Home

Mission

Contents

News

Links

Authors

About Us

Publications

Harmony Forum

Peace from Harmony
Women in an Industrial and Information/Harmonious Societies

Ada Aharoni

 

Women's Needed "Peace Culture System" Revolution

 

The British poet, Mathew Arnold, was perfectly right when he stated, "if women came together for the benefit of mankind it will be a power such as the world has never known." In this third millennium, the women of the world have indeed started to understand their enormous power and potential to benefit mankind and to bring peace to the world.


The revolutionary and colossal task of building an innovative global "Culture of Peace System", should be considered today, when nuclear bombs are at our doors, o­ne of the major goals of not o­nly women, but of all humankind and of all world governments and major institutions and corporations. When a virus attacks our computers it is clear to us that we have to clean it or to delete it, and we use appropriate tools to firmly and quickly deal with it in an effective manner. However, when our world is infested by a culture of violence and terror, it is still not clear to many, including governments that we have to use the same methods as with our infested computers.

One of the best vehicles to accomplish this needed reconstruction of the world is through the PCS an innovative and revolutionary Peace Culture System, led by a powerful global coalition of women. Women are sensitive and caring of what has gone wrong in society, and are better at "cleaning" what is infested. The establishment of a revolutionary, resourceful and effective new global and regional "Culture of Peace System" as described above has many urgent repercussions. Women understand that the feelings of distrust and hatred by certain nations and ethnic groups of different cultures toward each other, cannot be overcome by guns or bombs, but o­nly by a basic and resourceful new Peace Culture System, that thoroughly penetrates the deep roots of the conflict, uses effective conflict resolution methods, and builds confidence measures, understanding and respect of each nation's entity, identity, ethnicity and culture. Women are aware that this should be applied both nationally and globally. As in Virginia Woolf's quotation at the beginning of this chapter, women are indeed prone to feel themselves global citizens.


Governments, city councils, the UN institutions, universities and research institutes, the World Bank and giant global corporations, as well as peace NGO's, and writers' and artists' associations, should closely cooperate with Women's Peace Culture Organizations, to set up the revolutionary PCS- the needed new global and regional, peace culture system.


Is humankind at the beginning of our third millennium, indeed able, with the help of the women, to self-organize culturally, ethically and legally, in such a way that it can generate the spirit and strength to peacefully resolve conflicts and banish wars, terrorism, and mass destruction? It is believed that if the women in the service of peace are given equal opportunities to create and to influence the global village, the seeds for the PCS: the new Peace Culture System and true global peace can be planted. It would indeed give a fair chance for the many "Voices and Cultures of the Earth" and their deep yearning for peace, to be heard. Furthermore, it would be a serious and important step toward the building of a world beyond war that all women and most men of our global village yearn for.


[IFLAC]Digest Number 1121, September 30, 2005

-----------------------------------


-------------------------------------------------------------------
Katrin

SOS: Freedom for Iraqui Women

 
Under the new constitution, Islam would become the official religion of the Iraqi state, and be regarded as "a main source of legislation." Clerics would more than likely sit o­n the Supreme Court, and judges would have broad latitude to strike down legislation that conflicted with the religion. Clerics would be given a broad, new role in adjudicating family disputes like marriage, divorce and inheritance. Under most interpretations of Islamic law, women enjoy substantially fewer rights than men.
 
The heavily Islamic cast of the constitution, influenced by the Shiite religious parties who won the January elections, has troubled many of Iraq's women and secular leaders, even with the constitution's many guarantees for religious freedom and individual rights. Mr. Hassani, the Assembly speaker and o­ne of the few Sunnis to come out in favor of the constitution, said
Sunday that he was quite unhappy with parts of it. "This constitution has too much religion in it," Mr. Hassani said. "The rights of women; they took away a lot of the rights of women."
 
Even some Shiites and Kurds, for all their relief that the constitution was finally complete, expressed uneasiness about the way it was achieved. "What is important for me is something that would make Iraqis feel more united," said Mahmood Othman, a Kurdish member of the constitutional panel. "That didn't happen."
 
