Documents from the Women's Liberation Movement
An On-line Archival Collection

Special Collections Library, Duke University

United Women's Contingent: March on Washington Against the War, April 24. (flyer)


March On Washington Against the War


On April 24, peaceful, massive demonstrations for immediate withdrawal will take place in Washington, DC and San Francisco. Women — from campuses, Black, Puerto Rican, Chicano and Asian-American groups, trade unions, religious groups, the women's liberation movement—will join together and march as a united women's contingent. Last August 26th, the 50th anniversary of women's suffrage, tens of thousands of women poured into the streets to demonstrate for our right to control our lives. On April 24th, we will take the strength of women, which we showed to the world last August, and link up with all other people who say this war must end now.

The idea of women participating as a united force in the April 24th demonstration was first discussed at a women's workshop at the NPAC Emergency Antiwar Conference in December where over 150 women met, and decided to support April 24th and to begin organizing as women.

On Feb. 19-21, at the Student Mobilization Committee National Student Antiwar Conference, over 250 women attended the "Women and the War" workshop, and endorsed the idea of independent women's contingents at the April 24 demonstrations.

There are many reasons why it is essential that we relate to the April 24 demonstrations as women. First, women have played a leading role in the antiwar movement since the first teach-ins and demonstrations. Yet the press and media imply that the antiwar movement is led entirely by men. This is a misconception that must be corrected. We have participated in and been key organizers of every antiwar march, just as we have been perhaps the most effective force in every movement for social change, in the history of the world. Most importantly, as long as this war continues, we cannot have the control over our lives which we need and are determined to have. As women, we constitute 53% of the population -- we can be a powerful force in ending the war.

Women in this country are challenging the right of the U.S. government to wage a war of slaughter and destruction in Indochina while it denies the needs of women at home. One million children are left uncared for, while their mothers work, because there are no child care facilities. Seven thousand women die every year of illegal abortions. Millions of dollars of profit is made every year by paying women less than men in the exact same job. Thousands of women are shut out of higher education because there’s not enough money to provide scholarships and loans. We are told that there is no money for child-care centers or for abortion services; that the economy cannot meet the demands of women for equal and decent jobs; that high schools and universities cannot provide equal education for women. All this while Nixon spends billions of dollars on bombs, B-52s and "Vietnamization".

As women we earn 58% of what men earn in the labor market. The war caused inflation, coupled with rising unemployment, hits us harder than any other section of the population. We are forced to accept the worst jobs and run the greatest risk of losing them. All this in light of the fact that in one out of every 10 families, the woman is the breadwinner. For Third World sisters the effects of the war are the most severe. More Third World women support families, and are forced to accept the lowest paying jobs. On the average the black woman earns one-half of what her white sister makes, about one-fourth of what her black brother makes.

Recent polls show that 78% of the women in this country want an end to the war. We must galvanize that antiwar sentiment into mass participation of women to activate them into the planning and participation in them demonstrations. The action of our sisters around demands for the control of our own lives, combined with our outrage at the latest action of the U.S. government in Southeast Asia, indicate the potential for the largest participation of women ever, in the April 24th demonstrations.

While the Women s Liberation movement is an independent movement fighting for the needs of women, the involvement of feminists is crucial both for the winning of women’s demands and for the fight to end the war. It is directly in the interest of the feminist movement to demand an end to this war which consumes lives and resources that should be allocated to the needs of women and other oppressed sectors. Just as the government is denying the right of self determination to the Vietnamese, it is denying us the right to be full human beings.

We are tired of waiting. We are tired of subordinating our needs to the war machine that is slaughtering our Vietnamese sisters and forcing them into prostitution. We want a country that is life producing, not life destroying. We want the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Southeast Asia NOW.

PARTIAL LIST OF N.Y. ENDORSERS OF THE UNITED WOMEN'S CONTINGENT (Organizations listed for identification purposes only)

MYRNA LAMB playwright; BARBARA LOVE Gay Liberation Front; MAE MASSIE Civil Rights Director for IUE; SUSAN MILLER Episcopal Peace Fellowship; WOMEN'S STRIKE COALITION; KATE MILLETT feminist writer; LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY WOMEN'S LIBERATION FRONT; PAULINE ROSEN Women Strike for Peace; BARBARA DANE folksinger; GLORIA STEINEM feminist writer; BETTY FRIEDAN feminist writer; QUEENS COLLEGE WOMEN'S LIBERATION: COLUMBIA WOMEN'S LIBERATION; N.Y.U. WOMEN'S LIBERATION; HOFSTRA WOMEN'S LIBERATION; RENEE BLAKKAN Guardian; MYRNA BURKHOLDER Women In City Gov't; RUTH GAGE-COLBY Women's Int'l League for Peace & Freedom; ELIZABETH FISHER; Aphra, writer; DORIS L. SASSOWER Professional Women's Caucus; DOROTHY ELDRIDGE N.J. SANE; SARAH DOELY Church Women United; LUCILLE IVERSON Radical Feminists; CLARA DE MIHA Jeanette Rankin Brigade Rank and File -- and others.

* * * *


Citywide Speak-Out on WOMEN & THE WAR

LT. SUSAN SCHNALL - antiwar military nurse
DEBBY SWEET - recently photographed with Nixon for "good citizenship" and denounced war to him.


7- 11 pm, Eisner-Lubin Auditorium, N.Y. Univ.


UNITED WOMEN'S CONTINGENT, 133 Fifth Avenue (6th Fl ), NY, NY (212) 260-0210

__I will march with my sisters April 24 in the United Women's Contingent. Send more info.

__I want to go to Washington April 24 on a women's bus. Enclosed is $10 for a ticket.

__I want a speaker on women and the war for my campus or organization.

__I will be a marshall for the Contingent.

__I enclose a contribution of $__ to help build the United Women 's Contingent.



ADDRESS _______CITY_________


Images and texts on these web pages are intended for research and educational use only. Please read our statement on use and reproduction for further information on how to receive permission to reproduce an item or how to cite it.

[Documents from the Women's Liberation Movement ]
[ Women's Studies Resources | Duke Special Collections Library ]

A project of The Digital Scriptorium, Special Collections Library, Duke University. April 1997