On the 8th of march, as on all the days of the year, Euromed Feminist Initiative is strongly engaged in the struggle for the elimination of all forms of discrimination, oppression, exclusion and violence against women. Therefore, the international day of women’s rights is always the opportunity to celebrate the achievements.
In the present context of global regression, Euromed Feminist Initiative stands besides all the women of the world who resist to gain and preserve their basic fundamental rights, freedom, dignity, access to and control of resources, participation to all decisions that engage their lives and the destiny of their countries.
Euromed Feminist Initiative along with its members celebrated the International Women's Day and participated in many events, marches, strikes, forums and conferences.
Euromed Feminist Initiative participated in the Feminist Forum 2018 entitled “Feminism without borders” on 6 – 8 March 2018 at the European Parliament, Brussels. Ms. Tiziana Dal Pra, board member of Euromed Feminist Initiative was a panelist in the Gender and Migration panel. She discussed the gender, migration and anti-racism struggles from a feminist perspective. In addition, she addressed the undermining of women’s rights and the current migration trends that show an increase in human trafficking and increased vulnerability to exploitation affecting women.
In Croatia, Counselling and Research (CESI) celebrated the international women’s day and participated in a conference entitled "equality is better for everyone" in Croatia. The conference underlined the Importance of gender equality and discussed solutions to end discrimination of women in general and in the workplace in particular. In addition, CESI joined thousands of Croatians in the women’s march in Zagreb to mark IWD, demanding equal rights for women as well as the ratification of Istanbul convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. The keywords for 2018 year’s march were “anger”, “resistance” and “change” in response to everything that happened in Croatia during the last year. It was organized by fAKTIV and gathered a thousand protesters in Split, Rijeka, Zadar and Šibenik.
Statistics show that every 15 minutes, one woman in Croatia experiences violence. Femicide is on the rise, and recent divisions and obstructions over ratification of the Istanbul Convention are showing that the state and Church are participating in this. The influence of the Catholic Church simply shows the lack of responsibility and weakness of the state. The “traditional values” promoted by the Church are directly linked with the notion that violence is not treated as a serious problem. Instead, as a result of these processes, women are being discouraged from reporting violence. At the same time, the number of murdered women is increasing every year. These dangerous tendencies are showing that, over the past few years, an already weak system has been pretty much demolished. In the past 25 years, the Croatian state has done the minimum, and the very few changes that actually did happen were initiated under the pressure of civil society organizations and international institutions. That actually means that 90% of the struggle relies on civil society while the police, judiciary, social services, health services and educational services barely collaborate.
Domine association, our member in Croatia, participated in the women’s march in Split on 8 March 2018 under the slogan “Count on the Resistance!” to mark 100 years of the women’s movement in the city. Thousand Croatians gathered in the People’s Square and made their way towards the city’s center, carrying signs demanding equal rights for women, the ratification of the Council of Europe convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul convention), the right to abortion and gender equality. The march was organized by different feminist groups and NGOs including Domine.
In Italy, Trama di Terre association joined the feminist strike on 9 March in Imola to mark the IWD and to highlight the persistence of gender inequality and gender-based violence. In addition, Ms. Tiziana Dal Pra, board member of Euromed Feminist Initiative and president of Trama di Terre participated in the “Feminist without borders” forums on 6 – 8 March 2018 at the European Parliament, Brussels as a representative of Euromed Feminist Initiative. She discussed the gender, migration and anti-racism struggles from a feminist perspective in the Gender and Migration panel.
In Jordan, the Arab Women Organization (AWO) held a national conference on March 8 in Amman to commemorate International Women's Day. During the conference, AWO emphasized the need to change the Nationality Law to end discrimination against women. Four years ago, during the Universal Periodic report (UPR) session at the Human Rights Council (HRC), Jordan expressed pledge to grant “civil rights” to the children of mothers married to non-Jordanians. Unfortunately, this was not implemented. The new UPR session is approaching as it has been assigned for next October, 2018. Therefore, AWO is submitting a shadow report by 29 March, to call for Jordan’s adherence to its commitments by October 2018 to end discrimination in the Nationality law. Moreover, AWO emphasized the need to increase the woman quota to reach 50-50 as stated in Goal 5 of the SDGs and the UN Agenda 2030 that was endorsed by Jordan, the need to end harassment, abuse and violence that lead to early and forced marriage and the need to end women receiving lower pay and fewer opportunities for career and business development. On 7 March, AWO joined efforts to express solidarity with the Palestinian Women and called for the freedom of women detainees and the immediate release of “Ahed Tamimi”; the ICON Woman child (16 years of age) detained on 19 December, 2017 by the Israeli Occupation Forces while practicing her right to peaceful resistance to the Israeli occupation.