IFLAC COMMENT
 
Our Iraqui friend, Katrin, asks for our urgent help, in her second SOS Email sent to us below.
We should all   do our best to free Iraqui women, by writing to our Senators, to the UN, to UNIFEM, to the UN SG Kofi Anan, to the EU, and to all institutions and leaders that can help free Iraqui women from the impending tragedy of forcing them to wear the veil and to be treated as second class citizens under the "Islamic Sharia Law," like the women in Iran and Afganistan.
 
URGENT MESSAGE FROM KATRIN
 
Dear Ada and Friends,
 
SOS - WE NEED YOUR URGENT HELP TO FREE IRAQUI WOMEN!
 
We are not in in a Good shape regarding the new Iraqui constitution, towards Women .We need the urgent help of every single woman and man, in the world, to fight for our right to be free from the Sharia Laws, that discriminate against women. The newly suggested pseudo - democratic Constitution, wants to take us to the Iran regime (centuries old! ) We want to bring our voices of protest, to the international community Like UNEFEM and UN and EU .
PLEASE HELP US IMMEDIATELY, BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!
 
This constitution gave 25% to women, not as decicion makers, but o­nly as parrots of the men, in the congress.  that is not enough for all what we have to accomplish in Iraq nowadays . Your help is much needed, and can save our cherished FREEDOM. Thanks for your urgent aid.
 
Your friend and sister,
 
Katrin
 
IFLAC Digest Number 1092, August 31, 2005
--------
 

Joanne Tawfilis

Suzanne Mubarek - Actions Speak Louder Than Words

 
I have been watching and cheering the efforts of Cindy Sheehan's courageous stand for PEACE and can't help but reflect upon the many women I know that are real "heroes" in wanting to end the war in Iraq and that pursue PEACE. These women range from Mother's like Cindy to women leaders.
 
One of these leaders you may not see in the media so often, is Suzanne Mubarek, First Lady of Egypt.  She has a quiet voice with much power. Her style is to identify problems, take action and seek solutions.  She does this at her own volition and works hard and consistently for Women and Children's Rights and has done so, for years o­n end.  Her actions speak louder than words.  She has founded at least three organizations that I have interacted with--The Integrated Care Society (founded by her in 1977), the National Council for Children and Motherhood, which serves as a dynamic force in support of the Convention o­n the Rights of the Child, and Women For Peace International.
 
Her causes range from eradicating illiteracy among children by establishing libraries in schools, promoting the construction of schools for girls in rural areas in Egypt, concern about and involvement in environmental initiatives, supporting and promoting the Special Olympics, and founding the Women For Peace International organization, where women leaders from the
Middle East and beyond have rallied under her leadership.  What I admire about her, is her approach to achieving peace.To quote Mrs. Mubarek, her philosophy about women's quest for peace involves, "Working alongside men, we also aim to find alternative solutions to conflict and promote the Culture of Peace throughout the world."
 
I encourage you to view these websites and learn more about this First Lady's o­n going effort that clearly support the UNESCO Decade for the Culture of Peace.
 
 
Discussion Question:  What are other First Lady's in the world doing to support this Decade?
 
IFLAC Digest Number 1092, August 31, 2005
 
--------------------         
 
 Arab Feminists o­n Women's Rights:
Cats and Dogs in the Developed World Have More Rights than Women in the Arab and Muslim World
 
Marking Valentine's Day and International Women's Day, the Arabic press published numerous articles dealing with the status of women in the Arab and Muslim world and the denial of their rights, o­n the part of both governments and public in general. The progressive websites www.metransparent.com and www.elaph.com published articles by feminist authors harshly critical of the state of women's rights in these countries. The following are excerpts from articles by Saudi author W aj iha Al-Huweidar and by Tunisian authors and researchers Dr. Iqbal Al-Gharbi [1], Dr. Munjiyah Al-Sawaihi, and Dr. Raja bin Salama:

      Wajiha Al-Huweidar: "Covert Animosity and Open Discrimination Against Women Prevail in Arab Countries"
      Writing in Elaph.com o­n March 7, 2005 Saudi author Wajiha Al-Huweidar explained: "All of the Arab regimes are U.N. members and have ratified the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights, which clearly establishes justice and equality in the rights and obligations of all citizens. Despite this, women in our chauvinist countries are still considered the property of their relatives. All Arab countries, without exception, harbor covert animosity and open discrimination against women. To this day, all official bodies reject any scientific discussion of a solution to women's problems - while o­n the other hand the men, who benefit from women's oppression, continue to regurgitate [the mant r a] that 'women are respected' [in Arab and Muslim societies].

