STATEMENT: Women's Poverty - Violence Against Women

The history of women's experiences tells us that women have been impove¬rished since the beginning of time. According to information from the UN wome¬n's organization (UNIFEM) reported at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, women account for 2/3 of the world's working hours, they earn 1/10 of the world's income, and own 1/100 of the world's property.
Concerning the country managed by the Serbian regime, data says that in 1990, 6% of the population was living in poverty, while in 1995, 36% were. As one of the states which was involved in war for five years, Serbia's military budget consumed much of the funds which were set aside for health and living conditions. Without consulting the public, the militaristic regime diverted huge sums into the military industry, counting on the unconditional devotion of wo¬men and motherly concern for others: women's labor becomes the biggest econo¬mic resource. Through theft and abuse of women's labor, social peace is bought in the family, nation, and state, and war is supported.
The SOS Hotline for Women and Children Victims of Violence notes that poverty is dimension of women's lives: 80-85% of women who call the SOS Hotline do not have sufficient financial means to survive. Poverty disables women from leaving a violent domestic situation. Violence generates poverty, and violence and poverty lead women into isolation and silence.
We would like to break the silence about men's violence against women and about poverty as a special form of violence against women.
Poverty is one of society's most invisible women's problems, in part due to our silence.

We want to encourage women to speak out publicly about all forms of violence,

Women in Black Against War, Belgrade Women's Lobby, SOS Hotline for Women and Children Victims of Violence, Autonomous Women's Center Against Sexual Violence, SOS Hotline and Center for Girls, Incest Trauma Center, Women's Safe-Houses, ZABA Second-hand Shop, ZABA Gift Shop, Women's Human Rights Group, Center for Women's Studies, Research and Communication, Group for Women’s Rights of the European Movement in Serbia, Women's Publishing House '94, Labris

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