unde este “adevaratul” razboi impotriva femeilor

“The Worst Places to be a Woman”: un slideshow in revista Foreign Policy (intr-un “Sex Issue”) cu harti despre citiva indici privind drepturile femeilor in lume:

  • – Discrepanta in educatie
  • – Inegalitate in legi/practici legate de familie
  • – Participarea femeilor la guvernare
  • – Casatoria timpurie pentru femei: legi si practici
  • – Mortalitate maternala
  • – Siguranta fizica a femeilor
  • – Poliginie
  • – Preferinta pentru fii si raportul femei-barbati

Este interesant de vazut ca Romania se plaseaza printre ultimile in mai multe din aceste categorii.

Dar pe langa concluzii despre care locuri sint cele mai dezavantajoase pentru femei, o analiza excelenta care trebuie citita si luata in considerare despre discursul si demersul acestui “Mapping the places where the war on women is still being fought” si axarii pe Orientul Mijlociu – cu o referinta foarte utila la situatia post-’89 din Europa de Est:

“Let’s Talk about Sex”

[…] It is commendable that Foreign Policy highlights the all too common silence about sex and gender politics in its own pages. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a serious and continued engagement, rather than a one off matter. Despite the editors’ good intentions, however, Foreign Policy disturbingly reproduces much of the dominant and sensationalist discourse about sex in the Middle East. The “Sex Issue” leaves much to be desired.

To begin with, it is purportedly about how sex shapes the world’s politics. But with the exception of one article that urges US foreign policy makers to understand women as a foreign policy issue and a target of their “smart-power arsenal,” its focus is almost exclusively on Iran, the Arab world, and China. Thus “the world” is reduced for the most part to Arabs, Iranians, and Chinese—not a coincidental conglomeration of the “enemy.” The current war on women in the United States is erased.


Many writers and activists have called El Tahawy to account for erasing women’s histories. For Arabs, like all peoples, have histories that one must engage, as Lila Abu-Lughod reminds us, in order to understand the “forms of lives we find around the world.” Critics have pointed to the long history of the Egyptian women’s movement and that formative moment in 1923 when Huda Sha‘rawi took off her face veil at the Ramses train station. This is a useful point to revisit, if only to reflect on why the liberalism that Sha‘rawi and her cohorts fought for—men and women—drastically and resoundingly failed. One reason, and there are many, was that liberalism resonated with only a small elite. As Hanan Kholoussy points out, women under domestic confinement who like Sha‘rawi were expected to don the face veil made up only two percent of Egypt’s five million females at the end of the nineteenth century.

One would have to also critically and historically engage how women’s movements have been implicated in the policies and longevity of authoritarianism. After all, the two countries where women enjoyed the broadest scope of personal status law were Tunisia and Egypt, before the recent revolutions. Indeed, of all the countries of the Arab world, it was only in Tunisia and Egypt that a woman could pass her citizenship on to her children if she was married to a foreigner. (In Egypt there was a small qualification for women married to that other other, the Palestinian; post-revolutionary Egypt has, at least in law if not in practice, done away with this exception).

How can we account for these legal achievements under authoritarian regimes? We could turn to the source of El Tahawy’s inspiration: Fareed Zakaria’s “Why They Hate Us: The Politics of Rage.” There, Zakaria’s muddled logic counsels: “we have to help moderate Arab states, but on the condition that they embrace moderation.” As Mahmood Mamdani and Lila Abu-Lughod often write, moderate Islam has often been produced on the wings of women’s and minority rights.

We can also look to the experiences of feminists and women’s activists. Rema Hammami and Eileen Kuttab have shown that in the Palestinian context, the women’s movement lacked a coherent strategy linking gender equality to democracy. The women’s movement thus appeared to be sponsored by the Palestinian Authority; its fate became dependent on that of the political system. In 1999, Hammami and Kuttab warned:

Examples are myriad—eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union saw massive attacks on women’s rights issues after the fall of communist regimes because they came to be associated with other undemocratic and unpopular regime policies. Turkey, Algeria, Egypt are situations where you have small women’s movements whose popular legitimacy is lost because over time they have been seen as linked to or sponsored by authoritarian secular regimes.

Is it liberalism then that will fight off the misogyny of authoritarianism? Is the much-feared Islamist summer the real enemy here? And if so, how do we explain that it is women just as much as men, as Shadi Hamid has noted, who have gone to the ballot box and voted Islamists into power?


