a un atelier d'improvisation au Centre des Gaies et des Lesbiennes, le dimarche  21 avril de 1:30 a 5:00. Pour de plus amples  informations, n'hesitez pas a composer le  688-9378, poste #1, boite vocale #2120.  WOMENVISIONS  WomenVisions on Vancouver's Co-op Radio  is searching for women interested in feminist  radio programming. If interested please call  WomenVisions at 684-8494 Monday nights  between 8 and 9pm.  LEARNING RESOURCES SOCIETY  Learning Resources Society (LRS) invites  women to participate in regular monthly meetings held on the third Wednesday of each  month at 7pm at the Women's Centre, Room  2730 at Douglas College in New Westminster. LRS is a non-profit organization concerned with issues affecting women's ability  to make informed choices about their education and work. For more info call (604) 527-  5447.  FEMALE SURVIVORS OF INCEST  Female Survivors of Incest (FSI) is a lesbian  centred self-help support group meeting  every Thurs at 7pm at the office of the  Vancouver Status of Women, 301-1720 Grant  St. FSI encourages the participation of both  bisexual and heterosexual womyn. For more  info, leave a message for Tonya at the Vancouver Lesbian Connection, (604) 254-8458.  Pen on fire?  Camera in the closet?  Let them out!  Write or take photographs  for Kinesis  255-5499  Cover the arts that you love  on these pages  CANADIAN WOMEN'S STUDIES  Canadian Women's Studies' Summer 1996  issue will focus on the Fourth United Nations  World Conference on Women and the Non-  Governmental Organizations Forum held last  Sept in China. CWS is currently calling for  papers on a variety of issues including: social  justice, women's economic participation, issues related to women's health, and women's access and participation in decisionmaking processes. The overall theme of the  issue will be a comparison of the Platform for  Action ratified in Beijing and Canada's Federal Plan for Gender Equality. For submission criteria, call (416) 736-5356. Deadline is  Apr 30.  KALEIDOSCOPE '96  Kaleidoscope '96, a festival of Women in  Music Society (WIM) is now accepting applications for performing at this special event to  be held on Sep 28-29 in Vancouver. The goal  of WIM is to provide a creative atmosphere  for forging connections among women in all  aspects of the music world. For more info call  (604) 684-9461; or write Women in Music,  1212-207 W. Hastings St, Vancouver, V6B  1H7.  YOUNG WOMEN AND INTIMACY  Submissions are being sought from women  aged 20-35 of diverse backgrounds and  sexual orientations for an new anthology  titled, Look Me in the Eye: Young Women  Talk About Intimacy. Submissions can include essays, short fiction, journal entries,  poetry and black & white artwork. Topics  could include: surviving a break up, getting  out of abusive relationships, race, gender  and sexual orientation and their impact on  intimacy, children and intimacy, etc. Submissions should be no longer than 3,500 words.  For more info call Susan Dumett at (206)  860-5075 or write to her at PO Box 20566,  Seattle, WA, 98102. Deadline is Jun 1.  ALBERTA WRITERS' CONFERENCE  describing Albertas, a conference on contemporary Alberta writing and the politics of  location, is calling for submissions related to  the political, cultural and social landscape.  Topics could include: the "place" of Alberta  writers, lesbian/gay/bisexual/queer writers,  First Nations and "colour" in the great white  north, cultural censorship, right-wing ideology, teaching and learning in the school  curriculum etc. One-page proposals should  be submitted to describing Albertas, Janice  Williamson, Department of English, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2E5; or  fax (403) 492-8142. Deadline is Jun 15.  DOCUMENTARY ON FEMINISM  A Vancouver-based filmmaker is seeking  women 18-35 to participate in informal talks—  in person or by phone—for a documentary on  twenty and thirty-something feminists on issues of concern to their generation of women.  To participate or for more info call Celine at  (604) 254-6495.  WOMEN OF AFRICAN DESCENT  Sister Vision Press is seeking pieces for an  anthology of works by women of African  descent speaking about violence in our lives.  How does your race/class/gender/immigration contribute to violence against Black  women? Send submissions to Speaking  About Violence, Sister Vision Press, PO Box  217, Stn E, Toronto, ON, M6E 4E2. Deadline  is Sep 1. Bulletin Board  SUBMISSIONS CLASSIFIEDS  WOMEN IN VIEW  Applications are now available for the 10th  annual Women in View Festival, taking place  Jan 22-25, 1998. The festival showcases  work initiated by women in the performing  arts—both emerging and established. For  further info contact Women in View, 314  Powell St, Vancouver, BC, V6A 1G4; or call  Dawn Brennan at (604) 685-6684. Deadline  for applications is Sep 20.  