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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 July 23 - 29  > 15,000 mothers at their annual congress discuss a peaceful world for children
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2008 July 23 - 29 [WOMEN]

15,000 mothers at their annual congress discuss a peaceful world for children

July 27 & 28, 2008
The 54th Japan Mothers Congress was held in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture, on July 27 and 28 with 15,000 people taking part.

A congress appeal adopted at the end of the event with a round of applause stated, “We will stop all kinds of attack on Article 9 of the Constitution and living standards and strengthen solidarity in our joint effort in pursuit of the wishes of mothers and women in general.”

On the first day, 38 workshop discussions and a symposium were held on various themes, including “Give children smiles and hope,” “Let the Constitution guide our everyday life,” “Women and human rights,” and “For a peaceful world free of nuclear weapons and war.”

A 45-year-old childcare center worker from Nara Pref. took part in a discussion at a workshop on “Children’s joy and development,” because she said, “I wanted to learn how to get on with kids.”

At a workshop to discuss the new government health insurance system for the elderly aged 75 and over, many participants of that age group voiced their anger one after another at discrimination against them in medical services.

At a symposium entitled, “Let Article 9 of the Constitution shine in solidarity with the world’s women,” Celeste Zappala from the Military Families Speak Out, whose son was killed in the Iraq War, told Japanese mothers that she has been carrying out an anti-war sit-in and many U.S. mothers have begun to speak up in opposition to the war. Her action inspired many Japanese mothers participating in the symposium.

What is the Japan Mothers Congress?

It takes place annually as a major forum for mothers and other women from all over Japan to discuss peace, life, and problems and demands they have in childcare, education, etc. Following the 1954 U.S. hydrogen bomb test explosion at Bikini Atoll, Japanese women called on the world’s women to work to get nuclear weapons prohibited. In response to this appeal, the first World Mothers Congress was held in Geneva, Switzerland. In the course of the preparation for the world congress, in 1955, the first Japan Mothers Congress was held, and has since been held annually. Its slogan is “Mothers who give birth to life want to cultivate and protect life.” This slogan is based on a poem written by a Greek poet who contributed to the World Mothers Congress. - Akahata, July 27 & 28, 2008
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