Towards 60th foundation anniversary of Women’s International Democratic Federation

Founded on 1st December 1945 and attached with the post Second World War struggle of women in the world for peace, national independence and women’s rights, the Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF) will celebrate its 60th Birthday at the end of 2005.

Experiencing a crisis and then a revivification in early 90s, WIDF, with the office in Paris, France and the leadership of its Direction Committee under the presidency of Ms. Sylvie Jan – who is also President of French Solidarity Women’s Union, had overcome many difficulties and step by step strengthened itself and been able to regain its position and voice to represent women from countries struggling for peace, national independence and women’s rights. At the end of 2002, in WIDF 13th Congress held in Lebanon, Ms Macia Campot, Brazilian Women’s Union’s President, was elected as WIDF President for the new term. For this new presidency, WIDF office has been moved from Paris to Brazilia, the Capital City of Brazil. The renovation of WIDF in terms of organization, working mechanizm and agenda was marked in its followed Direction Committee Meetings in Sip (June, 2003) and Vietnam (November, 2003). The vitality of WIDF as well as the strength of struggling movements of women in developing countries, particularly those in Latin America, was particularly reconfirmed in WIDF 3rd Meeting in Brazilia from 16th to 20th Sep, 2004. In this Meeting, 65 participants from 20 WIDF affiliated members representing all regions adopted WIDF Resolution o­n its Plan of Actions for 2005 – the year of WIDF 60th commemoration.


Analysing international situation and its influence to women’s life as well as women’s organizations’ activities, WIDF decided to launch a global campaign to, in a joint effort with international networks, call for responses to the World Social Forum’s slogan “Another world is possible”, and at the same time call upon women throughout the world to fight against the neo- liberal globalization by promoting mass activities against imperialism, military occupation, economic blockage, these cause poverty increase and environment damage.


With regards to women’s employment, women’s rights, social security and WIDF’s integration in the women’s workers’ struggle,in WIDF view, the neo - libertarianism does not ensure women’s equality and women’s rights in social welfare including maternal rights. Female workers have gradually lost their rights, therefore to improve their situation, WIDF has committed to fight against policies and conditions imposed by IMF, WB and WTO, especially privatizing big companies, which causes high rate of unemployment and poverty. WIDF has also promoted its efforts for non-discriminatory labor laws to ensure equal access of women from different sectors, classes and nations to opportunities, incentives, health and social insurances.


In the global context where wars and social conflicts continuousely occurredcausing great consequences for women and children, WIDF has committed itself to many activities to push pressure o­n and requested Israel Government to respect human rights, national independence and territory integration of Palestine, as well as the United States to withdraw its troops from Iraq and stop its threat to peace in the Middle East and other countries. WIDF also calls o­n women in the world to support the struggle/movements by women from Japan, Philippines, North Korea and India for peace, women’s rights and women’s dignity. Especially the Resolution also responds to the appeal by VWU for the support to the lawsuit by Vietnam Association of the Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA) against US chemical corporations for their production of toxic chemicals used by the American army during the war in Vietnam from 1961 to 1971.


WIDF also condemns any form of violence against women in family and society; condemns the oppression of patriarchy regime, the sex-based discrimination and the social inhumane and unjust treatment towards women, especially women immigrants and refugees. WIDF views prostitution, sexual exploitation and trafficking in women and children as forms of violence, against which WIDF reconfirms its commitment to fight.


The Resolution also states out specific activities to be carried out by WIDF and its affiliated members in 2005 to celebrate its 60th Birthday. o­ne of the activities is to disseminate information o­n WIDF history, role and achievements o­n its special publications as well as the mass media means at national, regional and international levels. All the affiliated organizations are requested to start from 1st January, 2005 writing o­n the top of their official papers the phrase “60th Anniversary of WIDF” and to celebrate WIDF 60th foundation anniversary simultaneously o­n 1st December 2005.WIDF requests its member organizations to hold national, regional and international meetings to give inputs/proposals to its Platform of Action for the next decade. WIDF also maps out several specific measures to strengthen its role in the UN system to bring into full play its consultative status in ECOSOC and boost its linkage with other international women’s organizations including Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), International Council of Women, ect.…


VWU’s delegation consisting of 7 members headed by President Ha Thi Khiet attended the WIDF 13th Direction Committee Meeting and brought to the Meeting the recommendations made by WIDF Asia Pacific Meeting, which was held in August, 2004 in the Philippines. All these recommendations have been included in WIDF Resolution. At the proposal of VWU and Indian Women’s Federation, the Resolution has shown WIDF support to the peace initiative for the conflicts between Pakistan and India.

With its participation in the Direction Committee Meeting, the Vietnamese delegation has embedded in the memory of WIDF member organizations, especially those in Latin America and Africa, a new image of Vietnam in renovation, as well as reconfirmed its faithfulness towards WIDF. This participation also enables VWU to carry out the plan of actions approved by the WIDF Direction Committee Meeting.