The battle against misogyny does not follow a “men hate women” formula. It cannot be reduced to a generic battle of the sexes spiced with a dose of Islam and culture. It cannot be extracted from the political and economic threads that, together with patriarchy, produce the uneven terrain that men and women together navigate. It is these lessons that one would have to engage before meting out an indictment about the politics of sex, much less envisioning a future of these politics. There is no one answer because there is no single culprit, no single “culture” or “hatred” that we can root out and replace with “tolerance” or “love.” Similarly, the absence of a sustained and critical attention to sex and gender cannot be solved, syllabus style, by a separate glossy special “Sex Issue,” the content and form of which reproduce what it purports to critique.

Matilda European Master in Women’s and Gender History: Intensive Programme Sofia 2011

MATILDA Intensive Programme Summer School
St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia
11 – 23 July 2011

Transnational Approaches to European Women’s and Gender History : Institutions and Movements, 19th and 20th centuries III

Lectures and Readings

Continue reading

comunicat: Ziua internaţională a femeilor – 8 martie 2009

Bucuresti, 08 Martie 2009 – Mesajul doamnei Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Director Executiv al UNFPA, Fondul ONU pentru Populaţie

Astăzi, cu ocazia Zilei internaţionale a femeilor, haideţi să ne unim eforturile pentru a pune capăt violenţei îndreptate împotriva femeilor şi a fetelor. Continue reading

utere si politica

Blogul Pharyngula discută nişte evenimente actuale din Italia care readuc în discuţie rolul femeii în societate:

O femeie pe nume Eluana Englaro a fost victima unui accident de circulaţie acum 17 ani în urma căruia a suferit traume cerebrale ireversibile. Ea se află într-o stare vegetativă, iar familia a fost implicată de ani de zile într-un proces pentru a putea s-o deconecteze de la aparate, să-i permită să moară cu demnitate.

Recent au câştigat procesul, când hopa! şi-a făcut apariţia reprezentantul dreptei autoritariene, Silvio Berlusconi, cu un decret de urgenţă prin care a blocat suspendarea deconectării de la aparate, decizie făcută după consultări cu Vaticanul.

Iată o regulă bună: nu consulta preoţii unui cult al morţii înainte de a face o decizie de viaţă şi de moarte. Întotdeauna vor da sfaturi proaste şi malefice.

Raţionalizarea lui Berlusconi e îngrozitoare şi respingătoare. Pretinde că o “salvează” pe Englaro – fals, fiindcă ea a murit acum 17 ani – folosind cea mai dezgustătoare şi de prost gust scuză – spunând că fizic ea este “capabilă să facă copii”.
Ce urmează să facă acest Făt Frumos? O să-i fertilize ovulele?

E bine de ştiut că criteriul Bisericii pentru valoarea vieţii unei femei se bazează pe funcţionalitatea ovarelor decât pe existenţa minţii sale.

pentru context si noutati:
“Italy faces constitutional crisis over coma woman” [Criza constitutionala in Italia, implicand o femeie in coma] (8 feb.), “Italian lawmakers race to act in right-to-die case” [Legislatorii italieni se grabesc sa actioneze intr-un caz privind “dreptul-la-moarte”], “Berlusconi’s Power Games” [Jocurile de putere ale lui Berlusconi] (9 feb.), “‘Right to die’ coma woman Eluana Englaro dies” [Moare Eluana Englaro, femeia in coma implicata in cazul privind “dreptul la moarte”] (10 feb.)

some recent things of interest/citeva lucruri recente

  • Dates for the 16 Days of Activism for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
    25 November to 10 December 2008

    25 Nov International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
    01 Dec World AIDS Day
    06 Dec Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre
    10 Dec International Human Rights Day

  • Norway to introduce “Swedish model”

    Dear Friends,
    I just received the news that the Norwegian Parliament passed the legislation that prohibits the purchase of a sexual service – 44 votes vot, 28 against. The Law will come into force on January 1, 2009!!!

    This is indeed a great victory for all of us. Congratulations to the all the women in Norway and internationally who worked to hard to get the law passed!!!!
    Warmest greetings to all of you!
    ———— ——— —
    Gunilla S. Ekberg
    Co-Executive Director/Co- Directrice Exécutive

    Coalition Against Trafficking in Women International/ Coalition Internationale contre la Traite des Femmes (CATW)
    International Secretariat/ Sécretariat International
    Mailing address/Adresse: rue Washington 40, B-1050 Brussels, BELGIUM
    E-mail address/Adresse de courriel: gsekberg@catwintern ational.org
    Phone/Tel.: +32 2 346 2350
    Fax: +32 2 344 2003
    Website/ Site Web: http://www.catwinternational.org

  • RO: femeia europeana 2008, fwd nicoleta bitu, via crina

    Fostul ministru al justitiei, Monica Macovei, a fost aleasa miercuri “Femeia Europei” in 2008 de catre un juriu format din europarlamentari si jurnalisti, relateaza NewsIn. Premiul urmeaza sa-i fie decernat de catre presedintele Parlamentului European, Hans Gert Poettering.

