Loujain Al-Hathloul, the feminist on hunger strike that embarrasses the Saudi power

From the right of women to lead to the abolition of male guardianship, Loujain Al-Hathloul has become one of the pillars of feminism in Saudi Arabia. As the country prepares to chair the next G20 summit, voices are rising to demand the release of the 31-year-old young woman, imprisoned since May 2018 and who went on a hunger strike on October 28.

“It’s me and my sister in December 2017. As Saudi Arabia hosts the G20 summit, it will be spending her 920th day in prison. Will anyone ask about her? She has been on a hunger strike for 16 days. We haven’t heard from since, ”wrote Lina Al-Hathloul on Twitter on November 11. Detained since May 2018 in a prison located 25 km from Riyadh, her sister Loujain began a new hunger strike since October 28 in order to be able to have regular contact with her family. In August, the activist had already stopped eating for almost a week after being deprived of contact with his family for several months, we can read on the Human Rights Watch website.


Demos against the abortion ban in Poland: Solidarity from Germany

Claudia Roth takes the side of the protesters against the abortion ban in Poland. Pro Familia writes a letter to Maas and Merkel.

Claudia Roth (Bündnis90 / Die Grünen) has shown solidarity with the protesters in Poland Foto: Christian Spicker/imago

BERLIN taz | The Vice President of the German Bundestag, Claudia Roth, has shown her solidarity with the protesters in Poland who have been taking to the streets for more than a week against an almost complete ban on abortions. The news channel of the public television in Poland, TVP Info, showed Roth on Monday on its online page with the slogan of the protesters “This is war”.

The broadcaster quotes her as saying: “It is time for the German government and the European Union to increase the political pressure on the Polish government to the maximum and to demand European human rights standards.” Roth also posted this text on her Facebook page.

According to TVP Info, the State Secretary of the ruling PiS party in the Polish Foreign Ministry was “appalled” by the form and content of Roth’s contribution. The slogan “This is war” in the mouth of a German politician arouses the worst associations. “Pressure” from the federal government or the EU on Poland also lacks any legal basis.

The Polish demonstrators use the slogan to criticize the state’s “war” against their bodies. Roth’s office manager said that against the historical background it was insensitive to choose this particular image of the movement. That’s why it was removed from the Facebook page. The solidarity with the striking women will of course continue.

“Excessive violence” against demonstrators

In addition, the German Society for Family Planning Pro Familia has turned to the federal government about the ban on abortions in the neighboring country. “Please condemn attacks and violence by non-state actors, including right-wing extremist groups,” writes Pro Familia in an open letter to Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) and Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). “Work to ensure that those who attack protesters are held accountable.”

The Polish Constitutional Court further tightened the already extremely restrictive regulation on abortion in Poland in October. Women now also have to carry fetuses that they know will be born with severe restrictions or will not survive the birth. Since then, however, protests by Polish women’s rights groups such as Strajk Kobiet (women’s strike) have not stopped. Throughout the country, they are now supported by unions, but also by taxi drivers and farmers. Large demonstrations paralyze inner cities like Warsaw.

At the same time, writes Pro Familia, footage shows how the police use tear gas and pepper spray against protesters. “The use of excessive force by law enforcement officers” would be contrary to international human rights law and the EU charter, which guarantee the right to peaceful assembly, the open letter said. Actions by right-wing extremist groups are also “worrying, as they can often act with impunity, which is in stark contrast to the repressive measures taken by the authorities”.

The women’s political spokeswoman for the left-wing parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Cornelia Möhring, said: “In Poland, the anger is discharging against the increasingly authoritarian government policy.” The protests are not only against the compulsory childbearing, but also against the misanthropic policies of the PiS government. Unfortunately, according to Möhring, little is to be expected from the federal government: at least the Union is also insisting on the so-called “protection of life” in this country. Solidarity with the Poles is all the more necessary.

Ulle Schauws, the women’s political spokeswoman for the Green parliamentary group in the Bundestag, still sees the federal government as having an obligation. “The undermining of fundamental rights that the Polish government is directing against women, but also against LGBTI people, is unsustainable,” said Schauws. Also because Germany currently holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union, the federal government must increase the pressure on Poland and insist on compliance with the rule of law in the EU member state Poland: “The use of violence against protesting women and activists must be prevented.”