      "Arab countries' legislation patently discriminates against women and clearly denies their rights, which affronts them as human beings. They are still treated as though they contaminate purity, and arouse temptation and immorality. What is astounding is that most Arabs, at all levels and in every area - whether governments, institutions, or individuals - still consider women's issues a religious issue, and thus believe that her concerns should be dealt with through outdated chauvinist [religious] interpretations.

      "An improvement in women's status will not come through invalid solutions which have been proven ineffectual. The laws grant female citizens o­nly half a voice, diminish women's rights, classify them as having o­nly partial sense, denigrate their importance, doubt their capabilities, permit beating and banishing them, permit their caging within four walls, allow their husbands to treat them as they see fit, and allow them to be bought and sold according to legal agreements. When women fail [in matters forbidden by religious law], the laws welcome their barbarous execution.

      "These laws are clearly no longer suited to an era in which cats and dogs in the developed world have more rights than Arab women, and more even than those of Arab men.

      "Women's problems, which await a solution, are not religious problems, but are purely legal. They should be addressed in accordance with the international declarations that guarantee human liberty and honor ratified by all the countries of the world, in the East and West, including the confused Arab countries.

      "The legislation which curtails women's rights as citizens must be replaced by legislation guaranteeing their full rights. This does not require wasting time o­n discussions, consultations, interpretations and counter-interpretations, debates and conferences . because it is nothing new for Islamic countries to change their form of government or to repeal their religious legislation so as to adapt these to their international interests and to the requirements of the era in which they live.

      "It is known that in the Muslim countries the system permitting buying and selling slaves was abolished, as was the jizya [poll tax] system imposed o­n the dhimmi s - the Jews and the Christians - from the Islamic conquests until the last century. This is despite the fact that there are still religious texts that permit slave trading and thepoll tax - but both of these were suppressed so that [Muslims] could act according to [modern values].

      "These practices were abolished years ago, and people have forgotten them... because they violated civil and human rights. It is also time to abolish all chauvinistic interpretations that incite to violence, discriminate, and persecute women, and deprive them of their rights..." [2]

      Wajiha Al-Huweidar: "Discrimination Against Arab Women Begins in Utero"

      Al-Huweidar discussed the never-ending cycle of discrimination against Arab women in a pervious article in Elaph.com o­n February 5, 2005: "The cycle of discrimination against women generally starts at home. From an early age, sons receive the lion's share (double that of the daughter) of love, money spent o­n them, status, and even education. Many families send their sons to private schools but their daughters to public schools, so the sons receive a better education. The son grows up to be an engineer, a doctor, an officer, or whatever he wants; the daughter grows up to be a wife, a mother, and later a grandmother. Boys have opportunities, whereas girls have duties.

      "The second phase of the cycle of discrimination against women is in the schools. In most Arab schools, boys and girls are separated. The overall goal of Arab schools, especially the state schools, is to reshape the pupil, and to work towards distorting [the personality] so as to make him a submissive citizen. Girls, however, receive much larger doses of submissiveness and prevention of thinking.

      "The last phase of the cycle of discrimination is the workplace. The working woman in the Arab world is of course no more than a servant, slaving away outside her own home while raising her children within it - except for women from the Gulf, who have housekeepers to assist them. Yet the discrimination prevalent among Gulf women, especially Saudis, is even harsher and crueler in every aspect. Most labor laws do not treat the Arab woman equitably, and she also suffers from [harassment] and racism.

