On the Tbilisi airport a sexist commercial, complete with headless woman, welcomes visitors. Fortunately me and my colleagues from Kvinna till Kvinna’s South Caucasus team are going to spend this week planning a new regional strategy to improve women’s rights in South Caucasus.
We believe that feminism and hard work will make OUR dreams come true!
Nationalists around the world are currently attacking many of the rights that I am fighting for. They want to limit LGBT rights, women’s rights, the rights of migrants and the rights of different minority groups. They try to silent peace activists and feminists.
This development makes me scared, but at the same time I’m even more convinced about the need to find ways for groups and people targeted by nationalists to gather in resistance. A broad movement working against nationalism and for a world where human rights are not limited and reserved for a few.
LGBT activists from South Caucasus, invited to Sweden by RFSL, visited Kvinna till Kvinna’s office in Stockholm. Photo: Kvinna till Kvinna/Julia Lapitskii
But the road ahead is long, which is something I’ve been reminded of recently, during meetings with peace- and women’s rights activists from Serbia and LGBT activists from South Caucasus.
Last week, eight LGBT activists from South Caucasus visited Kvinna till Kvinna’s office in Stockholm. They represent organisations that work for LGBT persons’ human rights in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
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.