Feminist Working Group: Call for Applications

OVERVIEW

What: Feminist Working Group Meeting 2019
When: 27-30 June 2019 (including travel dates)
Where: Salvador Alllende Haus, Oer-Erkenschwick (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)
Age: 18-35 years
Size: Maximum 2 participant per region
Registration Deadline: 30th April, 2019

OUTLINE

The Feminist Working Group 2019 will bring together young activists of IUSY member organisations from all seven regions. The aim of the meeting is to strengthen the

Feminist Working Group and enhance organisational cooperation on the topic.

The meeting will offer a platform to discuss current organisational and regional situation in regards to gender equality, gender discrimination, inclusive participation and gender based violence. It will also give space to engage in a dialogue on common struggles and obstacles, and work together to come up with strategies to enact political and social change. Participants can look forward to meeting youth actors, getting involved in political debates and discussions, sharing experiences and ideas and building up their international network. There will also be an added focus on working on a toolkit/guideline for gender equality in youth organisations.

THEME – Gender mainstreaming in youth organisations

In the past two years IUSY Feminist Working Group has had enriching experiences and opportunities to meet and discuss our common struggles and problems regarding feminism, gender equality, gender based violence and many related topics. We have implemented two social media campaigns on “Stories of Women*” (2017, 2018) and one Women*Resist video campaign which is still ongoing.

During our discussions and experience sharing we observed that the struggle for gender equality and against discrimination and violence in many cases and contexts remains limited to women’s groups within the organisations. Therefore, too often it is limited to those organisations and movements that already have strong feminist structures and working groups. We also identified that there is a “feminist bubble” where gender issues are tackled in a safe space, giving the impression that practices have changed, when, for many organisations and in many cases, they indeed have not. This situation is more complex when there are so many organisations with different realities and contexts gathered under the umbrella of IUSY.

This year we plan to focus on our member organisations, their struggles and their contribution for making a change. We want to open a space for us and our participants to explore the topic of gender equality and all related aspects in our organisations and in our movement. We believe that that there is a huge potential to work together and make a significant change. We want to explore the reach of gender equality by recognising and naming the challenges that we face in different organisations and realities. Only by starting with this we can more forward to have more inclusive organisations without discrimination and violence. Finally, we will set advanced goals for gender equality in youth organisations and design tools/guidelines and methods to carry them out – the IUSY Toolkit/ Guideline for gender equality in youth organisations, which will be shared in our global movement and with our partner youth organisations.

Objectives of the working group meeting 2019

  • Strengthen the understanding of gender identity and recognise the importance of gender equality in youth organisations and our movement
  • Comprehend the current situation in youth organisations regarding gender equality and the main challenges and issues to address in order to improve further
  • Set short- and long-term goals for improvement of gender equality in youth organisations and design an advanced strategy to reach the defined goals
  • Engage in creating a toolkit/guideline for gender equality in youth organisationsThe activity is hosted by our member organisation Sozialistische Jugend Deutschland – Die Falken.Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the IUSY Secretariat at iusy@iusy.org.

IUSY toolkit/guideline

WHO CAN APPLY

This activity is not aimed towards the leadership of IUSY member organisations, it is addressed to youth activists. Please note that it is required that the participants stay for the whole duration of the activity and also to contribute to IUSY activities after the meeting.

Participants should:

  • –  Belong to IUSY member organisation.
  • –  Be aged 18-35
  • –  Have been active/working/studying in the field of feminism/feminist movement
  • –  Be willing to continue to work and be active in the field of gender and feminism
  • –  Be willing to work in creating the toolkit
  • –  Availability to contribute to IUSY activities in future
  • –  Have a proficient level of English (the only working language during the activity)Please note that places are limited and there will be a selection process based on your application. We will inform everyone who has applied about the result of their application one week after the deadline.HOW TO APPLY

    Due to limited space for participation there will be an application process.

    To apply you must complete the following form by 30th April 2019. Please follow the link below. It is essential to fill in the parts which reflect your experience, background and motivation in joining the activity.

    Link to the registration: https://forms.gle/4M7JVeAEhjqGAVKc8  NOTE: No registration will be accepted after the deadline.

TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT

IUSY will cover your flight ticket up to a fixed reference price. The maximum amount for travel reimbursement will be sent to you together with a confirmation letter.

Please note you SHOULD NOT buy any flight tickets before your application is approved!!!

VISA

The IUSY Secretariat will support visa applications for the event. If you require a visa, please send a copy of your passport to iusy@iusy.org as soon as possible, so the secretariat can draft a visa invitation letter for you. If your participation is confirmed we ask you to contact the German embassy/consulate in your country as fast as possible for visa appointment.

ACCOMODATION & VENUE

Details on the meeting venue, hotel and transport from/to airport will be communicated after your participation is confirmed. Please note that accommodation and meals are fully covered by project.

PARTICIPATION FEE

The participation fee for the activity is 30€ per person and must be paid by 1st of June 2019. The participation fee will cover accommodation, meals, refreshments and programme for the duration of the event. Any additional nights’ accommodation must be arranged and paid by participants.