      "In the Arab countries, and especially the Gulf countries, the cycle of discrimination against women begins when they are still in utero. It continues when they emerge into the world, and goes o­n until death. According to the male interpretation, women are always 'lewdness and pudenda' and part of the time 'impure'.

      "Women are considered 'mentally and religiously deficient' - yet it was the mothers of the Muslims [i.e. the Prophet's wives] who taught many of the religion's precepts and principles. Women are 'weak and controlled by their emotions' - yet they are charged with educating the young generation, the country's source of pride... Women are 'temptation' - yet they were created for men to trust, and to give [men] a sense of tranquility. Women 'have more tricks than Satan' - yet men take two, three, or four wives. Women are 'vases' which must be handled gently to avoid scratching them - yet they are banished from the conjugal bed and beaten harshly.

      "From cradle to grave, women are prohibited from being their own masters because they are 'incompetent and incapable of responsibility for their own affairs' - yet the Prophet's dearest and most beloved wife ['Aisha] headed the first opposition in Islam, led an entire army, and conducted a crucial historic battle [i.e. the Battle of the Camel in 656]...

      "This abhorrent cycle of discrimination in which the Arab woman lives began centuries ago, yet still exists today - fastened around her neck and restricting her movements, as if she were born [only] yesterday. This suffocating cycle wastes the talents of half of society - the more human and more giving half... The most important question today is: What is the best way to break out of the cycle of discrimination against Arab women?." [3]

      Dr. Iqbal Al-Gharbi: "Any Misogynist Can Find What He Seeks in a Partial Reading of Islam's Teachings"

      Asking whether Islam really honored women, Dr. Iqbal Al-Gharbi, a Tunisian lecturer in psychology at Al-Zaytouna University in Tunis, wrote an article o­n metransparent.com o­n March 13, 2005: "All the international reports highlight the Muslim world's many failings in gender equality. Moreover, the 2003 U.N. [Arab] Human Development Report attributed the failure of development in our region to three main shortcomings: lack of knowledge, lack of freedoms, and lack of gender equality. These reports are based o­n numerous important indicators, such as the 60% illiteracy among women, and women's [low] representation in decision-making positions - women's representation in Arab parliaments does not exceed 6%.

      "The contemptible circumstances of Muslim women takes o­n nightmarish proportions when we hear of crimes of honor not o­nly in Bedouin areas, but also across continents and oceans, and haunting women in Islamic communities in Britain and Scandinavia - or when we read a UNICEF report indicating demographic catastrophe in India because of families who, in their desire for sons, have done away with 40 million female fetuses through voluntary abortion.

      "Further, the way of life in the Islamic world underscores the primitive nature of social relations between man and woman. The woman's role is to concede to and appease the man o­n a daily basis, in all possible ways, out of fear of divorce. This occurs in societies that to this day have been unable to give women the right to live alone, independent of the protection of patriarchal authority... The inability of Muslim society to accept women as mature beings is what causes our failure at modernity, since modernity is first and foremost the right of the individual - man or woman - to own his or her own body and mind...

      "The religious discourse that discriminates against women occurs o­n three levels: establishment, imagery, and justification.

      "In terms of the establishment, it is crystal clear that official religious activity makes man an intermediary between heaven and earth, and puts him in charge of sacred matters... According to religious law, Allah reserved certain roles for men: prophecy, divine mission, the caliphate, jihad, the sounding of the call to prayer, and the delivering of sermons. Women's participation in these sacred roles alongside men is, of course, a forbidden innovation. These acts of distancing women [from these roles] is undoubtedly o­ne of the reasons for the fundamental discrepancy between the [good] intentions [favoring equality for women] that appear in the Koran and the historical reality, in which chauvinistic custom, habit, and tradition prevail...

      "In terms of imagery, there is a salient contrast between [Islam's] innovations [regarding women] and the burden of cultural heritage [which weighs upon] religious discourse and further degrades the woman in the popular imagination... Religious discourse contains dual imagery of women that o­n the o­ne hand sanctifies and glorifies her, yet o­n the other hand disparages her.

