Public Hearing on Crimes against Women
in Recent Wars and Conflicts

Open to the public!

Dec 11, 2000
Kudan Hall


The Public Hearing of Crimes Against Women in Recent Wars and Conflicts immediately following the three days of the Tokyo Tribunal proceedings and one day before the Tribunal's judgment is an occasion to demonstrate that the crimes against the former "comfort women" during WWII were not isolated incidents specific to that war. Battles are increasingly fought over women's bodies and women continue to be used as war weapons as well as war booty. The public hearing is an occasion to show how the lack of accountability for crimes already committed results in the unabated continuation of such crimes.

At the Public Hearing, women will present testimonies of the crimes committed against them in war and conflict situations in places such as Chiapas, Colombia, Guatemala, Algeria, Sierra Leone, UN Peacekeeping in Somalia, Kosovo, the United States, Palestine, Afghanistan, Burma, Burundi, Vietnam, East Timor, and Okinawa. Expert commentaries by Suzuyo Takazato, Co-Chairperson of Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence from Japan and Hameeda Hossain, Research Director of Ain O Salish Kendro from Bangladesh, will integrate and supplement the testimonies. Radhika Coomaraswamy, the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women will present her mandates in closing the hearing.

In presenting how the violations have continued and escalated to today, the public hearing aims to identify some of the themes common to many conflicts that have been realized after a series of consultative meetings that was held among women's human rights groups, peace networks and legal advocates. The themes include:

  • Conflicts/violations resulting from extremism. Many countries are in situations of war, conflict and unrest as a result of rise of the power and stranglehold of states, groups and organizations that profess extreme ideologies based on nationalism, ethnicity, religion, race, and social marginalization, which take violent forms and terrorize communities.
  • Conflicts/violations resulting from militarism: Aggression, invasion, state repression, military or other kinds of occupation and foreign policy of powerful countries are the source of conflicts in many countries around the world today. In the process, fundamental rights of peoples, particularly women, are violated.
  • Resource-based conflicts/violations: Access and dispute over resources have been the root cause of wars and conflicts. Disputes over land, natural resources, borders, territories, water, natural resources have intensified in many countries and their communities.
  • Violations during post-conflict and the lasting impacts in the event of non-resolution of conflicts on peace and reconstruction: Women are often ignored or marginalized during the peace process and in the subsequent efforts of reconstruction and rehabilitation. Many forms of violence against women take place as accountability often is not ensured during this phase.

The hearing will not present only the painful experiences of women who have been victimized by war but will also provide a forum to talk about the initiatives in each of these places to rise and fight back to demand justice. The public hearing will highlight the continuing and emerging work of women around the world for genuine justice, peace and end to impunity.

The public hearing is coordinated by the Women's Caucus for Gender Justice based in New York. For more information, see or contact the Women' s Caucus at below:

New York Office: Women's Caucus for Gender Justice,

PO Box 3541 Grand Central Post Office, New York, NY 10163,USA
Fax. 1-212-949-7996
Temporary Tokyo Office:
Tel/Fax. 81-3-5348-6330
Mobile 090-6026-9055