A Sister Organization Lays out a Plan

Tamarack Verrall
Posted June 3, 2020 from Canada

A few days ago I had the chance to listen online to a meeting by WECAN, Women's Earth and Climate Network. This is another large global network of women determined to bring the voices of women forward, to lead in the creation of a world in which we are all safe and in which our Earth is safe and sustaining us, as well. I was so moved by the brilliance and passion of the women who spoke. Their words outlined a direction that we can take as women, to create the peace and safety that we know is possible, and that we so desperately need. As I listened, I wrote as fast as my fingers could write, and I filled 10 pages that describe the kind of world that we World Pulse sisters have been describing to each other from deep in our hearts, through our stories here. WECAN is truly a Sister Organization.

The Webinar was called "Structuring and Economy for People and Planet in the Time of Climate Crisis and COVID-19". These are experienced, wise and determined sisters, speaking out what so many of us hold in our hearts, as the direction we want to take. What was so empowering was to hear these words put forward not as ideas, but as the collective plan, a beautiful path carefully prepared by women determined to see this happen. The entire discussion may soon be available on their site, but in case you don't have time, or somehow cannot listen to the entire meeting, I want to bring you the highlights just so that you know that women are stepping forward together to create the world that we dream of. And that already these women are standing together with the intention that this, and no less than this, is what needs to be in place now.

No surprise to discover that Neema Namadamu, our sister from the DRC, and Jensine Larsen our beloved CEO have been involved in this Organization for some time.

The speakers outlined this plan:

We acknowledge what is happening,

We recognize what everyone needs,

That there is no more business as usual,

That we invest in an economy based on the environment and the needs of people.

That we undo the dominant culture’s disrespect for nature and each other, in particular Indigenous people, people of colour, women, and the land.

That “we are all in this, but that we are not in this evenly”.

The news that a Feminist Renew Deal is in place in Hawaii, a blueprint to follow.

That the road to economic equality should not, must not be on women's bodies,

That we must stop extracting fossil fuels from the Earth. 

That we must stop bailing out these companies.

That the Earth herself has rights. The right not to be used to earn money. 

That the Earth is our “Commons”, what we share in common with each other. 

That it is a gift to be able to live on her and that she is not for sale. 

That people are not to lose their land, or have land ruined. 

That we develop a new relationship with the Earth. That natural laws are not negotiable.

That we invest in community, and create the way to a new relationship with the Earth. 

That migrants are not disposable people, that the farmers are essential and that we develop an economic system that gives life. That we do not allow our governments to basically save themselves at our expense. That we stop producing anything artificial. 

That we recognize the generosity of women, how much we continually give without expectation of return. 

That we recognize what Indigenous people have said all along, that the gift is to be able to have reciprocity with the environment, and that we must respect it and be in gratitude, paying attention to create balance. That we look to Indigenous cultures that traditionally give gifts to the land and to each other.

They questioned who exactly has access to what they need, and who is being considered expendable. The people in India walking hundreds of miles to get home, seen only as labour in the eyes of the wealthy. The elderly described as living useless lives, and the shift through colonialism to exploitation and domination. The recognition that this is not mothers, people of colour, people of various genders, people who are not rich. And that the people who are rich are getting richer.

They described the exploitation of Africa by global excavation and that much of the work being done still involves slavery. 

They call for a look at who has suffered and ask us all to see the way to a new reality. To identify what work is keeping us alive. The unpaid work by women, and the others at low pay, farmers, healthcare and other essential workers. That we shift from patriarchal policies and put love at the centre. That from here on, no one is left under the bus. No one is to be sacrificed. That we prepare for large scale change. A feminist road to life that is restorative. With gender nonconforming people in the foreground. That we have body autonomy. That we get rid of gendered division such as women's work, and the expectation that home labour is free. 

That we examine how we are treating people and how we are treating the Earth. And that we make reparations. That everyone is recognized, valued and happy. That there are no more sacrifices, no one, nor the Earth. 