“The danger for women in Germany lies in right-wing extremist ideologies” (neue-deutschland.de)

Photo: Ailen Diaz / Agencia Uno / dpa

Twenty years ago, on October 31, 2000, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1325. A milestone in the recognition of gender equality in the context of peace and security for the first time. Nine further resolutions followed, which together shape the women, peace and security agenda. The resolution is binding under international law and obliges the UN member states to implement it domestically. National governments are writing National Action Plans (NAPs) to implement the Women, Peace, Security agenda.

Ms. Scheyer, the second National Action Plan for Resolution 1325 is currently in force in Germany. What priorities has the Federal Government set here?

The current NAP for 2017-2020 has focused on foreign and security policy. Above all, he focuses on strengthening the participation of women in peace processes and increasing protection against violence. This is mainly implemented in conflict areas. The third NAP is still being written.

Are there any aspects that are currently missing?

A major point of criticism on my part is the lack of reference to domestic politics. It is very important that foreign policy is gender-equitable and that peace processes are supported. But the complementary look inward is missing. The NAP in Germany and also in other western countries often aims to implement measures for equality and protection in conflict areas. However, the women, peace, security agenda is not fully understood here. Because it is about advocating for equality in the respective national context and in foreign policy. The current foreign policy orientation suggests that sexualised and gender-specific violence actually only takes place in countries in the Global South and does not need to be addressed in one’s own country. In Germany, measures are then aimed at migrant women and refugees, but there are no other actions within Germany.

Which domestic issues need more attention in the context of resolution 1325?

Equality and the elimination of discrimination against women and other marginalized groups is best achieved in peacetime. In this country we have a comparatively high number of women’s rights and not as much violence as in a conflict area, for example. The German federal government is resting on that. The danger for women in Germany lies in right-wing extremist ideologies that are currently spreading across Europe. This is very dangerous, as we can see in Poland or Hungary, for example, where women’s rights and self-determination are currently being further restricted.

To what extent does the fight against right-wing extremism and anti-feminism belong together?

Right-wing extremist ideologies are racist and misanthropic. But they also contain a sexist, misogynistic image. In order to maintain their own power, they aim to suppress women, to push them back into classic family roles and to curtail reproductive rights. And that is a massive restriction on the women’s rights that have already been won.

Marc Jongen, who sits for the right-wing party in the German Bundestag, provided an example of how anti-feminist the völkisch ideology of the AfD is. In 2016, he told the FAZ that gender roles should be more firmly established and the deconstruction of family, people and church should be prevented. In addition, instead of gender mainstreaming, he called for an “education in masculinity”.

What kind of measures do you propose?

An important approach is social and political participation. Our society must be better represented in domestic and foreign policy. Women currently have only 31.2 percent of the seats in the German Bundestag; Incidentally, the AfD has the lowest proportion of women. There cannot be just one group that speaks for everyone. Everyone should feel addressed to participate, women and people with a migration history, young people and members of the LGBTQI community.

In addition, it is a fundamental problem for society as a whole that the roles of women, men and other gender identities are seen to be very solid and that these are hardening again. One starting point would be to anchor in curricula that allegedly “natural” gender roles are taught and attempts are made to break them down. The same applies to the police, armed forces and other positions in the public service. In addition, anti-racism work must be promoted. Prejudices must be abolished and more meeting places created. Racism must be recognized as a problem that affects society as a whole – not as an individual case.

Back to the National Action Plan again. What other problems do you see with the current application of the NAP?

A big problem in Germany is that it is very difficult for civil society to participate. In other countries, civil society can write or at least help shape the NAP. There are comparatively few meetings between the federal government and the civil society alliance 1325. Usually this is a short exchange and not a joint development of content. The action plan also lacks funding. The federal government is not preparing a specific budget for financing the measures. Another problem is that the NAP is not aimed at disarmament. Here the women, peace, security agenda is understood to mean that war is made safe for women. But the original idea was to end the war! That includes disarmament. And that becomes a difficult topic for Germany when it comes to restricting or even stopping its own arms exports.


The Argentine President puts the final touches on a bill legalizing the right to abortion

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Argentine President Alberto Fernandez announced that his government is finalizing a bill to legalize abortion, to be presented to Parliament.