In Lebanon, the Lebanese Women Democratic Gathering (RDFL) participated in the women’s march that was held on 11 March 2018 in Lebanon under the slogan “Different Causes, Shared Anger” to mark International Women’s Day and to highlight the diverse range of issues facing women in Lebanon today. Thousands took to the streets of Beirut to denounce all forms of oppression and discrimination against women, child marriage, gender violence and other issues that affect Lebanese women. The march was organized by different feminist groups and NGOs including RDFL.
Association Najdeh organized several commemorative ceremonies on the occasion of the International Women's Day in different regions in Lebanon, with the participation of representatives of social and educational associations and institutions, representatives of Palestinian parties, labor committees and social activists. In addition, under the slogan "March 8, a symbol of the struggle of women," association Najdeh held a mass rally in Al-Bass Camp in Lebanon in the presence of a group of leaders and representatives of the Palestinian factions and popular committees as well as representatives of NGOs to mark the International Women’s Day. It organized several roundtables on the occasion of International Women's Day in different camps in Lebanon to discuss ways and recommendations on combating violence against women. Furthermore, association Najdeh participated and helped in organizing the women’s march that was held on 11 March 2018 in Lebanon under the slogan “Different Causes, Shared Anger” to mark International Women’s Day and to highlight the diverse range of issues facing women in Lebanon today.
In Macedonia, Women’s Civic Initiative celebrated the International Women’s Day by participating in the women’s march that was held on March 8, 2018. The purpose of the march was to shed light on the gender gap in the country's economic, political and social sphere, as well as to send a message that gender equality is an important factor towards achieving a democratic and equal society.
In Morocco, Union of Women's Action (UAF) engaged in a national campaign to change the family code 14 years after its promulgation, underlining the family code contradiction with the national constitution and international conventions. In addition, UAF organized a symbolic court to denounce all forms of violence against women on 17 March 2018 with the title “Feminization of Poverty” in Tangier. The court was held to provide space for women to freely express their suffering with the forms of violence they are subjected to and to provide testimonies of their cases, struggles and problems.
In Palestine, the Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development (PWWSD) engaged in a national campaign to end gender-based violence and lobby towards the endorsement of the family protection law. In addition, PWWSD joined the International women’s day protest at Qalandia checkpoint on March 7 to raise awareness of the rejection of Palestinian women of the Israeli military occupation, Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the planned move of the American Embassy to Jerusalem in May.
In Spain, Forum de Politica Feminista participated in the country’s first nationwide ‘feminist Strike” on 8th of March which got the support of the trade unions. More than 5 million women workers joined the feminist Strike under the slogan “If we stop, the world stops”. The 24-hour walkout, aimed at drawing attention to domestic violence, sexual discrimination and the gender pay gap. They joined women from around the world to demand an end to systematic bias, misogyny and discrimination and called for equal rights and recognition in all spheres of life, reflecting the weight and contribution women have in society. Mayors of Madrid and Barcelona throw their weight behind unprecedented action to demand an end to inequality.
In Sweden, Gender And Development In Practice (GADIP) participated in the Feminist Forum 2018 entitled “Feminist without borders” on 6 – 8 March 2018 at the European Parliament, Brussels.
In Tunisia, Association of Tunisian Women for Research and Development (AFTRUD) joined the national march along with several feminist and human rights NGOs to demand equal inheritance rights. More than 1000 demonstrators marched to the building of Parliament in the Tunisian capital on 10 March 2018 to demand a law guaranteeing equal inheritance for daughters and sons.