International Women's Day Celebrations

Euromed Feminist Initiative along with its members celebrated the International Women's Day and participated in many events, forums and conferences.

Euromed Feminist Initiative participated at the Feminist Forum entitled "Struggling for womens rights to build the future" that took place on 6-9 of March 2017 at the European Parliament, Brussels. 

Lama Kannout, the coordinator of the Coalition of Syrian Women for Democracy was a panellist discussing the situation of women in Syria today and she presented the feminists demands; to establish comprehensive and fair peace, cease fire on all Syrian lands, and to reach a political solution based on the international resolutions of Geneva 1 Communiqué, engaging women in political negotiations, launching a gender sensitive interim path, establishing a new legal system that abides with human rights for women and men alike and guaranteeing the protection of the female refugees, along with their children, and facilitating their access to essential documents.

In Göteborg, Sweden Gender And Development In Practice (GADIP) celebrated the international day and participated in a flash mob event at Gothenburg’s Götaplatsen, Stockholm's Central Station and other Swedish spots on Wednesday 8th of March. Participants wore pink caps and sang “I can’t keep quiet” by LA singer Milck, which became an anthem when a video of it being performed by pink hat wearing crowds at Washington DC’s Women’s March in January.

Association of Tunisian Women for Research and Development (AFTURD) participated in many events (Interviews in the national radio, forums and conferences). On March 6, 2017 AFTURD partipcated in a forum to launch khabirat Tounes (experts from Tunisia) website, an online directory for women experts that aimes to enhance the contribution of women in media content and the visibility of women's skills in the media. The forum took place in El Mouradi Hotel Africa, Tunis. Click here to check the forum's agenda.

On the occasion of the International Women's Day, AFTURD co-organizes a roundtable "Gender: Its concept and its relationship to women's rights and development" that will take place on March 15 in the Science City in Tunis. The roundtable aims to contribute to the elaboration of the gender concept, especially after the submission of the Tunisian draft Organic Law on the Elimination of Violence against women to the Assembly of People’s Representatives and after the debate with multiple parties including government parties on the concept of gender. The roundtable is revolved around four themes:

  • The concept of gender and its dimensions.
  • The relationship between gender and the national and international legislations.
  • Gender and economic and social rights.
  • Violence based on gender.

The roundtable will gather representatives of the Assembly of People’s Representatives, relevant ministries (Ministry of Women's, Family and Children, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Interior) and civil society associations. Click here to read more about this roundtable.

Union of Feminist Action (UAF) has also organized Women's symbolic trial of rape and sexual violence on March 10. which presented testimonials of women victims of sexual violence.

 

The Lebanese Women Democratic Gathering (RDFL) participated in the International Women's Day March that took place in Lebanon on March 11, 2017 along with various feminists, students and women's groups to affirm their solidarity with women's daily struggles and issues and to celebrate women's perseverance, battles and progress.

More than 20 women and feminist organizations, including Association Najdeh and The Lebanese Women Democratic Gathering (RDFL) have came together and joined their efforts to celebrate the international women’s day in a collective demand sit-in. More than 2000 activists, women and men were gathered in Ryahd El Solh square -Beirut, on Wednesday 8th of March, to raise their demands concerning the rights of all women (Lebanese, refugees, minorities, etc) residing in Lebanon.

The gathering speech was delivered by the council chairperson of the Lebanese Council of Women, lawyer Iqbal Murad Doughan, who said It's 2017, and we, women who live in Lebanon, still dream and fight for secular state, that ensures the rights of women, and gender equality, and equal citizenship for all in our country.

 Mrs. Doughan then raised the following demands:

  • Quality between women and men.
  • Full, equal and active citizenship for women.
  • Abolishing and lifting of all reservations on the Convention of the "Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, CEDAW" and to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention.
  • Endorsing a law that criminalizes domestic violence against women.
  • Providing protection for women from trafficking and prostitution.