And that as we move forward we agree that people not get richer at the expense of people who are poor. That governments stop creating debt by handing money to rich corporations, and we use Credit Unions, who deserve our business as they invest the money back into the community. 

There was a call for the end of colonialism, with a return to sovereignty, as we are out of alignment with Earth, and a need to return to traditional ways. To develop food security, to be in ceremony with our sacred Earth and build a new era with solar power, wind power,  water power, natural ways. To breathe clean air, to live on a clean lands and to transition to a way that supports life.

That there are countries such as Bhutan that build on a Gross National Happiness Index GNHI instead of Gross National Product GNP. That some countries are built on our well-being, not for the benefit of a very few. 

The questions were put. Who should the economy serve and what are our interconnections? Is leadership multiracial, multigenerational, grassroots-led and feminist? Is leadership in place to ensure that land is respected, that women are in ongoing positions of this leadership and that women will be free,? 

This is what was being envisioned so recently by dedicated sisters, in a sister organization. The meeting was electric, profound, all encompassing, loving, and female. We are many, and we are not alone. I hope that reading this you will be encouraged. This is a time that calls for transformational change. It is only when we are all free, and have what we need, the food, the shelter, the water, the clean air, the complete respect for women and girls, the expectation and freedom to be gentle as men and boys, the freedom and ability to choose to live the lives we want, and living on this Earth, cared for in a sacred way, that we can sit back and know, and celebrate together that our work in this transformation is complete.

 

This story was submitted in response to Dispatches from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Comments 29

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Bakhita.Atit
Jun 04
Jun 04

Hello Tamarack,
Thank you so much for sharing these highlights. it is indeed so painful and devastating how human does not at all levels care or respect its host. Our fight with mother earth is never going to be favorable and if we continue to disrespect it at the rate at which we going doing today its going to back fire on us one day.

Tamarack Verrall
Jun 04
Jun 04

I so agree. This virus has forced many but not all of the destructive companies to stop at least for the moment. Many environmental groups are using this time to strengthen connections. We were at a turning point that got ignored some years ago. Now mother earth is calling out the emergency in an even louder voice. We must protect her.

Jensine Larsen
Jun 04
Jun 04

Tam, my heart is so happy that you attended and relayed these learnings to the community. WECAN is indeed one of my most favorite networks on the planet. These voices and plans are the leadership humanity and the planet needs!

Tamarack Verrall
Jun 04
Jun 04

Dear Jensine,
I have been so encouraged watching and listening to these women with their visionary plans, encouraging news and radical determination. My mind goes always to wanting them to be able to meet World pulse sisters, knowing too that the work already being done together continues to increase. I hold great hope for the possibilities forming. And I am forever grateful for what World Pulse has brought me.

Desire KASOLE
Jun 04
Jun 04

bonjour et bonne soir, sinon, il est 17H10 à Bukavu, Sud Kivu en R.D.CONGO. Suis un homme-genré du nom de Monsieur Désiré KASOLE KULIMUSHI, un Ingénieur Agronome, marié et Père de 12 enfants dont un garçon et 11 filles. j'était Coordinateur de l'asbl ALPPROSO SUD KIVU (Actions de lutte contre la pauvreté et pour la promotion social) pendant plus de 5 ans et aujourd'hui j'ai laissé une cette coordination à Madame Célestine BUHENDWA NTAKWINJA; suis de mettre à jour l'adresse de cette femme. Juste te demandé de bien vouloir nous aider à faire bien cette stucture. Ce possible?
Merci pour tout
Désiré K K