    Monica Macovei fusese desemnata candidata Romaniei pentru acest premiu la 16 iunie de catre un juriu format din 25 de reprezentanti ai societatii civile si jurnalisti romani. Contracandidatele ei din Romania au fost Anamaria Marinca, actrita care a detinut rolul principal in filmul “4 luni, 3 saptamani si 2 zile” castigator in 2007 al trofeului Palme d’Or al Festivalului de la Cannes, Margareta Matache, activista pentru drepturile minoritatilor, Iulia Motoc, expert in drept international, si Marta Petreu, profesor de filosofie la Universitatea Babes-Bolyai din Cluj.

    Pentru a desemna reprezentanta Romaniei, juriul a avut in vedere anumite criterii cum ar fi activitatea dedicata promovarii valorilor europene si a rolului Europei in lume, angajament si initiative personale pentru sustinerea procesului de integrare europeana sau initiative originale si eficiente ale candidatei.

    Apreciata de europarlamentari pentru reformele in domeniul justitiei si luptei anticoruptie, Monica Macovei a fost ministru al justitiei in perioada 2004-2007, in prezent fiind consultant special al premierului Republicii Macedonia pe probleme de combatere a coruptiei. De asemenea, este expert al Comisiei Europene in domeniul pregatirii personalului de specialitate din tarile candidate ale UE in domeniul combaterii coruptiei si reformei sistemului juridic.

    Printre reformele care i-au adus aprecierea in UE, dar si critici acerbe din partea parlamentarilor romani, s-au numarat introducerea obligativitatii declaratiilor de avere pentru demnitari, infiintarea Directiei Nationale Anticoruptie, care pentru prima oara a inceput anchete de coruptie la nivel inalt.

  • Ads target men who use trafficked women

    MEN who buy sex from women trafficked into Ireland for prostitution are being targeted for the first time in an advertising campaign that warns they could go to jail.

  • Woman Fed To Dogs: Taslim Solangi and an End to Civility

    I am grown up enough now to believe that not every Pakistani household has its own feudal lord – though a significant amount of them are at the mercy of some lameass patriarchal messiah of sorts -and I am also firmly aware of the bitter truth that a very stringent sort of sexism prevalent in a large part of that country (as in mine) means a daily, almost ritualistic, persecution and defilement of women – emotionally, mentally, physically – as well as a thorough disregard for women’s rights.

    Despite my usual preparedness for the abnormally grim, stories like Solangi’s still manage to scare me insane and fuel unbridled rage within me. Wrath is what I can feel right now, rising from the absolute pit of my stomach. Unadulterated and unmitigated anger. And I want to use this anger in a way that pulverizes the very core of our enforced patriarchal inheritance. I want my anger to be as brutal and as devoid of mercy as these murdering charlatans are.

    I need revenge. We need revenge.

    I could have chosen to satirize in my usual blasé manner because I find in humor – especially dark humor – a rock-hard and unshakable crutch. But this is not the time to seek crutches, it’s the time to demolish.

    I beseech those academically fortified women amongst us, who love to deliberate about ethnocentric feminism’s strides in the warm comfort of their Ikea-decorated living rooms, to stand up and address this. Now. Without politeness and political correctness corrupting their ire. Because when young girls are left for dogs to feed on, very little room is left for civility.

  • Obama Expected to Overturn Global Gag Rule

    The new president is also expected to lift a so-called global gag rule barring international family planning groups that receive U.S. aid from counseling women about the availability of abortion, even in countries where the procedure is legal, said Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, he rescinded the Reagan-era regulation, known as the Mexico City policy, but Bush reimposed it.

    “We have been communicating with his transition staff” almost daily, Richards said. “We expect to see a real change.”

    The Global Gag Rule literally kills thousands and thousands of women every year by putting already over-stretched clinics in an impossible position. They must generally choose between either having no money to provide life-saving care, or providing care while breaking doctor-patient trust and actively doing harm by deceit. What the hell do you choose?

    Different organizations have different answers, but the fact is that it shouldn’t be a question. Doctors should be able to answer their patients’ inquiries honestly. Abortion should be treated as the routine and sometimes life-saving medical procedure that it is. And women deserve quality reproductive health care, whatever their needs. No woman should die because “pro-life” organizations on another continent have a superiority complex and think their tax dollars should only go to providing care for women they deem worthy enough.