      "Women occupy a place of honor in every literary or artistic piece, and in every work of art or epic. Moreover, some fanatical clerics write splendid love poetry about the woman, praising her and honoring her loyalty, motherhood, and devotion. However, this ideal and abstract image of the woman contradicts the reality of women's lives.

      "Consequently... there are also images that condemn women, and there are religious traditions that blame all the [Muslim] nation's difficulties and disasters o­n women. The woman is Eve, created as a companion for Adam in his loneliness in the Garden of Eden. Her evil nature led her to tempt him, bringing about his banishment from the garden, where he was supposed to live forever. The woman is Zalikha, the wife of Al-'Aziz [Potiphar's wife in the Koran], who represents unbridled libido and who wanted to seduce the prophet Joseph. o­ne of the effects of this story o­n the collective unconscious is to render 'artifice' and 'treachery' synonymous with 'woman'...

      ".Any misogynist can find what he seeks in a partial reading of Islam's teachings - since [it is written in the Koran that] men are the custodians of women, the husband is entitled to banish his wife and to discipline her with beatings. He is permitted to rape her... [and] the testimony of two women is considered equivalent to that of o­ne man.

      "This misogynistic Islam is based o­n an ideology focused o­n the natural differences between the sexes... in order to justify discrimination against women. This is based o­n theories found in ancient Greek thought. For example, the woman represents nature while the man represents culture; the man excels in vitality and warmth while the woman is characterized by frigidity and negativity; the man is rational while the woman is emotional; the man is strong while the woman is fragile and weak, etc... Natural evidence plays a fundamental role in justifying religious discourse, since it is presented as incontrovertible and incontestable. This is despite the fact that the natural order, o­n which the fanatics rely, does not hold up [in light of] modern biology, history, and anthropology." [4]


      Dr. Munjiyah Al-Sawaihi: "I Look Beyond the Horizon and See Nothing but the Tightening of the Noose Around the (Arab) Woman"

      Presenting Tunisia's family law as an example of progressive legislature o­n the status of women, Dr. Munjiyah Al-Sawaihi, a Tunisian lecturer in Islamic Studies at the Higher Institution of Religion at Al-Zaytouna University in Tunis, wrote in an article o­n metransparent.com o­n March 19, 2005: "Thank God we live in Tunisia. Women [here] live in the light of laws that keep misogynistic ideas limited to words alone, spoken among narrow circles o­nly.

      "However, elsewhere in the world, these misogynistic ideas are put into practice, and women are marginalized . under the illusion that the man is protecting them - although he is not in fact able to even protect himself.

      "In addition, ignorant clerics are to this day controlling and dominating [public] thought in order to sanctify women's inferiority through their chauvinistic interpretations of religious texts. These interpretations support discrimination against women, like the story about Eve being created from Adam's rib and [thus] being subject to him, and being bent since her very creation - and if you attempt to straighten it, the rib breaks. These interpretations still exist in 2005.

      "On o­ne of the Islamic satellite TV channels, the Koranic verse about wife-beating was interpreted to mean beating with a toothpick - blows that do not wound or break [bones], avoiding the face. Bravo! What genius in innovative interpretation and reading of a religious text!.

      "Is it logical that o­n a religious program marking the celebration of [Women's Day] 2005, we hear discourse allowing legal wife-beating? Aren't those using this discourse, and the people around them, familiar with the prophetic traditions [ Hadith ] forbidding wife-beating?. Aren't they familiar with the human rights laws and the international conventions forbidding discrimination against women?

      "The question that must be asked is what the Arab and Islamic countries have given women o­n their world day of celebration. I look beyond the horizon and see nothing. I see nothing but the tightening of the noose around the woman, to the point where she is prevented from owning her own face. [Her face] is the property of the man, and she must not uncover it. Of what modernization in women's issues can these countries speak, when the men of this world pass a law permitting the stoning of the woman [for violating religious convention], because she [harmed] man's honor? Has he any honor in the world of today?"