“We are putting the final touches” to a bill, Fernandez (center-left) said on an Argentine radio station. “I hope that the issue does not turn into a new source of conflict between Argentines. Let us respect each other.” This week, pro-abortion activists publicly called on the president to honor a pledge he made during his election campaign. There is a deep division in Argentine society over the issue of abortion. A parliamentary debate on the issue had sparked in 2018 a wave of pro-abortion demonstrations and others condemning it.

During a historic vote, the House of Representatives approved a text legalizing abortion up to the fourteenth week of pregnancy, but the Senate under former President Maurizio Macri (2015-2019) reversed the legislation a few weeks later. Fernandez, who reminded of his commitment to file a bill in this regard, noted that “abortions are continuing and many women die while undergoing it in secret,” and he regrets the delay in Parliament due to the epidemic.

In this South American country, a woman has no right to abort her fetus except in cases of rape and a risk to the life of the pregnant woman. Every year, about 400,000 abortions are performed in Argentina, which has a population of 45 million, often in precarious conditions, according to organizations working to defend women’s rights.


Thousands of Poles protest against tightened abortion law (neue-deutschland.de)

Warsaw: Demonstrators protest against tightening abortion laws in Poland.

Foto: picture alliance / Jakub Kaminski

Warsaw. Thousands of Poles also took to the streets on Saturday against the controversial ruling by the Constitutional Court to tighten abortion law. In several cities in the country, despite Corona restrictions, people demonstrated for the third day in a row against an almost complete ban on abortions that the Supreme Court had made possible. Many of the demonstrators shouted, among other things, »freedom, equality, women’s rights«.

Poland’s highest court on Thursday declared a law unconstitutional that allows abortions in the event of a serious malformation of the fetus. Poland already has one of the strictest abortion rights in Europe. The ruling by the Constitutional Court was sharply criticized, among others, by the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic.

Activists criticize the fact that a corresponding new law would constitute a total ban on abortion because 98 percent of legal abortions in Poland involve malformations of the fetus. Women with limited resources in particular could now be forced to resort to dangerous, illegal abortion methods.

The national conservative ruling party Law and Justice (PiS) has been campaigning for a tightening of abortion law in Poland for years. She wants abortions to be possible only if the life of the pregnant woman is in immediate danger or if she became pregnant as a result of rape or incest.

The ruling that has now been passed gives the government majority in the Warsaw Parliament the green light to approve a bill to criminalize the abortion of malformed fetuses. The law would only come into force after it has been confirmed by President Andrzej Duda. The conservative head of state has already declared his support for the project. AFP / nd


Inna Schevchenko, between Femen and Fée du logis, she chose (Replay)

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Today, maybe our chair in G Major will turn into a thoroughbred, who knows? Because it’s an Amazon, a real one, setting in front of me. A Femen with a switchblade and lipstick.

Inna Shevchenko is blonde, revolutionary and has risen like an entire army (with its co-religionists) against the dictatorship in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, against sexism in Eastern Europe, and against any commodification of the body of women. Just with bare breasts, pointed like shells, which offered themselves as food to feminist Utopia. Wow. A gently radical utopia, paid dearly by the young lady, in torture and in exile, from Ukraine to France. Land of the rights of the gentleman and the Marianne who sleeps in her. I present to you his life, his work and his book entitled Heroics, Amazons, Sinners, Revolutionaries, or the confessions of a young woman who dreamed of making the revolution rather than cooking.

→ The comic First name Inna, a Ukrainian childhood will appear at Futuropolis.

Inna Shevchenko’s musical choices

MY Bad girls

David Bowie Rebel Rebel


Protests after fatal gang rape in India

New Delhi (AP) – In protest against two fatal gang rapes, people in several regions of India are protesting on the streets and in social networks. Both victims were young women from the lowest Indian caste, Dalits.

One was reportedly molested by men from a higher caste before she died of serious injuries. In India’s patriarchal society, where the caste system is still important to many people even though it has been officially abolished, Dalit women often suffer double discrimination. The police tried on Thursday in the home village of one of the victims to limit the protests. Some demonstrators put up posters calling for the perpetrators to be hung.

Both young women came from the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, which is one of the poorest. Both died on Tuesday. One is said to have been mistreated in a field in mid-September. Her tongue and spinal cord were injured, her brother told Indian media. She died two weeks later. The family accuses the police of cremating the body in the middle of the night without consent. The police denied this allegation. The state’s head of government tweeted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the rapists should be severely punished.

