Category Archives: Women


For your information and interest:  The Kapululangu Women’s Law and Culture Centre is seeking volunteers.  Please read the appeal below from their director Zohl de Ishtar, and please spread this message far and wide to your friends and networks.

Would you be interested in coming out to Western Australia’s Great Sandy Desert to join us at the Kapululangu Aboriginal Women’s Law and Culture Centre as a Volunteer to help care for the Women Elders here?

The Volunteer position involves caring, cooking, cleaning, driving and some providing logistical support for culture work (eg. trips to Country) for six (6) amazing Women Elders, and sometimes their families and community.

We are looking for resourceful, self-motivated and initiative-taking women who are prepared to do what it takes to ensure that our remarkable Women Elders are properly cared for. You don’t necessarily have to be skilled in any way other than in life skills. The minimum length of a Volunteer stay is 1 month – but there are options to extend for the right person. The hours are long and hard, but (based on the experience of every other volunteer) it’s fun and you’ll fall in love with the Elders and not want to ever leave them.

In exchange you get to live with and learn from some of Australia’s most magnificent Aboriginal Women Elders. These Elders grew up in the desert before the Kartiya (Strangers) arrived in their ancestral homelands – an event that changed their world forever – all within their lifetimes. These Nintipuka Tutju (Clever Women Teachers) and Tjarrtjurra (Women Healers) are Custodians of the Old Ways (Kururralkatjanu). That makes them very special people and simply being with them is an opportunity of a lifetime.

If you are the right person we’ll get you a permit to join us in this remotest of Australian Aboriginal communities where you will spend top quality time with our Elders.

We at Kapululangu are looking for some wonderful women who feel inspired to contribute in one or more of the following possibilities…

1. Right now we need one or two women who are able to arrive here in the next week. If you are a daring woman who is prepared to jump at this golden opportunity and get on the next plane to Balgo from Broome next Friday please email us immediately. We promise you that you won’t regret your bold decision. We ask you stay with us for seven weeks (October 25 to December 13) – or a month. We’re flexible and happy to consider any and all offers.

2. Or come and spend the Christmas-New Year period with us. We’re looking for four (4) courageously committed women who would like to Volunteer with us over the Holiday period (13 December to 10 January). The highlight of this time is that you get to have Christmas with the Elders and our community’s kids. You’ll get to give something of yourself to the women and children who will really appreciate you at a time when most of the Kartiya (Whitefellas) have left our community. AND as Christmas is the height of the communal Law Time period for our community and region, you will also have an opportunity to participate in and provide logistical support to both our women and our men during some of our most important cultural ceremonies.

3. Please don’t despair if you can’t move that fast. We’re now starting to fill up our volunteer calendar for the full 12 month period of 2014. So pick a month, any month, when you’d like to join us here and then write to us and tell us the dates when you’d like to spend with us as a Volunteer. We’re always open for the right woman who can make a difference to the lives of our Elders and our kids. And you’ll get to make life-time friends with the other volunteers too. We hope to hear from all of the many women who have said over the past year that they’d like to visit the Elders in 2014.

You will need to cover your own expenses to get here (that’s the cost of flying from wherever you are to Broome, and then $350 on the Friday plane to Balgo). Plus you will need to contribute $100 a week for food and accommodation (as we all do).

We know that that sounds like a lot especially if you haven’t got access to ready cash, but think of all the workshops you’d have to do to learn what you’re going to learn here with our Elders would rate in the tens-of-thousands of dollars. With Kapululangu you get to all the teaching and guidance at no charge at all. You get it for free!

If any of these positions sound right for you, or if you are at all interested, then please write to us at

Please tell us the dates you’d like to come and how long you’d like to stay. Tell us something about yourself. Are you Aboriginal, or Indigenous? Have you lived in a remote Aboriginal community before, or are you simply keen to learn more about how to make a difference? What special skills do you bring with you – and we all are special in some way? And please don’t hold back on asking any questions.

You might like to take a look at our website at It will give you a glimpse of the kind of work that we have done, and still do – albeit to a lesser degree at the moment. It will show you how and why the Women Elders created Kapululangu as their local Indigenous response to their issues and concerns in their community.

The Kapululangu Women Elders are waiting to welcome the right women into their lives. So if you think this describes you and if you are up for a wonderful experience then please contact us at NOW.

If you find yourself hesitating, or wondering whether you are the right person for the job, then why not send us an email anyway and ask us whether we think you should come? We know this position isn’t suited to everyone, and we are very careful about who we invite to join us.

But think about it….

Kapululangu is Australia’s only Aboriginal Women’s Law and Culture Centre, one of Australia’s most remote Women’s Centre (and Aboriginal too boot), and a core provider of Women’s Law (ceremonial) and Culture (custom) activities and events for both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous women from across the Kimberley, throughout Australia, and around the world.

So this really is a rare and unique opportunity.

How often have you been asked in your lifetime whether you’d like to live with and give service to a group of Aboriginal Women Elders who grew up in the bush and were trained in the Old Ways long before White society impacted their social systems and lifeworlds?

How often have you been invited to learn how to be the best Kartiya (Stranger/Whitefella) that you can be while being assisted and mentored by someone who has already lived with these same Women Elders and their families and community for 14 years; a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee who has already made all the mistakes so that you don’t have to?

Is this really an opportunity you want to step over?

Email us at NOW


Please assist us by Sharing this Call for Volunteers with your friends and networks. Yati Minyirri. Many thanks.


WILPF Update from the Human Rights Council

The latest communique from WIFPF on the proceedings of the 21st  Session of the UN Human Rights Council can be found here WILPF Update from the Human Rights Council.