      Dr. Al-Sawaihi spoke of Tunisian family law as a light "in the darkness enveloping women's rights in the Arab and Islamic world." According to this law, the woman has the right to choose her own husband, and to marry at age 17 without a guardian's permission. The wedding will take place o­nly if both parties desire it, and polygamy is forbidden. The couple's relationship is based o­n cooperation, not o­n the wife's obedience to the husband. The husband is head of the family, and responsible for making a living. If the wife has means of her own, she helps him support the family, but he has no control over her funds. Parents are responsible for supporting daughters until they marry or until they find work with which they can support themselves.

      According to Dr. Al-Sawaihi, the most important innovation in Tunisian family law concerns divorce. In Tunisia, divorce can be decreed o­nly by a court of law; the husband cannot divorce his wife arbitrarily. The child of divorced parents lives with his or her mother. The father must pay alimony and child support, and if he does not, the mother is paid from a special fund for divorcees. The father may not take the child abroad without the mother's permission, and the mother has the authority to decide o­n child-rearing matters. Moreover, the child of a Tunisian mother is a Tunisian citizen even if his father is not. Tunisia's law also deals with eliminating gender discrimination in employment, and punishes all forms of violence against women.

      After presenting examples of Tunisia's progressive family law, Dr. Al-Sawaihi concludes her article with a call to Arab intellectuals "to address the problem of the woman courageously and with strong resolve - and not to settle for sidestepping it out of fear of reactionary forces." [5]

      Dr. Raja bin Salama: "If You Look at a Woman Enveloped in the Hijab, You Will Read o­n it: No Courting. No Loving. No Looking. No Touching"

      To mark Valentine's Day, Tunisian author and researcher Dr. Raja bin Salama wrote o­n metransparent.com o­n February 2, 2005 of the Arabs' hatred of love: "For a long time, Arab men have boasted of powerful love in song and story, but have not actually lost their wits or their bearings and have never boasted of powerful love for their wives - because the wife must remain subject to the laws of marriage as set out by Shari'a, not to the laws of love.

      "The Islamic Shari'a, like most ancient laws, did not respect women. The songs and poems 'honor the woman'. But love runs counter to the manly ideology based o­n control. [So] began the denigration of passion, after centuries filled with songs of love and passion, and tales of lovers.

      "In the 10th century, [the poet Abu Al-Tayyib] Al-Mutanabi mocked the poetry of love and preferred a riding animal to a woman, and a desert voyage to love. In the 12th century, the [cleric close to Muslim mystic circles Muhammad] Al-Ghazali referred . to passion as a deviation from the path of righteousness, as decline, and also as 'the disease of an empty heart.' In the 13th century, the [preacher and cleric] Ibn Al-Jawzy wrote the book In Condemnation of Passion.

      "And so we come to our time, to black woolen robes that turn women into faceless creatures, lumps of flesh sold at tribal auctions, and to scarves that cover the head and face and arouse morbid yearnings for white shrouds and wrapped-up corpses. If you look at the body of a woman enveloped in the hijab, you will read o­n it the following signs: No courting. No loving. No looking. No touching. And if o­ne of these is permitted, it is behind the hijab, beneath the slogan, 'If you rebel, conceal yourself,' or 'If you rebel, let none rebel after you.'

      "Today, despite all the programs and conferences o­n the struggle against terror, the clerics of terror - who go wild regarding anything connected to women, men, love, hate, and sex - continue . to forbid celebrating Valentine's Day so that man remains the guardian and woman remains a creature practically unfit to live and practically unworthy of being seen, from whose body the aura of Hell arises.

      "The tragedy of sex and passion among the Muslim Arabs has today reached the point where the intellectuals and enlightened amongst them seek to enshrine in law that type of prostitution that Islam recognizes as mut'a marriage [temporary pleasure marriage] - and those amongst them who express solidarity with the problem of women . keep silent regarding basic issues such as the adult's freedom to maintain any relationship with anyone he wishes, and to be master of his own body, heart, face, hands, and tongue.

      "You can barely find amongst them anyone who will move past the preoccupation with the veil and scarf, and with the prohibited and the permitted, to the simplest thing of all: To praise the beauty of the bare face and unbound hair, and the virtue of short handsome garments that do not distort the shape of the body nor restrict its movement." [6].
 
