Thursday, February 22

Feminism resists violence in the world


  • As feminism becomes more visible, women face persecution for their activism and attacks on their bodies

  • The tireless work of social movements, with their physical presence in the streets, has allowed the decriminalization of abortion in Colombia and Argentina

The women return to the streets. In every corner of the globe, they take up the squares. The pandemic confined their bodies to the home but did not stop the chameleonic feminist movement around the planet. Experts in recovering, women have spent decades facing those problems that only concern them for the simple fact of being born a woman. Abortion, femicide or female genital mutilation are some of the struggles that continue to fill the avenues on all continents. As they become more visible, the activists who defend them face persecution and violence. others, victims of racismare removed from the focus and even suffer the abandonment of their peers.

But all of them continue to struggle to take over public space and make themselves heard. Thus, they seek to achieve change without depending on anyone but themselves. And the clock ticks and the year 2030 It gets closer every time. Between his Sustainable Development Goalsthe UN set out in fifth place to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” by then. “We are not going to achieve it,” he admits. Eugenie d’Angelo, director of MundoSur. But that doesn’t stop them. United in their tides, they rush to resist violence and build hand in hand.

Women’s rights defenders

Half a year after the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan, a ten Afghan women continues to demonstrate in defense of their rights. With their faces uncovered, they show papers with the slogans they carry as a flag. The fear for his own life is less than his cause. Like them, hundreds of women around the world have made their feminist activism their destiny, and it has brought them dangerous consequences. “The attacks on these activists show the fear that their movements generate, their attackers see them as powerful,” he explains. Erin Kilbride, of Front Line Defenders.

Like any activist, women suffer persecution and violence. But, unlike men, they are the target of attacks on their privacy and reputation before the “rise of sexualized smear campaigns that can have an irreparable impact on their lives.” “Anti-rights actors make use of the expressly vague concept of ‘gender ideology’ to delegitimize these causes”, denounces Kilbride. In addition, the pandemic has also made it difficult for him to fully develop his activities. Still, recent years have witnessed big wins fruit of the tireless work of feminists.

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Safe, legal and free abortion

“It’s legit! It’s legal!” On February 22, the Colombian streets dyed green exploded in a party that still lasts. Other Green Tide that, like Argentina, achieved the decriminalization of abortion. “It’s a clear example of how social movements are capable of putting issues on the agenda that two or three years ago would have been unthinkable,” celebrates D’Angelo. While optimism permeates Latin America, women from other countries like United States or Poland They battle against the emergence of new restrictive laws with the voluntary interruption of pregnancy.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), worldwide, 40% of women of childbearing age live in countries with very restrictive abortion laws or where, even if legal, abortion services are unavailable or inaccessible. there are still women behind bars for miscarriages in central America. In entire regions such as Africa or the Middle East, there is no debate for its decriminalization. All over the world, feminists stand vigilantes. “I believe that this Green Tide has no end and it is my wish that it fills the rest of Latin America, but, regardless of whether we have the law, there are many brakes in reality”, underlines D’Angelo.

born girl

Coming into this world as a woman is the first conviction. From the cradle, girls suffer a multitude of violence that mark them. Some 200 million women have been subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM), according to UNICEF figures. The organization 28 Too Many points out that some three million girls are at risk of suffering from it each year. This practice, as a form of patriarchal control over the sexuality of girls, is still present in 30 countries, mainly in Africa, but also in the Middle East or Asia.

Also, many of these girls can become wives at a very young age. More of 700 million women alive today they were married as children. 40% of these brides are in South Asia. female genital mutilation or child marriage are obstacles to the schooling of these minors. Without education, these girls stumble away from equality, and the entire feminist movement suffers without them.

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femicide is said

At least 155 countries They have laws that criminalize domestic violence. Despite this increase in legislation against femicide, it is still difficult for the deaths of women to be named as such. Or just named. “Until our creation in the 2015there was no information [en Rusia] about domestic violence,” he explains. Sofia Sidorova, from the organization Nasiliu.net (‘No to violence’ in Russian). The Eurasian Giant does not have a law protect women from violence. “Since 2017, beatings within the family have been decriminalized,” Sidorova denounces from Moscow.

For its part, Latin America is the second most dangerous region in the world to be a woman, after Africa. “We use the femicide term to point out the element of impunity and apathy on the part of the State in the face of the deaths of women for reasons of gender,” D’Angelo told El Periódico. Around the world, the pandemic has brought with it a increase in violence against women. “On Russia, even our public representatives spoke of the alarming increase”, says Sidorova. The problem, according to D’Angelo, lies in the masculinities. “As long as we maintain public policies focused on women, we will continue to count the dead and disappeared,” she concludes.

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