Women Ban the Bomb is a women-led initiative building on the momentum of movements at the forefront of the resistance, including the Women’s March on Washington. It brings together people of all genders, sexual orientations, ages, races, abilities, nationalities, cultures, faiths, political affiliations, and backgrounds to rally and march on Saturday, June 17, 2017 in New York City and around the world in support of negotiations taking place at the United Nations for a treaty banning nuclear weapons.
Values and principles
Nuclear weapons pose a direct threat to Mother Earth — to our air, water, climate, and sources of food. The humanitarian disaster that would result from even a single detonation, by accident or design, would overwhelm our planet and our communities. Control over these weapons is in the hands of a few government leaders in a small number of countries. These leaders decided they have the right to threaten the extinction of the entire planet, including committing genocide against entire populations. The impact of any use of nuclear weapons would be felt globally.
- A world without nuclear weapons is not only possible, but a necessity to our human survival. Humanity has the right to live with dignity and free from the fear and threat of nuclear annihilation.
- The possession, use, or threat of use of nuclear weapons is morally abhorrent to the principles of humanity.
- Any nuclear detonation — whether accidental or intentional — will create a humanitarian crisis of catastrophic proportions.
- Our governments have a duty to serve the best interests of all people, rather than investing in weapons of mass destruction that can only result in death, poverty, and war.
- Financial and scientific resources currently being squandered on maintaining nuclear arsenals should be redirected to further social justice and economic equality for all, as well as to address the serious ecological crises resulting from human activity (i.e. climate change).
- Colonized and indigenous peoples have largely borne the brunt of nuclear devastation from the mining of uranium and the testing of nuclear weapons on their land; to the dumping, storage, and transport of plutonium and nuclear wastes; to the theft of their lands for nuclear infrastructure. The historic destruction of Native peoples’ land, water, and air must end; reclamation and reparations must be made for the generations of suffering.
- A treaty banning nuclear weapons, with or without the nuclear-armed states as parties, is a positive and necessary step toward the elimination of nuclear weapons. Such a treaty will make it illegal for any signatory country to possess nuclear weapons and will impose economic, legal, political, and social barriers to nuclear weapon possession. It will further stigmatize nuclear weapons and help compel their elimination.
Purpose and goals
Based on these beliefs, we come together in support of a global nuclear ban treaty as a step toward the total elimination of nuclear weapons. We recognize the courage of countries that have decided to negotiate a treaty banning nuclear weapons; that have refused to concede to the power of those states that threaten the world with nuclear extinction.
We see a link between the stand these countries have taken and the stand for social and economic justice that individuals are taking around the world. We recognize the efforts and work of communities of color, including the efforts of women of color working to raise awareness of the structural violence behind environmental issues, including those related to nuclear weapons and to broader issues like access to clean water.
We march on Saturday, June 17th in New York City to:
- Call upon all of us to join together to protect Mother Earth from destruction.
- Raise the moral responsibility of all states to work toward nuclear disarmament and the peace and security of our shared world.
- Demand that the nuclear-armed states recognize that the vast majority of the world believes that nuclear weapons must be prohibited and eliminated.
- End the financial and intellectual burden imposed on our collective societies by these weapons of mass destruction.
- Bring international and domestic attention, through the media, to this historic convening where a treaty banning nuclear weapons is being negotiated.
- Focus and amplify the efforts of brave countries that resisted pressure from nuclear-armed states by voting in favor of negotiating this treaty at the United Nations.
Why women lead
Women, as well as people of color and LGBTQIA+ people, have played a pivotal role in the peace and anti-nuclear movements. We stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us. We walk alongside our indigenous sisters and their peoples who have been fighting, for generations, against the effects of nuclear testing and uranium mining. We stand with the Hibakusha, atomic bomb survivors who continue to suffer from the bombings of Japan in 1945, and those subjected to nuclear testing around the world since then. We invoke the spirit of Native communities, the Hibakusha, and the millions who have protested, lobbied, petitioned, and given their lives to banning the bomb.
In 1982 we marched a million strong to speak out against the nuclear arms race; 35 years later we will march again because today the stakes are even higher and the dangers even greater.
Women lead because:
- Strong, principled, fearless women have historically played leading roles in movements for peace and social justice. In 1915, a unique group of women met at the International Congress in The Hague, Netherlands to protest against World War I, which was then raging in Europe, and to suggest ways to end it and prevent war in the future. The organizers were prominent women in the International Suffrage Alliance, who saw the connection between their struggle for equal rights and the struggle for peace. These women rejected the theory that war was inevitable and defied all obstacles to their plan to meet together in wartime. They assembled more than 1,000 women from warring and neutral nations to work out a plan to end WWI and lay the basis for a permanent peace. Out of this meeting the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom was established.
- Patriarchy throughout the world is content with the status quo that preserves white male power in every way over all marginalized and vulnerable communities. We cannot rely on elected officials and the governments of the world to act in the interest of our communities and Mother Earth.