Desire KASOLE
Jun 04
Jun 04

AIDER NOUS A FAIRE COMMENT NOUS COMPORTER A LA PANDÉMIE DE COVID-19
SINON, UNE SITUATION CATASTROPHIQUE NOUS GUETTE

Desire KASOLE
Jun 04
Jun 04

Célestine BUHENDWA NTAKWINJA va chercher de l'eau pour commencer sa journée à laver la vaisselle des nuits précédentes avant de pouvoir commencer à laver le linge de la famille. Elle a sa journée prévue comme cela a été la routine depuis que le gouvernement a fermé toutes les institutions d'apprentissage du pays en raison de la covid-19. Sa nouvelle routine signifie que tout ce qui a trait à l'école et aux livres ne fait pas partie de ses priorités car il y a des besoins plus urgents à faire, y compris prendre soin de son jeune frère.
Il s'agit simplement d'une représentation de nombreux élèves des zones rurales qui n'ont pas les moyens d'accéder à un système éducatif de qualité et sont davantage touchés par la fermeture des écoles en raison de COVID-19, comme chez-nous en R.D.Congo/SUD KIVU à Bukavu.
Il y a d'incertitude dans le monde entier avec tout le monde affecté d'une manière ou d'une autre. Cela ne fait que quelques semaines, mais cela ressemble déjà à une durée de vie. Les communautés vulnérables éloignées seront confrontées à plus de problèmes de bien-être social et économique que les autres. Les communautés pastorales sont confrontées quotidiennement à différentes incertitudes, mais cela peut être plus difficile. La sensibilisation est encore limitée. La plupart d'entre eux croient que Corona ne les atteindra jamais, qu'aucun cas ne sera signalé d'ici, que nous sommes tous en sécurité et que les affaires se déroulent comme d'habitude. Une croyance forte et c'est notre plus grand espoir. Mais le monde est prêt, le système est préparé et le gouvernement a mis en place des mesures, y compris la fermeture des écoles.
Les communautés où l'éducation n'est pas une priorité, en particulier l'éducation des filles, quelqu'un se demandera quel en est l'impact sur l'apprentissage. Déjà des millions de filles ne sont pas scolarisées, pour la plupart des mères adolescentes, certaines divorcées et même veuves. Beaucoup doit être fait dans ces communautés en termes de qualité et d'égalité des chances en matière d'éducation, mais covid-19 aggrave une situation déjà mauvaise. Après cette période de virus corona, les statistiques montreront sûrement une augmentation du nombre d'abandons scolaires chez les adolescentes en raison du mariage précoce / forcé.
Les écoles ont été un refuge sûr pour les filles vulnérables, certaines étaient dans des internats où le gouvernement protégeait partout pour les soutenir. Mais maintenant qu'ils sont confinés chez eux, que va-t-il se passer? Votre supposition est aussi bonne que la mienne. La plupart des filles n'ont pas de nourriture, des ressources de base comme des serviettes hygiéniques et aucune ressource / aucun confort pour étudier depuis la maison.
La période d’aujourd’hui sera malheureusement aussi l'occasion de les exposer à des pratiques culturelles néfastes comme les mutilations génitales féminines et les mariages précoces / forcés. Dans ma communauté, chaque mois ont a des mariages traditionnels. En raison des restrictions imposées par le gouvernement aux rassemblements sociaux, peu de membres de la famille dans le même village isolé se réuniront et vendront leur fille sans que personne ne le reconnaisse et donc beaucoup seront forcés de se marier tôt / de force.
Je suis éducatrice à l’Institut GUIDO , les jeunes filles dans le territoire Kabare

Tamarack Verrall
Jun 05
Jun 05

Cher Désir, cher frère,
Vous avez décrit ce que nous commençons à peine à vivre, la perte du travail important et vital de garder les filles à l'école. Tout ce que vous décrivez est si important pour nous de savoir collectivement et de trouver des solutions. Ce que je suggère, c'est que vous publiez cette histoire vous-même afin qu'elle devienne plus visible pour de nombreux membres. Nous devons trouver des moyens de nous soutenir mutuellement pendant cette crise, et j'apprécie que vous le sachiez, étant dédié en tant qu'enseignant à l'éducation des filles et à leur droit à la liberté dans leur vie.

Regina Afanwi Young
Jun 04
Jun 04

Hello my dear Tamarack it was great that you attended and thanks for the summary. We still have to do a lot of advocacy in our community on managing our mother Earth sustainably. This has given me plenty of ideas especially as I intend to be part of that campaign. Thanks so much

Tamarack Verrall
Jun 05
Jun 05

Hi dear Regina,
I am so glad that this can reinforce your ideas. I am so encouraged by the depth of this call for collective action and knew it would resonate and support World Pulse sisters like you.