    Repealing the Global Gag Rule is only a start, but it’s a huge first step towards a real culture of life — one that respects and cares for the lives of women. And it’s absolutely at the very top of my list of things President Obama can do quickly and decisvely to make the world a better place within his first hours in the Oval Office. If he intends to live up to his campaign promises to protect women’s health and show the world that we’re more than a bunch of self-absorbed ideological assholes, he absolutely must do it. And I eagerly look forward to the moment when he does, because it will not come a moment too soon.

fwd: III International Congress on Islamic Feminism

Third International Congress on Islamic Feminism
Barcelona 24th-27th October 2008

The Third International Congress on Islamic Feminism has been announced by Junta Islàmica Catalana (Catalonian Islamic Board) and will take place in Barcelona, 24th-27th October 2008.

The conference will be focused on the problems of Muslim women in the Global era. Many Muslim women today are facing a double oppression: economic (neo-liberalism) and political (religious fundamentalism). The Congress will consider the responses given by Islamic feminists to this situation, and their contribution towards the construction of a new civil society worldwide, based on a culture of human rights and Qur’anic values such as democracy, social justice, freedom of conscience and gender equality.

Distinguished Muslim personalities will be attending, such as Bouthaina Shaaban, Syria’s Minister for Refugees and candidate for Nobel Peace Prize; and Baroness Uddin, the first Muslim woman becoming member of the House of Lords in Britain.


violence at bosnian gay pride

“Historic Pride Event in Sarajevo Canceled” @ WOC PhD

It took only one night of violence at the historic Gay Pride Festival in Sarajevo for the events weekend long schedule to be shutdown.

(Organization Q Awareness Graffiti 2007)

250 people attended the opening night event yesterday to celebrate queer sexualities and equality. 70 men stood outside the event throwing rocks and yelling homophobic slurs. A small group of these were Muslim chanting about offense on Ramadan, while 12 others came from the anti-gay group Horde of Evil. The latter yelled “death to gays” and smashed the window of the Sarajevo Academy of Art while throwing rocks at art exhibit windows.

Although the event was heavily policed, and officers were able to push back protesters the violence did not end there. Several people returned at the end of the night to beat up attendees as the left. Some were even dragged from their cars. At least 10 people were seriously injured by night’s end.

5 men face charges. That is less than 10% of the total protesters involved in homophobic verbal assaults and an untold percentage of those involved in the physical violence later.

The message, which began with posters saying “Death to Gays” and escalated through the Muslim Imams and then across religious and secular political parties, including acting members of the government, condemning the event, was clear: constitution or not, the queer community is not safe in Sarajevo. This sentiment backs up an earlier study of queer life in the post-conflict region that said gay people were being actively harassed and beaten and/or feared for their lives at night on the streets in parts of the region.

Svetlana Djurkovic, a member of one of the NGOs who planned the event, announced that it would be canceled. She had initially hoped the event would highlight human rights and encourage people to think of what they have already survived because of intolerance and make the connection to why homophobia is equally unacceptable.

see earlier news: “Death Threats in Sarajevo on Eve of Pride” also on WOC PhD

and a “Report from Queer Sarajevo opening”

sarajevofest.jpg On September 24th, the first Queer Sarajevo Festival was opened.
The opening started with a magnificent exhibition at the Academy of Arts. The turnout was great, it was so genuine and touching at the same time.
There were more than 300 people at the opening, and their sexual orientation was of no relevance, as well as their religion or their sex and gender. The most important thing was that they were there to support a great event, a fabulous festival, wonderful people. Art, joy, life, freedom…

However, the reality was not very bright. In front of the Academy, just before the very opening, a group of aggressive religious extremists started gathering. There were about 150 of them, holding stones, some of them with knives, even guns.
Seven activists and visitors of the festival , as well as one policeman have been injured. These people have been brutally attacked and have suffered severe injuries.
These groups of extremists were following people to their cars, pulling them out, kicking and hitting them. They also pulled one of the taxi drivers out of his car, told him to back off and started kicking the people in the car. They hit a young man so hard that they broke his nose and continued kicking him him with a gun, after which the man lost consciousness.
Few more people were attacked and suffered head injures. One man suffered internal bleeding.
The police has registered the festival as an event with a high level of risk, but unfortunately have not treated it as such. The police have allowed 100 to 150 football hooligans and religious fundamentalists to push their way through to the very enterance of the Academy. Then, the private security guards had to deal with the situation and the extremists.
The police didn’t even care to disperse the crowd and the gathering which had not been previously announced. This is a great failure of the police.

