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MADRE's Executive Director Honored by the Albanian American Women's Organization

Posted on: Thursday, October 23, 2003


MADRE's Executive Director Honored by the Albanian American Women's Organization
On October 25, 2003 Vivian Stromberg, MADRE's Executive Director, was honored at the 10th anniversary of the Albanian American Women’s Organization. The following is a transcript of Ms. Stromberg's acceptance speech.

Thank you very much for this award. MADRE, an international women’s human rights organization, is proud to partner with women’s organizations that promote human rights and justice for women and encourage women to raise their voices against racism, sexism, greed and nationalism.

We, here in the US, have a responsibility to know and understand what drives US policies. We understand that talking about humanitarian concerns does not erase the violence of bombs, and does not mask the greed of true US intentions. Access to oil, profit from arms sales, extension of the reach of US militarism and responding to US corporate greed drive US policies.

In Kosovo, the US established Camp Bondsteel. This is one of many US military bases operated by defense contractor Brown and Root, which is a subsidiary of Halliburton and we do not think for one minute that Halliburton is driven by humanitarian concerns.

Today in Iraq, Halliburton is receiving huge contracts to rebuild. So they profit from destroying and then they profit from rebuilding. What’s so humanitarian about that?

MADRE continues to support the work of women in countries around the world – women who are fighting for justice, for human rights, and for peace. Our partner organizations around the world understand too well the dangers of U.S. driven violence because they and their families have experienced it.

They understand the violence of bombs and the violence of depleted uranium. They understand the violence of hunger and joblessness. They understand the violence of trade agreements that trade the rights of workers for the profit of huge multinational corporations. They understand the violence of occupation – whether it’s the US occupying Iraq, the British occupying Northern Ireland, or Israel occupying Palestine. They understand the violence of nationalism and the violence of hate.

Together we have formed a powerful international network of women who refuse to be complicit with such policies no matter how they are disguised.

We have fought so hard in the international arena for our fundamental rights to be respected and guaranteed. Women understand that nationalist, sexist, policies ignore those basic human rights, threaten the welfare of women and our families and we are not fooled by the U.S. State Department, USAID, NATO or Halliburton.

Women are smarter than that. We have a dream that is beautiful. It is a dream of a world where peace reigns. Where our children can play with children of other countries, of other races, cultures and religions. Where bombs are replaced by schools, hospitals, and music. And we are prepared to fight for that dream.

MADRE congratulates all of you on the work that the Albanian American Women’s Organization has done over the last ten years to promote the rights of Albanian women and girls and to fight for our common dream. We thank you again for honoring MADRE on this special occasion.


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