Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp University Date The establishment of Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp began in 1981 with the primary aim of protesting the siting of nuclear weapons at RAF Greenham Common in Berkshire, England…
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As the camp gained fame and publicity, the aims of their movement increased. They now demanded the removal of their cruise and started challenging the gender stereotypes of their time (Wilkison, 2002). In addition, the women also came up with a gendered critique of militarism, even as they asked for the restoration of common land to its prior state. The women camp was largely considered a feministic movement, and this raised different reactions from different people. The Greenham protest had a grand contribution in Britain. The number of women groups and campaigns were on the increase as a result of the protest. Anti-war movements and peace activism groups also drastically increased. In 1980, there was the emergence of a women group, Women Oppose Nuclear Threat (WONT), and 1981 saw the formation of Women Peace Alliance. These women group were vigilant in their activities and often conducted protests in the streets. For instance, in February of 1982, women groups came to a decision that there would conduct a women only protest. The reasons they had for this was that women were less likely to cause violence even when provoked and that the police and soldiers would be less violent when dealing with them (summers, 1988). These women also viewed that the protest would be a sign of women empowerment and they thought that it would help to undermine the domestic division of labour. Encouraging feministic focus would also be achieved by the protest. Their plan was not without its weaknesses and flaws. For instance, it was difficult for married women to neglect their responsibilities so that they can attend the camp. Attending the camp would force these women to be separated from their families. During their stay in the camp, the women had a set of rules that were a guide to how they should relate. Some of these include disallowing men into the camp after dark, staying away from eating meat. Violence against each other was not allowed, and the decision making process was democratic (Wilkinson, 2002). In the camp, the living conditions were poor, and the women had to withstand all kinds of weather. Rainy seasons and the winter period were especially hard for women because of the cold, but their determination kept them going. The women gave up their comforts for the commitment of their cause. Many women were arrested and taken to prison, but eventually, their efforts bore fruit. Between 1991 and 1992, the cruise missiles were removed from Greenham Common and flown to the USA following the signing of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The Treaty is in agreement with the fact that nuclear weapons would have devastating effects on all human-kind. The fact that Greenham was a women only camp many people thought that it had become feminist. To a large extent this is true because, at the camp, the women emphasized the need of women to be deeply involved in politics and leadership roles within the community. Others chose to feminize the feminine protests in the by arguing that the camp taught the women the importance of caring for one another and supporting one another even in difficult times. This was a view held by the radical feminists like Reger, (2005). It is of exceptional significance to note that, from 1983, there was a sharp increase of activities by groups whose agendas were feministic There was a big wave of feminism, both in support of women’s empowerment and development, as well as in support of the cause of the Greenham Common Women’
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