”Att ta hand om sig själv är ett politiskt ställningstagande”

Effektiv tidshantering är en av strategier för en hållbar aktivism. Det pratade Mariam Gagosh om. Foto: Kvinna till Kvinna/Malin Askhamre

Mariam Gagosh pratar om effektiv tidshantering som en strategi för hållbar aktivism. Foto: Kvinna till Kvinna/Malin Askhamre

Det växande hotet mot kvinnorättsförsvarare och det minskade utrymmet för arbete med kvinnors rättigheter leder till ökad stress, frustration och en känsla av otillräcklighet bland aktivister. För att stärka deras motivation och hälsa, både fysiskt och mentalt, har Kvinna till Kvinna tagit fram metoden ”Integrerad säkerhet”. Malin Askhamre bloggar från en workshop där ett tjugotal kvinnorättsförsvarare från Balkan och södra Kaukasien samlats för att arbeta kring hållbar aktivism i en trygg miljö.

 

Den feministiska kampen var en gemensam nämnare för samtliga, och allas kontextryggsäckar och erfarenheter dukades upp till ett inbjudande och lärorikt smörgåsbord. Ingen gick hungrig därifrån. Gemensamma nämnare var även hjältinnan/martyren-fenomenet och bördan av den stereotypa kvinnorollen, två svulster som många kunde relatera till, och vilka bidrar till ohälsa.

Att ta hand om andra, utföra obetalda, osedda hemarbetet, lägga ner tid på att ansa och sminka oss för att anses se ut som kvinnor ska: den stereotypa kvinnorollen är en mörk skugga, ständigt närvarande, molande med dåligt samvete och av otillräcklighet. Även den radikalaste feminist skuggas (i alla fall fläckvis) av den stereotypa kvinnorollen. Samhällets traditionella förväntningar och krav på kvinnor behöver lyftas upp till ljuset och blekna bort, vi har tröttnat!

Den andra aspekten, feministhjältinnan/martyren, som alltid ställer upp, jobbar dygnet och året runt, är en kontraproduktiv baksida av aktivisters välvilja och jävlaranamma att skapa förändring. Ingen vinner i längden på självdegraderande arbetsmoral. Det är inte själviskt att ta hand om sig själv, det är ett politiskt ställningstagande för hållbar aktivism.

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Security; Integrated!

On Friday we arranged a one day follow up workshop here in Tbilisi for the Young Women of South Caucasus who participated in the Integrated Security Workshop in Turkey in November 2012. We wanted to see where the participants are today; what did they manage to integrate in their personal lives as well as in their activism? Also Sandra Ljubinkovic; facilitator of our small follow up with several years of experience working with and developing the concept of Integrated Security Workshops, taught the participants some new methods.

So what happened in the three months since the workshop? All participants talked about that they had started thinking about their personal well being – that they were claiming more space for themselves; one participant said for New Year’s she and her mum had gone to massage instead of buying material things. Another one had started to go to the gym, a third one to eat healthier. Seemingly small things but they all make a big difference for the activists themselves; they feel less stressed and more relaxed. And not to forget; change takes time and energy (yourself as well as your organisation and your community); so it was very inspiring to see just how much the participants had been able to integrate in three months. I am impressed and inspired!

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Integrating Security in your activism

I and my colleague, Katarina Härröd, recently had the privilege to take part in an Integrated Security Workshop arranged for Young Women of South Caucasus in Turkey. It is really an interesting concept; to integrate security and to create the space for activists’ own safety and well being – to make activism sustainable on all levels (personal, organisational, community).

In my case the integrated security workshop took me back to my childhood; to the first burning memory of gender inequality; of being treated differently just because society defined me as a girl. It was not until much later I learned about feminism and started defining myself as a feminist, however the roots of my belief in feminism is to find at the age of 3 or 4, even before I could name it.

It also took me back to my teens; growing up in a world which dramatically changed with the end of the cold war which resulted in the outbreak of numerous of violent conflict (which we in Sweden unfortunately did not hear so much about – I learned more about the collapse of the Soviet Union much later in life).

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Young Women’s Chaos in Istanbul

I and my colleague Katarina Härröd have had the opportunity to take part in the meeting of Young Women’s Network of South Caucasus in Istanbul the last three days. From time to time it has been chaotic; strong feelings, problems, “aha” points in discovering similarities and differences, a mixture of languages and new friendships all mixed with a spirit of young activism and a sense that everything is possible.

Tomorrow we leave Istanbul to continue with a smaller group of young people to take part in an Integrated Security Workshop; the weather forecast says it will be cloudy, rainy and cold but we hope for a warm and cosy atmosphere within the group which will keep us warm and motivated for the rest of the week.

Drawings of the participants' expectationsTeambulding within the network