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International Women’s Network Against Militarism in context

Annexation of Okinawa by Japan, as a Japanese prefecture.

1893 January. Queen Liliuokalani of the kingdom of Hawai'i deposed and replaced by a US-forced provisional government led by Sanford Dole

1894 July. Hawai'i became a republic and Sanford Dole named as its first president


July. Hawai'i formally annexed to US by Act of Congress

         August Hawai'ian sovereignty transferred to US


Spanish-American War.  The US took over former Spanish colonies including Puerto Rico, Cuba, Panama, and the Philippines.  Annexation of the kingdom of Hawai’i by United States.

US-Philippine War started. The US military put down concerted Filipino resistance with brutal force.

Japanese colonization of Korea.


Jane Addams and Carrie Chapman Catt formed the Women’s Peace Party in the US. Earlier, Jane Addams had worked with anti-imperialists who opposed US domination of the Philippines. World War I starts in Europe.

Women’s Congress at The Hague (Holland) called for an end to World War I.  The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom was founded at the Congress.

World War I ends.

World War II starts in Europe.


Japan attacks the US fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawai’i and the US enters World War II.

Japanese military administration took over the Philippines.


April-June. Battle of Okinawa, the last major land battle of the Pacific War.  Over 200,000 Okinawan people were killed—one third of the population.

August. US bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki forced Japan to surrender. Japanese military administrations folded in Korea and the Philippines. Korea was divided into Republic of Korea (south) and People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (north). US military administered Japan and South Korea and began to appropriate land for military bases.

September. First recorded incident of US military violence against Okinawan women.

Philippine independence from United States

Treaty of General Relations between the Republic of the Philippines and the USA allowed unrestricted use of Philippine territory for US military bases and facilities.

June.  After skirmishes across the border dividing the two parts of Korea, serious fighting started, with both sides wanting to reunite the country on their own terms.


July 27. End of the Korean War.  Both sides had suffered severe devastation. No peace treaty was signed between North and South Korea, only an armistice.

US President Lyndon Johnson ordered bombing raids on North Vietnam. US troops were deployed from bases in Okinawa, South Korea, and the Philippines during the Vietnam War.


Okinawa reverted to Japanese administration, 25 years later than the rest of Japan. US military presence continued.

End of Vietnam War. US Congress ended the draft for military recruits.

US Amerasian Immigration Act helped qualified Amerasian children from Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, Thailand, and South Korea to immigrate to the US.  It does not apply to anyone born after 1982.  Applicants need a financial sponsor and documentation that their father is a US citizen. Amerasian children from Japan and the Philippines are excluded from the Act’s provisions.


Pro-democracy movement in the Philippines was successful in overthrowing the dictatorial government of President Ferdinand Marcos.

Durebang (My Sister’s Place) founded in South Korea as a center for women   working around US bases.


Buklod Center, Olongapo (Philippines) founded as a drop-in center for women working around Subic Bay Naval Base. 


International women’s US speaking tour, entitled “Voices of Hope and Anger,” organized by the American Friends Service Committee and including women from South Korea, Okinawa, and the Philippines. Fall of the Berlin Wall and official end of the Cold War in Europe.

An estimated 55,000 women worked in prostitution, serving US troops, in Angeles City and Olongapo, Philippines.


January.  Beginning of the Persian Gulf War. US troops deployed from Okinawa and Japan.

December. Philippine Senate refused to renew the base agreement with the United States and the US military was forced to withdraw.


January.  US General Accounting Office report acknowledged “environmental contamination of ‘Superfund proportions’ at both Clark and Subic bases.”

Women’s Education, Development and Productivity Organization (WEDPRO) founded to research and propose a redevelopment plan for former base lands that would benefit local communities, especially women and children.

October. Brutal murder of a bar woman, Yoon Geum Yi, by Kenneth Markle in South Korea.


National Campaign for the Eradication of Crime by US Troops in Korea founded.


50th anniversary of the end of World War II.

September. 30,000 women from all continents participated in the Fourth UN Conference on Women, Beijing, China—including a 71-member delegation from Okinawa.  Amongst many other things, violence against women was declared a human rights violation.

