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Beware the Miss-Leaders ! The statement from the Women's Conference Against APEC Wellington, 19-20 June 1999
This weekend women have been talking about what APEC means for womens lives - from young Maori women in Havelock North to migrant women and Burmese refugees in Thailand to clothing workers in Levin.
These women's stories will not be heard at the APEC women leaders' meeting.
Free markets benefit an elite, within Aotearoa New Zealand and throughout the region. For masses of women, however, free markets mean deepening poverty, increased inequality and a struggle to survive.
Globalisation poses a paradox. The pain it creates for women throughout the region is remarkably similar. Yet women experience this at a local level, often feeling isolated, individualised and powerless to control our lives.
This conference has shown the commitment of women in Aotearoa New Zealand to come together
* to give voice to their [our] pain,
* to share their [our] stories,
* to commit ourselves to the decolonisation of this land,
* to stand in solidarity with our sisters throughout the region and the world, and
* to join together in struggle as each of us confront the power of globalisation, which APEC seeks to promote.
Women called for a life-centred approach to decisions
* that defends the place of wahine Maori as first women of Aotearoa,
* that values the sharing of knowledge as a source of power,
* that celebrates our successes, and * finds creative ways to challenge those who deny women the right to control our own lives.
Wellington, 20 June 1999