Again there was not only a failure to grasp who the endangered party was, but the violence was also allowed and supported.
The great responsibilty of the police and the institutions that have not reacted timely and properly, allowing football hooligans and religious fundamentalists to gather will not be undermined. They claimed that thay couldn’t have stopped them due to the freedom of movement.

If this is the case, then why don’t queer people have the right to freedom of movement?

After QueerBeograd festival, where I have experienced the same example of intimidation and violence, where people have been brutally beaten up, here I am in Sarajevo at the first proud Queer festivalu and I am reliving the same story, where it is being said that a person who is beating me up has the right to walk freely and kill me. And I am being pushed into a room and victimised just for being a lesbian, a queer feminist and a proud activist.

Well, there will be no stopping, we will keep on living, rejoicing and fighting.

Joi, 4 septembrie, orele 18:00, deschiderea Spatiului de proiecte – Feminisme

[EN] Opening of Project Feminisms – Histories, free spaces, participative democracy, economic justice

image001.jpgIstorii, spaţii libere, democraţie participativă, justiţie economică.
Prin intermediul evenimentelor care vor avea loc într-un Spaţiu de proiecte în Timişoara, prin campanii în spaţiul public şi prin intermediul unei cercetări care va lua forma unei publicaţii şi a unui website, proiectul Feminisme va reflecta asupra întrebărilor şi contextelor a diverse practici feministe, în cadrul unor discuţii despre ce anume este relevant şi ce anume este vizibil în spaţiul public.

„Feminism” e un cuvânt dificil de folosit în România, în prezent. Deşi politicile de emancipare a femeilor din anii ’50 au dus la o dezvoltare a mişcării femeilor, mai târziu, în timpul regimului lui Nicolae Ceauşescu, “emancipare” şi “feminism” au devenit doar nişte cuvinte goale care acopereau morţile a mii de femei ca rezultat al politicii pronataliste. După 1989, în perioada de tranziţie şi în prezent, femeile şi bărbaţii care se declară în mod public ca fiind feministe/feminişti trebuie să facă faţă unor duble acuzaţii. Pe de o parte, cuvântul poartă implicaţiile fostului regim comunist şi pe de altă parte, în discursurile publice din prezent (în marea lor majoritate conservatoare) feminismul este considerat în general ca fiind un concept „importat din Vest” care nu are relevanţă pentru societatea noastră bazată pe „tradiţiile creştine”.

Ca o condiţie a integrării în Uniunea Europeana, România a adoptat o serie de legi cu un conţinut de gen: Legea pentru prevenirea şi combaterea tuturor formelor de discriminare (2002), Legea egalităţii de şanse dintre femei şi bărbaţi (2002), Legea pentru prevenirea şi combaterea violenţei în familie (2003). Adoptarea unei asemenea legislaţii este un pas important. Totuşi faptul că aceste legi au fost importate la un nivel pur legislativ, fără să fie însoţite de un cadru instituţional adecvat şi faptul că au fost adoptate ca urmare a unor presiuni externe şi nu ca un câştig al presiunilor făcute de societatea civilă, de către cei cărora li se adresează, le diminuează eficacitatea şi puterea de schimbare. Aceste legi reflectă faţa „democratică” a capitalismului. Aspecte cu un important conţinut de gen, cum ar fi precaritatea, sărăcia, migraţia, care au ca rezultat direct violenţa şi discriminarea, nu intră sub incidenţa acestor legi. Dacă consideri că trăieşti într-o societate în care toate problemele cu încărcătură de gen au fost cu succes normalizate, atunci problemele pe care le trăieşti devin doar eşecul tău individual şi nu au nici o relevanţă mai generală. Aparenţa de normalitate pe care o dau aceste legi are un efect de desolidarizare în condiţiile unei societăţi în care toate faţetele vieţii sunt transformate în mărfuri şi în care fiinţele şi ideile sunt importante doar în măsura în care contribuie la acumularea de capital.

O discuţie eficientă despre patriarhat poate fi făcută doar în măsura în care este arătată legătura dintre acesta şi capitalism, în măsura în care sunt analizate relaţiile de privilegii şi putere pe care capitalismul global este structurat. O discuţie care să se refere nu doar la enumerarea diferitelor feluri de oprimare ci şi la responsabilitatea fiecăruia/fiecăreia dintre noi de a ne opune acestora.

Feminisme este un instrument pentru interpretare şi acţiune. Continue reading