To achieve a woman’s world, the kind that this conference invokes with its name, feminists must build a global, independent women’s movement in which the central objective is to call upon women around the world to participate in the liberation of all women.
For 7 months we met, discovered, discussed and investigated links between the international trafficking of women and the Vancouver demand for prostitution. We settled on bed sheets as an artistic unit, a canvas and a bed as our uniting display. The artists worked with us to facilitate the transfer of thoughts and ideas onto the 50 sheets.
Starting from our position that prostitution is neither necessary nor desired by women and represents at best the “constrained choices” of women, we explore what are the links between the local demand of men for prostitution and the global traffic in girls and women.
We were there for each other, for women who called, of all ages and situations.
We met women in their apartments and rooms and homes. We talked and supported, and cried and laughed. We helped to find women safe places to stay. We were advocates and went with women to emergency wards, to police, to courts. We spoke, wrote letters, pressed for legal changes. We spoke at schools, on radio on women’s T V shows. We linked up with other rape crisis centers – and became a network. We supported the work towards a transition house for women. And always women supporting women.
I have considered myself a feminist for more than half my life, since I was thirteen. It’s only my definition of feminism – and my related perceptions of capitalism, men, and violence – that has continued to change.