Special Dispatch Series - No. 890
      April 12, 2005 No.890
    
IFLAC DIGEST 981, 14/04/05
 
---------------------
HILARIE ROSEMAN 
 
ARTS BUSINESS PRACTICE
  
Lesson 1.  Defining small business in Australia 
TASK 1
Video.  Whos counting:  Marilyn Waring o­n Sex Lies and Global Economics.
 
I have just finished viewing this long video.  At the beginning I took copious notes, but in the end I just gave up and entered into the world of Marilyn.  She showed how o­ne person can make a difference in global economics and I am grateful that I made myself view the whole video.   

TASK 2  

My review of this tape centers around her overwhelming message that women and children work in the world and yet are invisible in the Gross National Product. Therefore they have no voice in the health and well being of not o­nly families, but also of the planet itself.   
 
Part of the video was taken in Waikato NZ, where, at the University there, I was allowed to present my first academic paper as an independent scholar.  They turned off the recording machine when I did so, but it gave me my first voicing of my lifes work that Catholic women had to have a say in the Catholic Church .    
 
Marilyn kept repeating, in various forms, that the GNP was utterly unrelated to community health and education.  Apparently politicians (and she was, at o­ne stage,  a politician in N.Z.) make economic decisions upon looking gravely at the health of the Gross National Product.  But when, world wide, the work of children (some under the age of 14) and women was not seen as work then they became invisible.  Not o­nly as people, but also they were invisible when it came to making economic decisions o­n health, education and poverty.  She gave the example of soldiers being trained to set off the atomic bomb.  They were paid wages, and therefore that was recorded in the GNP.  But womens work of food preparation, cooking, having children and looking after them had no value in the GNP.  They just were not in it!  Later o­n in the video she makes the point that in New Zealand two thirds of health care is carried out in the home.  This includes looking after old people.  What would happen she said if the money now being given to the productive health care system .. i.e. the doctors and hospitals who earn money looking after sick people, was diverted back to the home?  She also encourages women to fill in census forms in a new way.  Never, never to put anything in about house or home, but to look in the positions vacant in the newspapers and pick out something that had some application to the work they did, and then put that o­n the census form. She also encouraged women to join political parties and demand a 50 per cent womens representation.   
 
Marilyn sees that the economic language turns economics into the tool of those who want to exploit.  As an added argument to that of women and children being exploited, she gives the example of the hole in the radiation belt surrounding the earth caused by the manufacture of certain chemicals.  Plants and animals, as well as humans, will die if we do not curtail our management of the environment.  Apparently, now, if the TV news is to be seen as correct, this hole has not enlarged.   
 
Guns.  She tells us that those who sell guns need to have a war going o­n in the planet somewhere all the time.  Instead of feeding the poor and treating the sick and educating children, something like 1.3 million dollars every minute is paid out for guns and other warfare hardware.  But 17 million children die because there is no clean water, no food, nohealth care.  War pays she says.  War contributes to the GNP.  What it costs for o­ne nuclear submarine is the whole GNP of 23 developing countries.   
 
The GNP includes everything that goes through the market place for cash.  There is no other value than money.  There is no value in peace, national resources, no value in unpaid work.  The GNP cannot respond to values it does not recognize.   
 
The United Nations has taken over a monetary system from England.  The United Nations System of National Accounts is the worlds economic measurement.  You cant get any money from the IMF if you do not obey the rules.  It shows whose needs are met first, who will live and who will die.  For instance, because prostitution gives cash money to the GNP and she says that sexual slavery is o­n the increase in some countries, then their GNP will be seen to be healthy even though many of the young women, some as young as 10, contract AIDS!  And women who just keep goats and chickens for their families are seen as subsistence farmers and do not go into the GNP.   
 
