“Tyst med dig, kvinna” hörs fortfarande i mina öron

”Tyst med dig, kvinna”, och så hittar jag inga ord till svar; jag får en klump i halsen, tårarna vill tränga fram ur ögonen, jag söker pappas stöd men han är tyst. Mannen som sade det tittar mig rakt i ögonen, men jag sänker blicken och glor ner i tallriken istället.

Vi sitter vid bordet i ett kabardinskt hem i min pappas  barndomsstad Nalchik i Kabarbino-Balkarien, som ligger i Norra Kaukasien och som är nu ett subjekt i Ryska federationen. Som tioårig flicka blev jag upprörd när jag såg hur kvinnorna – efter att ha lagat tiotals väldoftande rätter och dukat färdigt – sätter sig i ett hörn.

”Får inte tant Malika och Olga äta med oss? Så gör man inte i Belarus!”, försökte jag då. ”Tyst med dig, kvinna”, fick jag till svar.

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A small victory when the candidate for Prime Minister of Republika Srpska meets women’s NGOs

Ms. Zeljka Cvijanovic. Photo: www.banjalukain.com

On Sunday 10th of March 2013, five women¹s NGOs from Kvinna till Kvinna women’s network from Bosnia and Herzegovina: United Women Banja Luka, Helsinki Citizens Assembly Banja Luka, Lara Bijeljina, Buducnost Modrica and Most Visegrad, were invited to join the formal round of consultations with candidate for the new Prime minister of Republika Srpska.

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Spotlight on International Women’s Day: Time for Gender Equality

Guest blog by Stephen B. Lavalah

Once again another International Women’s Day has come and gone, but the struggles, hardships and difficulties yet persist.  Even though women have got fundamental human rights like their male counterparts, however, women and girls are every so often in many societies excluded from political decision making, policy formulation and essential public activities.  Besides, this segment of the population in most countries, all too often are denied access to land ownership, right to acquire quality education and deprived of getting equal pay for equal work.  Women and girls are still underrated and belittled usually stereotype of being weak and empty vessels.  Moreover, many women and girls still live in societies where gender-based violence, forced teenage marriage, as well as sexual exploitation and abuse continue to increase on a daily basis.

More to the point, gender gap at all levels in society is generally very high as indicated in the 2012 Global Gender Gap Report released on October 23rd by the World Economic Forum.  It is without doubt that in most countries, women and girls even at this time lack access to justice, financial services, employment opportunities, water supply, farmland and effective, efficient and affordable health care delivery services.  Moreover, for far too long harmful traditional, cultural and religious practices further worsen the condition of females and subject them to all sorts of unwholesome way of life that contravene their dignity and worth as human beings.  These and many more factors affecting women and girls put them in disadvantage situation to have the chance to achieve their full potential and measure of happiness.

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Uppföljning av våld mot kvinnor i Irak

– Uppföljning av politiken om våld mot kvinnor är viktig. Det menar social- och arbetsmarknadsministern i Irakiska regionen Kurdistan. I mina öron låter det här som en intressant kommentar i ett annars rätt slätstruket tal. Ministern är inledningstalare på en konferens Kvinna till Kvinna och svenska ambassaden i Irak anordnar i Erbil dagen efter internationella kvinnodagen. Svenska ambassadören Jörgen Lindström har redan hälsat alla välkomna.

Andra talare återkommer till behovet av uppföljning. Francis Guy, representant för UN Women i Irak, efterfrågar forskning och data. Samtidigt problematiserar hon statistik om våld mot kvinnor. En ökning betyder ju inte självklart att våldsbrotten blir vanligare, förklarar hon, det kan ju lika gärna betyda att fler utsatta kvinnor vågar anmäla brott. Hon nämner att Sverige har höga siffror på våld i nära relationer. Universiteten utvecklas i Irak, fortsätter hon, och kan ta en roll i detta arbete.

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International Women’s Day, Tbilisi, Georgia

Women’s Fund in Georgia, arranged a screening of the new documentary; “Untold herstories” – a project created and carried out by the Independent Group of Feminists with the support of Women’s Fund of Georgia. The documentary tells the story of three 19th century Georgian feminists’ lives and work: Barbara Jorjadze, Ekaterine Gabashvili and Kato Mikeladze. The documentary aims to show the public the unknown feminist heritage of women in Georgia. The documentary will soon be available online so please visit Women’s Fund in Georgia’s homepage for more info.

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Anne Klein Frauenpreis Award Ceremony for Lepa Mladjenovic

Lepa Mladjenovic received the Anne Klein Frauenpreis 2013. Photo: Marija Vuletic

The feminist lesbian activists study visit to the Anne Klein Award Ceremony took place from the 27th of February to the 3rd of March 2013 and there were 22 lesbian feminist activists from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina present in Berlin, Germany. The atmosphere and the energy that connected us all was incredible and it was one of those energies that is found only in solidarity and support between women.

Lepa Mladjenovic won the Anne Klein Frauenpreis for all the hard work she put in over the years wanting to create safe spaces and support for women in Serbia and the region. Lepa is one of those women who is there for every single woman, and who stands behind all of us, one hundred percent, supporting us and encouraging us to step out, and change our surroundings into safe spaces for all. This award was given to her, because she changed our worlds, and she is an inspiration to all of us, and to all the women who meet her, to keep fighting because hard work is awarded, regardless of the time it takes to come.

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