Hello, Tam,

How are you, dear? How did you learn about WECAN? I’m a subscriber to their newsletter.

Thank you so much for sharing this organization and for highlighting the vision. I’m so impressed how fast you’ve documented these beautiful statements.

Women are healers. We heal with the environment as one. What a better future ahead: “ That from here on, no one is left under the bus. No one is to be sacrificed. That we prepare for large scale change. A feminist road to life that is restorative.With gender nonconforming people in the foreground. That we have body autonomy. That we get rid of gendered division such as women's work, and the expectation that home labour is free.

That we examine how we are treating people and how we are treating the Earth. And that we make reparations. That everyone is recognized, valued and happy. That there are no more sacrifices, no one, nor the Earth.”

Thank you so much!

Tamarack Verrall
Jun 05
Jun 05

Dear Karen,
So glad to know you subscribe to this amazing organization too! It was actually an intensive time over 2 days to scale down from the entire amazing presentation, but I felt it so important for my sisters here to know that such powerful work is being done, and powerful, determined plan for direction from here, together.

Wow, two days! We appreciate you so much for sharing a glimpse of what took place. You are amazing, Tam!

Manasa Ram Raj
Jun 04
Jun 04

Dearest Tam, this is so wonderful. Thank you for the highlights and the notes!

Tamarack Verrall
Jun 05
Jun 05

Thanks Manasa, I knew that it would be good news to World Pulse sisters like you!

Jill Langhus
Jun 05
Jun 05

Wow, Tam! It sounds like you found another kindred clan, there:-) Glad you enjoyed it so much.

I hope you're having a fab week! XX

Tamarack Verrall
Jun 05
Jun 05

Hi dear Jill,
Yes, such a celebration to read what WECAN has been putting together. I love to bring good news to my home base, our beloved World Pulse.

Jill Langhus
Jun 05
Jun 05

Hello there:-)

Yes! You do it well:-) XX

Audrey Bake
Jun 07
Jun 07

Thanks so much Tam for the wonderful notes and the words of inspiration. I am so full with those words. Thanks

Tamarack Verrall
Jun 07
Jun 07

Hi Audrey,
I'm so glad it filled you too. We are all the stronger knowing others working in the same direction.

Audrey Bake
Jun 08
Jun 08

Wow thanks so much Tam.

Ruba AlZubi
Jun 07
Jun 07

Great insights!

Tamarack Verrall
Jun 07
Jun 07

Hi Ruba,
Thanks. I am so glad for these strong leaders working in the same direction as we are here.

Chi8629
Jun 07
Jun 07

Hello Beautiful Tam,
Thank you for sharing.
Trust you are safe?
I love you .

Tamarack Verrall
Jun 14
Jun 14

Hello my beautiful young sister, thanks for your message. Yes I am safe but we are all being very careful, my city has the highest numbers of covid in our country. Love to you!

Akshaya9
Jun 18
Jun 18

Hi Tamarack,
Hope you doing fine. Thank you for sharing this to us. Thank you for the inspirational words and giving highlights about our mother earth.

Take care

Tamarack Verrall
Jun 14
Jun 14

Dear Akshaya,
I am always happy to find other women for who change means taking care of our beautiful earth and each other. Take good care, sister.

Sumaira Rajput
Jun 09
Jun 09

bravo thanks for sharing , please read my first story too
https://www.worldpulse.com/community/users/sumaira-rajput/posts/95562

Tamarack Verrall
Jun 14
Jun 14

Thanks Sumaira,
Yes, I did just recently read your first story and am so happy to meet you and know you are here with us all. Our arms are linked now in this wonderful sisterhood. Your story tells me so much about your heart and your courage to make a difference. I am so glad that the young woman you helped is now in your heart.
Love in sisterhood,
Tam