International: Women in Black

Women in Black (WIB) is a worldwide movement that seeks to build bridges across differences and borders, based on a shared perspective that women in the world can create.

— Women in Black

Women in Black (WIB) is a world-wide network of political activist women committed to peace and justice advocacy. They are actively opposed to injustice, war, militarism and other forms of violence. The WIB-women, often dressed in black, stand in a public place in silent, non-violent vigils at regular times and intervals, carrying placards and handing out leaflets about peace promotion. In 2001 WIB was awarded the Millennium Peace Prize for Women by the United Nations Development Fund for Women.

In January 1988, one month after the first Palestinian Intifada broke out, a small group of Israeli and Palestinian women stood once a week, at the same time and at the same location – a major traffic intersection in Israel. They were dressed in black and holding a black sign in the shape of a hand with the motto "Stop the Occupation" written in white. "It was a simple form of protest that women could do easily," recalls one of the participants. "We could bring our children, there was no chanting or marching, and the medium was the message. Within months vigils sprang up throughout Israel." Women in Black (WIB) developed as a response to the logic of war. Women who contributed to create WIB refused to raise children for war, to ignore war crimes committed in their name, to support illegal military occupation, to continue their normal lives while other people were deprived of their basic human rights and of their dignity. The dissociation of the movement from political affiliation and the choice of non-violent strategies are the key markers of its success. The strategy of non-violence, in particular, gave the movement great moral strength and persuasiveness.