Women in Black Leuven - Vrouwen in 't Zwart Leuven - België

Femmes en Noir - Frauen im Schwarz - Women in Black - Mujeres de Negro - Donne in Nero - Zene u Crnom


who are we

core group



in her own words





Dear, Dearest,

As you remember we asked your support last year to make it possible that Joana Bhalerao, a Dalit woman from Pune, India, could go to the international Conference of WiB in Jerusalem.

We are very please to tell you that Joana is turning out to be a leader in her community . The 8th of  March is International Women's day. Therefore the organisation SEARCH of Pune in India plans to honour some remarkable women who are serving the  cause of women's development. Cinema actresses have been invited
as chief guests.  A local  lady
social worker has been asked to be chair of  the programme. They will have lectures on Women Development, honouring them by giving shield, and responses from the candidates. The main leader of this day is Joana Bhalerao.

Well our Joana from India has grown out to an international recognised speaker and activist too. From 26 till 29 of June 2006 she will travel to Geneva to speak at a conference of the United Nations, the 31st session of the slavery trust fund of the United nation under Human Rights .
Imagine that
Joana’s trip to Jerusalem was the first time she left the country, even the first time she left her region. Isn't it fantastic what she all is achieving !

The fact that we, with your help, could bring Joana to Jerusalem was just this very little help, but it turns out it is an important very little help because it was so much supporting her, and it also strengthen her role as a leader of her community...
You see, with very little something’s so
metimes we can change a very little bit in the world, and on a personal level support a much bigger positive changing...

In name of Joana and WiB Leuven we want to thank you all

Fundraising campaign Women in Black Leuven

First we want to thank you all for the support you gave after our call to help sent an extra woman from the South to the WiB conference in Jeruzalem.

This action was such a big succes. And we learn from it that, as for ourselves, you all find it important that the South can speack for herself

Thank you very much !

Unforseen circumstances made it impossible for Bernedette Muthien from South Africa to do her planned trip to Jeruzalem. As well Bernedette as we regret it very much.

BUT, your generous support to give a voice to the South moved us so much. And so we could, thanks to your help, carry all travel and living costs for Joana Bhalerao, a Dalit woman from Pune, India.

Joana Bhalerao in Jeruzalem

letter will be translated into english soon


actie: stem voor het zuiden op conferentie Vrouwen in 't Zwart Jeruzalem

Women in Black is a world-wide network of women who devote their selves to a just peace, against war, militarism, discrimination, homophobia, racism, injustice and all forms of violence.

Speaking about war and peace Women in ‘t Black declares: you can only speak of peace when everyone has basis human rights, when there is no racism, no hate against homosexuals, no abuse or rape of children and women, when a life in the South is as valuable as in the North and West. .. War is an extreme expansion of violence against children, women, people who are “different” ……

From the 12 th till the 15 th of August 2005 the International Conference of Women in Black takes place in Palestine/Israel. From Belgium, we attend the conference with 10 women.

World-wide Women in Black campaigns to collect money in order to make it possible for women from the South and women from conflict-areas to attend this conference.

We, Women in Black Louvain Belgium, do think it is very important that also women from the South are represented on this conference. We chose for Bernedette Muthien from Capetown South-Africa, Woman in Black, peace-activist, founder and moving spirit behind NGO Engender. In December 2004, we met her in Louvain when she participated in a conference of IPRA (International Peace Research Association, set up in 1963).

Women in Black Louvain likes to gather finances to allow Bernedette Muthien to participate in the International Conference of Women in Black in Jerusalem. To make that possible we need approximately 1,500 Euros (return flight Capetown-Johannesburg-Tel-Aviv, accommodation-expenses Jerusalem 10-17 August 2005).

Do you think it’s important that the South is also involved when peace is discussed, also in the
peace movement itself ?

We appeal to you to support this specific project, to make it possible that also a voice from South-Africa will participate in this International Conference of Women in Black in Jerusalem! MAKE IT POSSIBLE each sum, every euro will be welcome:

bank account: WIB (Women in Black) Leuven Belgium 000-325 22 , 32 – 16
from a foreign country: iban be72 0003 2522 3216 bic bpotbeb1

Women in Black Leuven: http://snellings.telenet.be/womeninblackleuven/index_english
Engender: www.engender.org.za


Who is Bernedette Muthien

Bernedette is an independent scholar-activist, engaged in strategic interventions (including research and facilitation) in the areas of human rights, conflict resolution, gender and gender-based violence, as well sexualities and HIV/AIDS. She is committed to transformation, equity (with justice), and non-violence.

She has published creative writing and academic work widely, written for diverse audiences, and believes in accessible research and writing.

Bernedette’s professional life has echoed the belief that the personal is political, and the global local, and hence her work has consistently centred on the issues of gender, human rights, and peace.

At the end of 2003 Bernedette founded a non-profit organisation, Engender, to formalise the work she had engaged in since leaving the African Gender Institute, University of Cape Town, at the end of 2001. Engender provides research & capacity building for communities of people on genders & sexualities, human rights, justice & peace.

Her community activism is integrally related to her work with international organisations, and her research necessarily reflects the values of equity, social change and justice. Bernedette has published both creative writing and academic work in South Africa and abroad. She has written for diverse audiences and is committed to accessible research and writing.

AFFILIATIONS include: Member of the Executive Council of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA), and co-convenor of the Global Political Economy Commission. Member of Amanitare, the African network of gender NGOs. Member of the International Advisory Board of the international journal, Human Security Studies. Regional Editor (Africa & Asia) of th e international journal, Queries.

Engender: www.engender.org.za

back to home page


webdesign & photos: Lieve Snellings

last updated:13th of March 2006
© 2005 Vrouwen in 't Zwart Leuven