HOT AND BOTHERED  Arsenal Pulp Press is accepting short short  fiction for an anthology of lesbian erotic stories. Deadline Aug 31. For full guidelines  send SASE to Hot and Bothered, 1036 Odium  Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3L6; or e-mail  kxt@descon.mlnet.com.  YOUNG WOMEN OF COLOUR  We want your artwork, photographs, fiction,  prose, essays, interviews, discussions, or  any other works that speak to your experience as a sistah, sister, girlfriend, woman.  This is an exciting new anthology and we  need you to contribute. Send contributions  to: Young Women of Colour, Sister Vision  Press, PO Box 217, Stn E, Toronto, ON, M6E  4E2. Deadline is May 30.  Janet Riehm. b.b.a  CERiiriEd GenfraI Accountant  Business CoNSuhiNq  ComdIete AcCOUNliNC, SEHViCES  PItone (604) 876-7550  Bottom Line Accounting  crfffoxJUL BooZLzpinj Svutic*  & SJf£mpforJ  • Monthly Financial Statements  • Government Remittances  • Payroll, A/P. A/R, Budgets  I Will Transform Your Paperwork!  (604) 737-1824 email:barb.l@deepcove.c(  DR. PAULETTE ROSCOE  NATUROPATHIC PHYSICIAN  HOMEOPATHY  COUNSELLING  DETOXIFICATION  HYCROFT MEDICAL CENTER  108-3195 GRANVILLE ST.  VANCOUVER, B.C. V6H 3K2  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR  An executive director is being sought by  Vancouver Island Haven Society, a nonprofit offering shelter and services to abused  women and their children and sexual assault  survivors. Duties: Oversees service delivery,  program development, personnel and financial management. Represents society to funding sources, initiates fundraising. Qualifications: Related education and experience,  minimum of three years administrative experience. Skillful in directing and motivating  staff in a union setting, problem solving,  decision making and public speaking. Knowledge of program and strategic planning and  evaluation, fundraising, budget preparation,  and issues relating to violence against  women. Generous benefit package. Salary  commensurate with experience. Applications  accepted until Apr 9 by mail to: Board of  Directors, Vancouver Island Haven Society,  Box 311, Nanaimo, BC, V9R 5L3; or by fax  (604)758-8959.  TAKING CONTROL  We're sick of 9 to 5 and taking control! Create  financial security without disrupting your current job or career. Join our committed team  who are a part of a 13 year old solid, ethical  company that is the fastest nutritional business in North America; with a sincere global  vision and a proven method for success!  Experience the miracle of a harvested wild,  and most dense food on the planet, with  reported benefit such as: Increased stamina,  energy, relief of PMS, food cravings, anxiety,  and much more... For a free info audio tape  call (606) 929-0776.  WOMEN'S SACRED DRUM CIRCLE  Join us for a Women's Sacred Drum Circle with  drummer Carol Weaver on Wed Apr 16 at  7:30pm at Helen's Court Co-op Common Room,  2137 W. 1st St (at Arbutus), Van. Bring drum  and pillow. Drop in for $8. On-going. For more  info call (604) 879-2179 or (604) 929-0776.  FULL MOON RETREAT FOR  WOMEN  Women's retreat, May 3,4 and 5 on beautiful  and quiet Keats Island, facilitated by Margaret  Wes\ a counsellor, who brings extensive  training in ancient earth teachings, and offers  a rich experience in earth-based spirituality.  Take time to nurture self returning to the  Feminine in a Celebration that provides healing and renewal. For more info call (604) 929-  0776 (message) or 1-604-886-0240.  ROOMMATE WANTED  Feminist, gay-positive collective house wants  roommate for May 1. Live with warm, honest  people who are community activists. East 24th  Avenue near Nanaimo Skytrain Station. Smoking OK. Rent, utilities and food are $550.00.  Call Ema 874-2943 or Marcel 874-9048.  Margaret Randal  SPECIAL EVENTS FOR APRIlT^>  SAME SEX, SAME LAWS: Lesbians, Gay Men, and the Law in B.C.  by Joy Tataryn, Tim Timberg. & N. Colin Desjarlais  Little Sister's & Harry's off Commercial are pleased to present the book  launch of this important new resource book, published by The Legal Service:  Society of British Columbia. Wednesday April 17th. 1996 from 7:30 to 10 ■  p.m..At Harry's off Commercial. I716 Charles Street. Refreshments and live  entertainment. Everyone welcome.  THE PRICE YOU PAY: The Hidden Cost of Women's Relationship to  Money  by Margaret Randall  Money determines the way we live our lives. In a patriarchal society  women experience money as one more element of control: often abusive,  sometines paralyzing. The Price You Pay reveals how money is power, in  brutally manifest and also carefully hidden ways. Published by Routledge.  Meet the author of this important new book:  Wednesday April 24th, from l - 3 p.m. at Little Sister's.  