According to the police, the second Dalit woman was raped Tuesday night and died on the way to a hospital. She was previously kidnapped and drugged, her family told Indian media. Your child could hardly have spoken and walked after the crime, said the mother.

In the meantime, the police said they had arrested the four alleged rapists of the first woman and the two of the second woman. There should be urgent proceedings.

In 2012, a particularly brutal rape case of a student on a bus in the capital of India and the world showed that the country had a fundamental problem – a rape problem. According to official figures, a woman or a girl is raped there every 15 minutes – and not all cases are recorded. Even today, many Indian women are silent about it. Only particularly brutal cases make national headlines. In response to this, people have protested again and again in recent years, some demanding the death of perpetrators. But activists say the cause of the many rapes lies deeper – in the patriarchal society in which many women learned early on that they were worth less than their brothers.

Thousands of female fetuses are aborted every year, girls attend schools less often than boys and daughters are often a financial burden for families – they often have to pay a high dowry when they marry, although this is now officially prohibited. Activists also accuse the police and the often overloaded judicial system of not taking victims of sexual violence seriously enough – especially if they belong to a lower caste.


too much loss for Caster Semenya?

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Will the South African Caster Semenya be able to compete again one day in a high level race over 800 or 1,500 meters? Swiss justice rejected an appeal filed by the Olympic champion against the regulations of the International Athletics Federation. This stipulates that runners whose testosterone level is unusually high must have it regulated in order to be allowed to compete over certain distances.

« The doors can be closed but not locked. Caster Semenya remained combative on September 8, 2020, in a short message on Twitter. But we should speak of disillusionment concerning the double Olympic champion, three-time world champion and five-time African champion. It has just lost a new legal battle against the International Athletics Federation (World Athletics). A long fight began shortly after the 2009 Worlds during which the South African, then little known, had crushed the competition over 800 meters, to almost everyone’s surprise. This victory in Berlin then revived a lively debate on sport and gender, at the crossroads of health, politics and philosophy.

This September 8, 2020, the Swiss justice rejected an appeal filed by Caster Semenya against the rules of World Atheltics (ex-IAAF) which restrict access to certain events for hyperandrogenic athletes. The native of Pietersburg, like others before her, naturally produces unusually high testosterone levels. However, the former IAAF has demanded since April 2018 that the sports concerned reduce this rate to be authorized to compete in races over all distances ranging from 400 meters to a mile (1,609 meters). A decision which had notably deprived the interested party of the 2019 Worlds in Qatar and aroused the wrath of the United Nations Organization (UN), the UN Women agency seeing a risk of ” human rights violation “And” a dark chapter in the history of sport ».

World Athletics rejoices

For its part, the Swiss Supreme Court claims to have made prevail ” fairness of competitions ” as ” cardinal principle of sport “, On the grounds that a testosterone level comparable to that of men gives female athletes” an insurmountable advantage “. He thus confirmed the decision taken in May 2019 by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the supreme body in matters of sports disputes. CAS had previously felt that athletes like Caster Semenya took too much advantage of their predisposition.

« For the past five years, World Athletics (ex-IAAF) has fought to provide equitable rights and opportunities to all women and girls who play our sport today and in the future., welcomed the International Federation in a statement. We are therefore delighted with the decision of the Swiss Supreme Court to confirm our rules on DSD athletes. (with differences in sexual development, editor’s note) as legitimate and proportionate ».

Alternatives rather than remedies for Semenya ?

After the decision of the Swiss Supreme Court, Caster Semenya defended himself forcefully: “ I am very disappointed with this stop, but I refuse to let World Athletics drug me or prevent me from being who I am. “She further indicated her intention to seize” all national and international remedies “. But, in fact, the South African seems to have exhausted the main possible legal avenues.

At 29, Caster Semenya is theoretically in the prime of life. Currently, she has two options to try to compete in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics: agree to follow the drug regimen claimed by World Athletics – which obviously seems out of the question – or try her luck over a non-distance. concerned by this controversial regulation. On March 13, she had thus indicated her intention to line up for 200 meters. Currently, the African athletics superstar is busy playing football with club JVW FC. But she assured that she did not give up the sport that made her queen.