Feminist groups and organizations, women’s sections of political parties, and other collectives, including the Diotima Centre, are jointly organizing a series of events for Tuesday 25 November 2014, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Program of events
12:00 Gathering at the Cleaners’ Struggle Centre, 10 Karageorgi Servias, Syntagma, and performances
17:30 Gathering at the forecourt with events, speeches, and music. Then march to the cleaners’ struggle center.
19:00 Screening of the film “Birds in the swamp” by Alinda Demetriou, at the center of the struggle, 10 Karageorgi Servias, Syntagma
20.00 Artistic events at the “Forward” theatre, by the SocArtes group in collaboration with feminist and art groups, until 00.30 – Riga Palamidou 2 – Psirri
“Violence against women is a daily and global phenomenon, it takes many forms and is a key barrier to gender equality. It threatens all women, regardless of class, race, or age.
It is produced by patriarchy and capitalism and is the result of many different economic, political, institutional, and cultural factors that are manifestations of unequal power relations between men and women.
It is verbal, psychological, physical, sexual, and symbolic, and in many cases it reaches death. Women and girls who lose their lives to gender-based violence worldwide outnumber the victims of wars.
Any woman can be a victim of violence. However, unemployed, precariously employed, and generally poor women and migrant women are most at risk because they lack the possibility of economic independence and social support or are more afraid to speak out.
In the current crisis conditions, violence in general, and even more so gender-based violence, is on the rise. Murders of women, rapes, murders of immigrants, trafficking, frequent homophobic and transphobic attacks, violence, and bullying in schools.
Gender-based violence by state actors is also on the rise. Anti-feminist discourse is being strengthened by the far-right and fascist phenomenon, internationally.
In the past year we have seen reports of a series of violent attacks against women, in different parts of the world, in Nigeria with the abduction of 270 teenage girls from their school dormitory, some of whom were sold to soldiers as brides or workers, and from the US to Asia and Europe in crisis. International public opinion was shocked by the hanging of Reyhaneh Jabari in Iran.
In Greece, wife murders persist, which the police wash away as ‘crimes of passion’ when they are accompanied by the suicide of the perpetrator. The same police are indifferent to victims of trafficking, having provided assistance and protection to only 154 of them in 2010-2012.
The Greek government has failed to provide statutory services to victims, and the number of people brought to court and convicted is decreasing yearly. The number of victims worldwide is 27 million and despite the policy, and measures announced internationally, it remains unabated.
We have also seen the blatantly racist-sexist arrest of the three African women as they were leaving rehearsals for a theatre performance. Finally, we see a conservative turn of justice both in the case of the HIV-positive woman and in the case of Angeliki Koutsoubou, who was almost killed by the policeman Poimenidis who ran over her with a motorbike in 2009 but was sentenced to only one year’s suspended prison sentence.
From the state’s point of view, while there are currently several counseling centers and some shelters operating throughout the country, for urgent needs, many emergency services are under-utilized (ECSC, hospitals, forensic services, etc.), long-term support services are absent and prevention is only occasional.
At the same time, economic violence, unemployment, and cuts in social services trap women and make them the prey of all kinds of ‘partners’ and bosses. We must eliminate it!
As in recent years, this year on 25 November, with determination and confidence, we take the initiative to demonstrate in the center of Athens, against gender violence and its combination with all other forms that “thrive”, especially in a period of crisis.
We, the women, who are present in all the struggles against the policies of the memorandum in all their versions, are inspired by the long and determined struggle of the 595 cleaners of the Ministry of Finance, who have been on the street for 15 months resisting, despite the fact that they have been subjected to all forms of violence, from work-related violence through their dismissal, and the daily violence of the police, which has broken their arms, legs, and heads, because they are workers and because they are women, and because they set an example of struggle in Greece and abroad.
- We fight for the abolition of power relations, for a society without fear, poverty, and violence, without exclusion and discrimination, without sexism and devaluation of women in public life, and with respect for diversity.
- We break the silence and tolerance! We make visible the “invisible” daily domestic violence, rape and trafficking, and gender-based or sexual orientation-based violence in all its forms.
- We support all women who dare to report violence, especially migrant, disabled, Romani, HIV-positive, lesbian, and trans women.
- We call for legislation and policies that ensure the prosecution of those involved in the trafficking of women and minors.
- We demand the creation of adequate reception and support facilities and shelters for abused women. Properly trained staff in all the institutions involved so that victims are not discouraged and find effective support to claim their rights.
- Demand an appropriate legal framework for the full and effective protection of women who have suffered gender-based violence or discrimination. Ensure that cases are heard quickly and free of charge.
- We fight to overturn stereotypes and change the prevailing mindset in the family, and education, against the commodification of women’s bodies and sexist norms in advertising, the media, the internet, and society in general.
- We are fighting against the economic violence generated by austerity policies that affect gender equality.
- We oppose the rise of the fascist monster that openly challenges women’s acquired rights and our struggle for social emancipation.
- We fight for a strong and massive women’s and feminist movement that will check the institutions (government, political parties, trade unions, local government, etc.) for their vigilance on the issues of violence against women and their contribution to the fight against it.
The struggle to eliminate gender-based violence is a social struggle, it concerns everyone.
Feminist Initiative for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Women’s Self-Defence Group, Women’s World March (Greek network), African Women’s Union, Socartes Group, Lesbian Group of Athens, Greek Women’s Network Europe – SOS line ‘Next to you’, Live Library – Human Library Greece, Diotima Centre, The struggling cleaners of the Ministry of Finance, Green Solidarity Youth, Rainbow Families, Syriza Youth, Women for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, Women’s Initiative against Debt and Austerity Measures, Women’s Group Red, Women’s Group OKDE-Spartakos, Colour Youth Community of LGBTQ Youth of Athens, Electronic Feminist Newspaper “Fylo Sykis” www.fylosykis.gr
Women’s party sections
Thematic Group for Human Rights of the Green Ecologists, Women’s Group Greens-Solidarity, Feminist Policy Department/Gender Syriza, Women’s Group ANTARSYA
Electronic daily feminist newspaper “The Purple” tomov.gr , Solidarity Initiative for persecuted HIV-positive women, ACT UP Action