MAYWORKS FESTIVAL  Ottawa-based a capella group Malaika (pictured above) performs songs  from a variety of cultures at the Sunday April 28th opening of the ninth  annual MayWorks Festival of Working People and the Arts in Vancouver.  MayWorks is a multi-disciplinary arts festival which celebrates the contributions and achievements of people working throughout the arts. With the  theme "A World to Win!" this year's festival will present images of the world  we want. The festival runs from April 28th to May 4th, with events at the  WISE Hall, 1882 Adanac Street, every night. Friday May 3rd is a women's  cabaret night at the WISE. For a schedule of events and more information  call the MayWorks hotline at (604) 874-2906. Photo courtesy of Mayworks  CLASSIFIEDS CLASSIFIEDS  COUNSELLING SERVICES FOR  WOMEN  Offering group, individual and couple counselling with a feminist philosophy. Hakomi  techniques, art and gestalt therapy. Sliding  fee scale. Please contact Miljenka Zadravec,  M.Ed, Sydney Foran, MSW, Fran Friesen,  M.Ed., or Elli Tamasin, M.Ed, at 304 -1720  Grant St, Van; tel: (604) 253-0143.  CITYVIEW CO-OP  Cityview Co-op has one, two and three bedroom suites for $565, $696, $795 per month  and refundable share purchase. Carpets,  blinds, appliances, parking and laundry room.  Children and small pets welcome. Please  send a business size SASE to Membership  Committee, Cityview Housing Co-op, #108  1885 East Pender, Van. V5L 1W6.  CLINICAL COUNSELLOR  Registered clinical counsellor offers counselling and energy healing. Specializing in  assisting women with their inner journey to  self-empowerment. Unique experience in  both childhood trauma and the addictions  field, plus extensive training in ancient earth  teachings. Workshops, individual teaching  available. Call Margaret at (604) 929-0776  (message) or (604) 886-0240.  HERITAGE HALL FOR RENT  Magnificent restored Heritage Building at 15th  and Main St. in Vancouver. Available for  special events of all kinds. From benefits to  book launches, conferences to cultural celebrations, banquets to private parties... The  building is smoke-free, wheelchair accessible, on the bus line, and offers non-profit  rates. More info at (604) 879-4816.  COUNSELLING FOR WOMEN  A feminist approach to sexual abuse, depression, grief and loss, sexual orientation  issues and personal growth. Sliding fee scale.  Free initial appointment. Susan Dales, R.P.C.  255-9173.  FAMILY PRACTITIONERS  Joan Robillard, MD, is pleased to announce  that Suzanne Roberts, MD, has joined her  family practice (obstetrics included). Ourprac-  tice is for all kinds of families and people. We  are located at: 203-1750 E. 10th Ave, Vancouver. Tel: 872-1454; fax: 872-3510.  KARATE FOR WOMEN  Karate for Women Shito-ryu karate taught by  female blackbelts. Learn a martial artforself-  defense, fitness, self confidence! At the  YWCA, 535 Hornby St, Van. Mon, Tues,  Thurs, 7:15-9pm. $45/month. Beginner  groups start July 4, August 1, Sept 5, Oct 2.  Call 872-7846.  CLADDAGH HOUSE B&B  Treat yourself to a great Victoria Get-Away.  Wake up to music in your ears, the aroma of  fine food ind hearty conversation with your  Irish hosu Imagine walking by the ocean,  cozying u by the fire, reflexology, massage  and sound sleeps. Take a stroll through Oak  Bay Village for that back in time experience.  Memorable, convenient accommodation at  affordable rates. Contact Maggie at Claddagh  House B&B, 1761 Lee Ave. Victoria. Tel:  (604) 370-2816 or fax: (604) 592-0228.  CKLN-FM  CKLN-FM, Toronto's non-profit, progressive  community radio station, is now accepting  applications for the position of Station Coordinator. As a full-time core staff member of a  small collective management team, the Station Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the overall financial, administrative and  on-air operations of CKLN. For a complete  job description and/or more info call CKLN at  (416) 595-1477 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm). Send  resumes to CKLN Station Coordinator Hiring  Committee, 380 Victoria St, Toronto, ON,  M5B1W7; orfax (416) 595-0226. Deadline is  Fri April 19, 6pm.  Little Sister's Book & Art Ei  V6E 1X4, Phone (604) 669-1  Internet Address: http://www.netf Lcr f he Kin^oio  comet come fo you  One year  □$20 + $1.40 GST □ Bill me  Two years □ New  □$36 + $2.52 GST □ Renewal  Institutions/Groups □ Gift  □$45 + $3.15 GST □ Donation  Name_  □ Cheque enclosed   For individuals who can't afford the full amount  for Kinesis subscription, send what you can.  Free to prisoners.  Orders outside Canada add $8.  Vancouver Status of Women Membership  (includes Kinesis subscription)  □$30+$1.40 GST  Address—  Country   Telephone.  Postal code_  Fax   Published ten times a year by the Vancouver Status of Women  #301 -1720 Grant Street Vancouver, BC V5L 2Y6

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