It includes a  statement by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

He laid out five challenges that warrant our attention, one of which was the continuation of the fight for women’s rights. He stated, “Unleashing the power of women will usher in a new era of respect for human rights”.

It also includes a statement from WILPF which followed as follows the  Special Rapporteur’s report on the subject of children in armed conflict.


We were concerned that the link between small arms/light weapons proliferation and illicit trade was not made with children and armed conflict. 

 In our statement, we called on all states to acknowledge the impact of explosive weapons on children, monitor and report on where explosive weapons cause a pattern of killing and maiming of children, and end the use of explosive weapons with wide effects in populated areas. 

This week, WILPF cosponsored a side-event for the Human Rights Council on violence against women in India. At this event, four Indian women got the chance to tell their powerful stories to an international audience, hoping to make a difference in their societies.

 While coming together to tell their stories is a great and empowering experience for them on its own, actually changing the circumstances in which their horrific stories took place will need more.

 These women travelled from their villages in Manipur, one of the most isolated, remote regions in India, where martial law has ruled for the last fifty years and the voices of the local population are swept under the rug. After an almost 24-hour flight and a life long journey, they came to the United Nations Human Rights Council session in Geneva, where all States are supposed to be held accountable for their human rights violations.

 As they were telling their horrific stories of being raped and beaten by soldiers and police however, they seemed most upset by the devastation of their (family’s) honor.

 While this is understandable from their perspective, this sentiment seems to echo exactly the values of a militarized, patriarchal society, where women are made to feel ashamed for something they have absolutely no control over.

 Until these core issues like militarization, patriarchal hegemonies, and so-called traditional values are dealt with, the stories coming from the Manipur region will likely remain the same. It is for these stories, and the stories of all women across the world, that WILPF always has, is, and will continue to focus on these issues in Geneva, New York, and across the world.

Rio 20: IPPF Condemns Disregard for Reproductive Rights | Think Africa Press

There are many reasons to be disappointed about the progress  made – or lack of  – it at Rio+20.  This article Rio 20: IPPF Condemns Disregard for Reproductive Rights | Think Africa Pressadds the sidelining of women’s reproductive rights to that list.

Many reproductive rights groups believe that the capacity for women to make free and open choices about whether, when, and how often to have children is absolutely central to any consideration of sustainability.  But once again reproductive rights had been sidelined the outcome document of Rio+20

Observers say that while the document supports a generalised intent to address the needs of women including information on, and access to, sexual and reproductive health services, there is no reference to reproductive rights and no recognition of the link between reproductive rights and sustainable development.

“No useful debate on sustainable development can afford to ignore reproductive rights. A woman’s right to protect herself from unwanted pregnancy – should she so wish – has immense health, social, educational and economic impacts, personally and globally. And yet, today, over 215 million women worldwide do not have that right. They do not have access to contraception. They are denied rights and choice.”

Hatred of Women Exists in the West as Well as in the Arab World

This article INTERNATIONAL: Hatred of Women Exists in the West as Well as in the Arab World – News Library – News & Events – PeaceWomen from the SMH was picked up by WILPF international.

‘Women have very little idea of how much men hate them,” wrote Germaine Greer in The Female Eunuch. So outraged were men that wives reportedly took to concealing their copies by wrapping them in plain brown paper.

More than 40 years later, Egyptian-American commentator Mona Eltahawy has caused a storm with her Foreign Policy essay, Why Do They Hate Us? ”They” being Arab men and ”Us” Arab women. Forget America’s so-called inequality, Eltahawy implores, ”The real war on women is in the Middle East.”

Women, she writes, have not benefited from the Arab Spring because they remain oppressed by the men in their lives who consider all is ”well with the world as long as women are covered up, anchored to the home”. ”Until the rage shifts from the oppressors in our presidential palaces to the oppressors in our homes, our revolution has not even begun.”

Eltahawy has also sparked outrage – and a significant proportion of the outrage comes from Arab women.  This article is about that debate.

No one hears the poor – Who will resource the peace process in Afghanistan?

This article, No one hears the poor – On Line Opinion – 31/5/2012. by Kathy Kelly lets us hear from poor afghan women. 

Their lives are an unmitigated struggle for survival in conditions that are hard to imagine – for even one week- let alone a lifetime.

The following extracts provide some perspective on their plight and the spending priorities of the US and its allies:

When asked what they think of the notion that the US is protecting Afghan women, Nekbat says …they are bringing no help. These women have seen no improvement in Afghanistan, and neither, they claim, has anyone they know. They don’t mix in the circles of those most likely to meet and speak with Western journalists, and poverty and the uncertainties of war seem to dictate their lives more surely than any government. The women tell me all foreign money is lost to corruption – no-one in their communities sees it going to the people. Continue reading

Nuclear Weapons and the arms trade: Effects on the human rights reputation and impact of the UK says WILPF UK

This summary note focusses on three critical issues that WILPF UK believes need to be taken up during the UK peer review session, with a view to assisting the UK government to make improvements that will contribute more effectively to ensuring and upholding human rights: the development and deployment of nuclear weapons, including costs and humanitarian consequences; the arms trade and protection of civilians; and the importance of enhancing human rights to fully achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

Continue reading

Campaigning for women’s rights national video conference – Amnesty International Australia

Campaigning for women’s rights national video conference – Amnesty International Australia.


Thursday May 24 2012 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM


Adelaide Action Centre, 14 Grote Street, Adelaide, SA, 5000

Around the world women continue to face discrimination, harassment and human rights abuses because of their gender. Join us for a national video link-up and learn about international, national and local campaigns to defend and promote women’s rights.

Our international guest speaker will be Madhu Malhotra, director of the Gender Identity and Sexuality Program at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International. Madhu Malhotra will be joined by speakers on national and local campaigns in Australia.

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