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Activists March to Protest Violence Against Women

15 From Harvard Take to the Streets

By Johannes K. Juette

Approximately 15 Harvard students gathered in Radcliffe Yard Saturday afternoon to form the University's contingent to the Women Against Violence and for Equality (WAVE) march.

Accepting an invitation from the newly-formed Harvard Women's Caucus (HWC) to join the march, the group took part in the city's celebration of International Women's Day.

The organizer of the Harvard-Radcliffe group, Sarinha Kalb '88-'91, said the Harvard students wanted to join the city-wide effort because they felt strongly about the lack of respect given women at Harvard and around the world.

"With everybody looking over-seas [during the Gulf War], many women felt that it was really urgent that all the domestic violence and inequities not be forgotten," she said.

"The march is a very active response to the violence that is being perpetrated against us," Kalb said. "My goal was to have Harvard women visually and graphically see the community out there and to create some contact that would be mutually beneficial."

Before walking from Radcliffe Yard to the Cambridge Common to meet the nearly 200 marchers from across the city, the group spent one hour making banners and painting sings which addressed such issues as abortion rights and the need for a campus women's center.

The HWC grew out of Students Against War in the Middle East (SAWME) in response to special concerns to women brought on by the conflict in the Gulf, Kalb said. She said the HWC addresses issues such as the negative effect of militarism on the lives of women and social service cuts.

"There is a need for a place where women can get together and talk about these issues among ourselves," Kalb said.

Jean Whittlesey, a student of the Harvard Extension school and a member of the Harvard International Socialists Club, said the march gave her the chance to focus on the ramifications of the Gulf War on Social concerns in the U.S.

"The war did not provide any kind of dividend," she said. "Now no more money is available for domestic problems."

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