We finally see Marilyn in her own farm with her own goats.  She has, by her o­ne vote, enabled NZ to have a policy of nuclear ships berthing at NZ wharfs in a total non nuclear national policy.  She has encouraged her local farmers to get together and stop a gold mine in the area which is now a national park.  She has worked all over the world telling women to get together and have a voice and change things.  I know people who have done this.  Not as successfully as Marilyn.  In my own little way I have done some work in the Catholic Church.  But I see, and have tried to paint this out, that here in Australia women have gone for the money, and ended up in a money cage, working from 7.30 in the morning to 7 at night, with their children in crèches and their homes unattended.  In Doncaster, where o­ne of my daughters lives, you walk through the streets to the park and they are totally deserted.  Huge homes stretch street after street with no sound at all.  No laughter, no children, no music.  And we are alone in a huge park.  And we are, at this moment surrounded by war, talk of war, casualties of terrorist bombings.   
 
I am corresponding with a Russian Sociologist who says the same things.  He wants to put people into spheres, with women and young people having equal participation in the political life of a country.  He says that old men have been the o­nes to initiate wars, and send young men off to die.  He wants a harmonious global place where people have enough to eat, where everything is shared. He calls it Tetrasociology.  Is this just a dream?  Can political structuring enable us all to have a voice?  What about values?  Marilyn says the o­nly value that our world works o­n is money.  The challenge is for each of us to make a contribution to changing the values of the world.  And maybe this is a religious question.  Money does not satisfy.  Being accepted, respected and loved by other people is very satisfying.
 
PS  o­n changing over computers I was unprotected and a terrible virus entered my computer.  It came from RMIT, and was sent in their name to my Russian professor.  His home computer was totally wrecked.  He lost all his files.
 
TASK 3.
Q.1 Define small business in Australia?
  Small business represents 90 per cent of all enterprises in Australian society.. In Australia small firms are typically owner-operated, independent of external control, with a small number of people making all managerial decisions and surviving from a small share of a relevant market.  In most economies small business dominates the retail and service sectors, while representing over 90 per cent of the wholesale trade.  Of over 800,000 private enterprises in Australia some 98 per cent (780,000) are classified as small. 

Small Business Management in Australia by Geoffrey G. Meredith defines small business in Australia as: 

  1. Qualitative descriptive, saying how the business operates or is categorized and/or
  2. Quantative identifying numbers and size, figures which distinguish between small and large operators.
  Small business generally has at least two of the following characteristics:-   
 
(a)      Management is independent
(b)      Capital is supplied and ownership is held by an individual in a small group of people
(c)      The operations of the business are localized with workers and owners living in o­ne home community, however, markets need not be local.
(d)      The relative size of the business within its industry is small in comparison with the largest units, a measure of size could be in sales volume, number of employees or size of assets employed.
Q.2  What is supply and demand?
     The Government has an economic policy, which runs supply and demand.  It is controlled by the passing of regulations, which ensure companies/business fit the economic policy of the country.   
 
Successful small business owners an managers generate profits to meet objectives by producing goods and services (supply) required by the public (demand), making them available at a price that generates a product or service profit and in total enables the small business to produce an acceptable reward to owners.   
 
Q.3  Describe how small business can be effected by changes in the national economy?  
Employment effects the economy.  When there are no jobs, there is no money to spend.  In the 1970s Australia had full employment, and there seemed to be more jobs than people to fill them.  Between 1967 1973 Australia had an annual increase in unemployment of 34%.  This generation of Australians has grown accustomed to an environment in which jobs are hand to find and if you do find o­ne there are a hundred other applicants.    
 
In Australia state regulations differ from o­ne state to another, businesses need to be aware of these, especially if they are selling their products between states.  
 
Two factors effect employment   
 
l.         Technological change and the rapid economic growth of Asian countries
3.      The technological revolution which has surged ahead in the manufacturing area
 
TASK 4
 
ASSESSMENT REVISION   
 
Q1.      List the essential factors that suggests that a viable small business opportunity exists.
Q2       What distinguishes a business from a hobby?
Q3       List the main reasons for business failure.
Q4       Identify sources of information and support for small business
Q5       Explain the 4 myths about how to start a small business
Q6       List 4 areas of product potential in the market


Up
© Website author: Leo Semashko, 2005; © designed by Roman Snitko, 2005