September. Rape of 12-year-old Okinawan girl by 3 US servicemen.

October. Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence founded.

November. Okinawa Prefecture government submitted a petition to the  Japanese government for the revision of the Status of Forces Agreement between  Japan and the United States “to ensure both the stability of Okinawan lives and regional development.”


February. Okinawa America Women’s Peace Caravan. A delegation of Okinawan women spoke in major US cities including Honolulu, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington, DC.

September. 89% of Okinawans voting in a (non-binding) referendum supported base reduction.

November. International Forum on US Military Toxics and Bases Clean-up, Manila, Philippines, sponsored by People’s Task Force for Bases Clean-up.


February. Depleted uranium bullets used in firing drills on the island of Torii Shima (Okinawa).

May 1-4. Okinawa Women Act hosted a women’s gathering, “Women, Militarism, and Human Rights” with participants from Japan, South Korea, Philippines, and the United States. A group for young Okinawans formed named DOVE—Deactivate Our Violent Establishment.

December. Okinawa citizens voted against a proposed new Marines heliport in a local referendum.


March. Okinawa Prefecture report showed that babies born to women living near Kadena Air Base had significantly lower birth-weights than those born in any other part of Japan—attributed to severe noise generated by the base.

October 8-13. Second Network meeting in Washington, DC, “Redefining Security for Women and Children,” sponsored by East Asia-US Women’s Network Against Militarism.


May. Hague Appeal for Peace, Netherlands.  Network members from Okinawa, South Korea, Philippines and the United States participated.

May. Philippine Senate ratified the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) that allows US military access to 22 ports and airports for refueling, supplies, repairs, and ‘rest and recreation’.

September. “International Grassroots Summit on Military Base Cleanup,”  Washington, DC, sponsored by Institute for Policy Studies.


June 22-25. “Redefining Security: International Women’s Summit,” Okinawa, sponsored by Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence and East Asia- US Women’s Network. Women from Puerto Rico participated for the first time. 

July.  G-8 Summit in Okinawa. SAFE Korea, a new women’s peace coalition formed in South Korea,


October. US Network group visit to Vieques, Puerto Rico, to meet
 members of Alianza de Mujeres Viequenses, and the Peace and Justice Camp.
December. “Redefining Security: Building a Culture of Peace. A conversation with women from Korea, Okinawa, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and the United States,” Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley.


June. US military personnel driving an armored vehicle, kill 2 Korean girls.

August 16-20. Fourth international meeting, Seoul, South Korea. “Struggling for peace in my life, in all of our lives: Militarism and human rights for women.” Sponsored by SAFE Korea and East Asia-US-Puerto Rico Women’s Network.


May. US Navy stops bombing training on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico.

August 26-September 3. Network planning and organizational meeting, Philippines.


January. Network participants were panelists at World Social Forum, Mumbai, India.

October 16, “The Owl and I” film screening and presentation by Yu Young Nim, Director, My Sister’s Place (South Korea). UC Berkeley.

November 21-28.  Fifth international Network meeting, Philippines: “Human Security and Development.” Sponsored by the Philippines Working Group and East Asia-US-Puerto Rico Women’s Network. Women from Hawai’i participated for the first time.


February 3. “Nonviolent Resistance to the U.S. Military: Okinawan  Women and Elders Take Action.” Speaker:  Suzuyo Takazato, Co-chair, Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence. Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley.

March. Alma Bulawan, President, Buklod Center, Olongapo (Philippines) in the Bay Area and Los Angeles; also Elisa Ebrole (Vice President, Buklod Center) and Minda Pascual (Bukal) in the Bay Area.

May 31. Participation in “Fashioning Resistance to Militarism,” an anti- military fashion show organized by Women of Color Resource Center, Oakland.

June 29. Three Network participants are named in the 1000 Women for Nobel Peace Prize, 2005 list.

September 10-13. Some Network participants attended an international gathering, "Women's Global Strategies for the 21st Century," sponsored by Women of Color Resource Center and Global Fund for Women, Sarah Lawrence College, New York. 

December 8, Women for Genuine Security and FACES protest against rape in  the Philippines by US Marines, San Francisco, CA.



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