Women WorldWide takes up: Afghan women MPs set up an organization in exile to help other activist women escape; the thousands who marched in Istanbul, Turkey demanding action against widespread violence against women; women in Poland marching again against restrictions on abortion; and the 7,000 women who gathered in Madrid, Spain, protesting male violence against women.
On May 1, the BC Women’s Alliance, a coalition of feminists in British Columbia, Canada, dropped banners from bridges, and other locations reading #Women Demand Guaranteed Livable Income; On May 19, 2021, Alix Dobkin, a founder of the group Lavender Jane, died; COVID-19 lockdowns contributed to a worldwide increase in violence against women, including female genital mutilation which is being fought by Lucy-Ann Ganda, a director at Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation.
Five Canadian feminist activists released The Care Economy Statement proclaiming that caregiving is a societal responsibility; through February, thousands of feminists demonstrated across France in support of “Julie,” a 25-year-old woman who when younger was raped over 100 times by 20 firemen; in memoriam for Nawal El Sadaawi, an Egyptian radical feminist, Marxist, writer and activist; and the Illinois Prison Project launched the Women and Survivors Project.
Violence against women has worsened in the era of COVID-19. Sexism, like racism, is systemic to almost every culture. Nevertheless women fight back with creative activism and thought. What is new is the internationalization and deepening of that struggle. This year’s International Women’s Day shows women deepening our fight for full freedom and new human relationships.
Women Worldwide column on femicide by “sex games gone wrong”; female genital mutilation in the U.S.; and the Canadian National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls issues final report.