Association Najdeh celebrated women's day in all the Palestinian camps and gatherings in Lebanon and by honoring activists’ women from Palestinian local community who work in the educational and social fields, 28 women who  have more than 20 years of experience in the community activism and work at local and in NGOs, were honored with symbolic gifts in open festivals. The festivals were attended by a number of activists, school directors and teachers, camp leaders, and representatives of local and international NGO'S. Association Najdeh branches coordinators delivered the opening speeches of each activity.

Hala Merchi, Association Najdeh Tyre branch coordinator said that “Today, we are honoring our common and continuous struggle that will never stop unless the freedom, right to return, justice and equality rise in all over the world. We will continue our struggle for democratic and civil society where we can enjoy and practice our full and equal rights, were we can practice our real and full citizenship. Mrs. Merhi called up the host country (Lebanon) and its government to implement all international and regional conventions on women’s rights. The honored women also made speeches and thanked association Najdeh for this ceremony and have considered it one of the leading NGO's working on women empowerment.

In  Beqaa Valley, Association Najdeh has also celebrated the International Women's Day in Saad Nayel- Association Najdeh center in Beqaa. Representatives of the municipalities, popular committees, Palestinian factions and decision makers, and local NGOs, UNRWA, activists and women from the local community have attended the ceremony.

The ceremony started by Najdeh Branch Beqa'a Coordinator speech who stressed on women's rights in the private and public spheres. He also confirmed the continuation of  the work between Association Najdeh and EFI-IFE to achieve the rights for all women, and Palestinian women rights.

In Nahr El Bared camp-northern Lebanon, the camp that was not completely reconstructed after its full destruction in 2007, that all its women and population that sets up at 40,000 individuals, were displaced and around half of them are displaced in the neighboring areas of the camp, Association Najdeh organized a ceremony to honoring the brave women who still suffer, but continue their struggle for their dignity, rights, and freedom. Popular committee, Palestinian parties, local NGOs representatives, the double Palestinian women refugees (Palestinian from Syria), PRS Displaced committee l representatives, in addition to a big number of women from the local community in the camp attended the ceremony.

The ceremony started by displaying parts of the documentary movie by Mai Al Masri (3000 Nights) based off the real experiences of imprisoned Palestinian women who suffer from torture. The movie also shows women political participation.

On behalf of Association Najdeh, the coordinator of Naher El Bared Branch Ms. Nawal Hassan had a speech and saluted all the dignified Palestinian women in all fields, she highlighted the suffer of Palestinian refugee women and their different layers of struggle, social, structural, cultural, Ms Hassan called upon the Lebanese government to acknowledge the human rights of Palestinian people and Palestinian refugee women in Lebanon, that includes right to work and ownership, and to provide human and social protection for the displaced Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and from Syria.

In Croatia, CESI Centre for Education, Counselling and Researchhave has organised 8th of March Night March, the biggest march ever, in which 6000 citizens said they were against restrictions of women's rights and asked for the right to a free, accessible and legal abortion. They demanded  the resignation of Foreign Minister and his adviser Ladislav Ilcic, who are leaders of neoconservative forces in society and who try to impose restrictions of women's sexual and reproductive rights. 

In celebration of the International Women's Day Arab Women Organization of Jordan (AWO) organized a national workshop on "Rural Women, Leadership, Climate Change" on 7 March 2017 in Amman, Jordan as part of the UN Women project of "Strengthening Rural Women's Leadership in Agricultural and National Advocacy".

AWO President Randa Qsous called on the representatives of 95 women organisations that attended the event to unite women’s voices to work on the Fifth Goal because “it will help change the social culture that embraces extremism and supports security”.

“It is important to be careful not to support calls for security at the expense of human rights, because this would be a dangerous call,” Qsous said.

AWO organizes a side event on the CSW61 on March 15th entitled "Investing in refugee women - Turning Challenges into Opportunities" at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. It will discuss how investing in refugee women, empowering, and integrating them in the society can actually work for the social and economic benefit of the host countries, alongside refugees.