Brief naar aanleiding van het niet nomineren van de 1000 vredesvrouwen

It has been almost 4 weeks since the decision was made in Oslo. We were disappointed about the Nobel Committee not being courageous enough to acknowledge the peace work of the 1000 women with this important prize. We were disillusioned by their choice and for the international team it was not difficult to distance itself from this decision. Nevertheless, we feel encouraged as we have reached many of the projects goals: the visualisation of women's work for peace, justice, security and sustainability. It became visible that for example 36 women of those who were nominated have a background in the anti-nuclear movement and especially women from the Pacific region are now fighting against the disposal of nuclear waste after enduring nuclear testing in their region for so many years. Such efforts clearly show that there's another side.

By the way, we have (from an unconfirmed source) heard that the nomination of the 1000 women was on the short listIn the past four weeks, a lot has happened:
14 October 2005 was an important day for the project 1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize: the opening of the exhibition and the presentation of the book 1000 PeaceWomen Across the Globe coincided. On 11 October, the book and the cards for the exhibition were delivered, and we were very excited to set up the exhibition in Zurich on 12 October. It was an incredible moment to put all these colourful cards with the portraits and a short biography into their stands and to see the room fill up with 450 qm of women's portraits (please have a look at the pictures in the German part of the website At the opening of the exhibition we were overwhelmed by the amount of people who wanted to be present, we couldn't even fit them all into the room! Of the nominated women, Karla Schefter and Heide Goettner-Abendroth from Germany, Anni Lanz, Elizabeth Neuenschwander and Irene Rodrigues from Switzerland, Julia Morton from Canada and Nuria Costa Leonardo from Mexico were present, and I heard that Sabine Lichtenfels has come to visit the expo, too. I assume the exhibition is so impressive and touching because its concept is very simple and discreet. During the ten days of the exhibition many events were held with thematic relevance and reference to the projct and peace work, and in total more than 1000 people must have seen it. Now, the exhibition starts travelling the world, in early December it will be shown at the University of Klagenfurt/Austria. The complete set with 1000 cards can be ordered at the secretariat in Bern, and the easiest mode of display would be to line them all up on a clothesline.

Another equally important moment for us was holding the book 1000 PeaceWomen Across the Globe in our hands for the first time. It is very heavy (1.5kg) and its very hard to put it down once you start looking through these portraits, every picture, every story is touching, and you just want to keep reading. We will send you a copy as soon as possible, but it is quite expensive to send 1000 books to women all over the world. The shipping costs would amount to approx. 50'000 Swiss Francs, which we don't have at the moment. Furthermore, we would like to get to books to everybody at the same time to not favour somebody or some region. Wherever possible we are trying to give the books to people travelling to your region. We are looking for sponsors at the moment and if you have any idea in this regard, please let me know! There are two additional possibilities: I will be in Klagenfurt/Austria on 1 December and I will bring the books for the Austrian women with me. On 5 December I will be Berlin/Germany for a book presentation and it would be great to know in advance who will be able to come to Berlin so I can bring enough books.

From 16 20 October 2005 the coordinators have been to Bern for their meeting, and we have discussed about the future of this initiative. It was decided that the initiative will be continued next year with a slightly bigger board (6 coordinators join it, 2 Swiss women resigned, and the board will be co-chaired by Ruth-Gaby Vermot, our current president and Kamla Bhasin, the coordinator from India). There will be a new name, most likely 1000 PeaceWomen Across the Globe. The internet platform will be established toward the end of this year to enable the women to network, discuss, and plan concerted efforts or actions. There will be regional conferences throughout 2006 in the different regions to which the peace women will be invited by their regional coordinator. The aim of these conferences will be to create a peace vision for each region. It is planned to collect and compile all these peace visions and to present them to the UN during their 6 year anniversary of Resolution 1325 in October 2006. At the moment, I am in contact with my colleagues from the Balkan region the Russian Federation and Central Asia to find out whether we want to organise one big event together. We are currently looking at March 2006 as a possible period for this. It would great if as many of you could participate. However as with all great ideas - this idea is dependent on our financial situation, too. I will keep you posted in any case.

The scientific research group has reached their goals, too. A first evaluation of the 1000 nomination forms has been done, and their report will be available as of December 2005. They applied for research funding for another two years, and in November it will be decided whether they get this support or not. Scientific research in the respective regions will be intensified in collaboration with coordinators and scientists among the 1000 women.

We heard a lot about what was happening in all the regions this project covers. Many peace women have networked locally and regionally, have established statements, there were movies made about them, there were readings at cultural events and lectures at universities, and they have commented upon the decision of the Nobel Committee. The secretariat will collect and compile these documents. Please do send us anything you would like to include in our archives.

The secretariat is facing some changes at the end of the year, our two assistants Regula Kueng and Barbara Mangold will leave us. Rebecca Vermot and myself will keep working at the secretariat. I look forward to the new perspectives and objectives of the new association 1000 PeaceWomen Across the Globe, and to a close collaboration with you.

With cordial greetings from Bern
Maren Haartje