Once you have made the bank transfer, please send a payment receipt to iusy@iusy.org. Please be aware that IUSY cannot take responsibility for any bank fees. If you are unable to make a bank transfer in advance you must inform us before 1 June 2019.

OUTSTANDING MEMBERSHIP FEES AND/OR DEBTS

Please note that only organisations without outstanding membership fees or debts are entitled to receive travel reimbursement. Therefore, we would ask for organisations to transfer their outstanding fees or debts by bank transfer as soon as possible.

If you are unable to pay your membership fee and/or debt, please contact the IUSY Secretary General Ana Pirtskhalava (ana.pirtskhalava@iusy.org) and IUSY President of Control Commission (roland.gur@iusy.org) to discuss possible options.

CANCELLATION FEE

There will be a 30 Euro cancellation fee charged to each organisation whose participant withdraws after 1 June and without a valid reason.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact the coordinator of the project at the IUSY Secretariat:

Gohar Ghandilyan

IUSY Project Manager
EMAIL: gohar.ghandilyan@iusy.org Phone: +43 699 135 32 960

IUSY Secretariat

EMAIL: iusy@iusy.org

Student Working Group 2019: Call for Applications

Overview

What:             Student Working Group Meeting

When:             2-5 May, 2019 (including travel dates)

Where:           Brussels, Belgium

Age/gender: 18-35 years old and gender balanced

Size:               Max 2 participants per region

Deadline:       10 April 2019

Outline

The Student Working Group 2019 will bring together young activists of IUSY member organisations from all 7 regions. The aim of the meeting is to strengthen the Student Working Group and enhance student cooperation. The meeting will offer a platform to discuss current political situations in the regions in regards to education, give space to engage in a dialogue on common struggles and obstacles, and work together to come up with strategies to enact political and social change. Participants can look forward to meeting youth actors, getting involved in political debates and discussions, sharing experiences and ideas and building up their international network. There will also be an added focus on skill building.

The theme of the Working Group in 2019 “Towards Societies of Knowledge?”

UNESCO defines a knowledge society as: “a society that is nurtured by its diversity and its capacities”. As every society already possesses its own sets of knowledge, the knowledge society is about connecting what a society already possesses with the new forms of development and spread of knowledge. The knowledge society differs from the information society as the latter is based on technological breakthroughs and this is only a small part of knowledge societies. Knowledge societies include broader social, ethical and political dimensions as well as various forms of knowledge and cultural and linguistic diversity. For a knowledge society, the traditional forms of learning such as through books, radio, television and school should not be overlooked for technological breakthroughs. Education through textbooks and teachers is deemed more important than internet access and technology. The building of a knowledge society also puts emphasis on knowledge sharing and the inclusion of all generations. One of the most defining characteristics that differs knowledge societies from older forms of knowledge societies is the special emphasis on human rights and the participatory character. The human rights perspectives it highlights in particular are freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of information, media pluralism and academic freedom, the right to education (as well as of pushing for free access to education), and the right to freely participate in cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

To read more about how to build a knowledge society follow this link.

During the working group we will explore foundations of knowledge societies as a source for development, the importance of freedom of expression, learning societies and a culture of innovation, learning as a key value, new inputs for education including e-learning, and the universal access to knowledge. Through exploring these topics we can analyse the new challenges of education, the effects of technology and how youth fits into this process. We will also discuss how this makes a difference in political participation.

For any questions or remarks please don’t hesitate to contact the IUSY Secretariat at iusy@iusy.org

WHO CAN APPLY? PROFILE OF PARTICIPANTS

This activity is not aimed towards the leadership of IUSY member organisations; it is addressed to youth activists. Please note that it is required that the participants stay for the whole duration of the activity and also to contribute to IUSY activities after the activity.

Participants should:

  • Belong to IUSY member organisation.
  • Be aged 18-35
  • have been active/working/studying in the field of Students rights
  • be willing to continue to work and be active in the field of Students rights
  • be willing to plan and conduct follow-up activities to the training at local and national level
  • Have availability to contribute to IUSY activities in the future
  • Have a proficient level of English (the only working language during the activity)

We’re aiming for participants from all regions and from a variety of member organisations.

According to the IUSY statutes, we’re also looking to achieve a gender-balanced training so we reserve the right to select participants based on gender criteria if needed.

HOW TO APPLY

Due to limited space for participation there will be an application process. To apply you must complete the following form by 23:59 CET 10 April. Please follow the link below. It is essential to fill in the parts that reflect your experience, background and motivation in joining the activity.

Link to the registration:

https://goo.gl/forms/EWqVZkzIQuZSyvAv1

NOTE: No registration will be accepted after the deadline.   

Participation fee

The participation fee for the activity is 30€ per person and must be paid by 18 April 2019. The participation fee will cover accommodation, meals, refreshments and programme for the duration of the event. Any additional nights’ accommodation must be arranged and paid by participants.

Outstanding membership fees and/or debts

Please note that only organisations without outstanding membership fees or debts are entitled to receive travel reimbursement. Therefore, we would ask for organisations to transfer their outstanding fees or debts by bank transfer as soon as possible.

If you are unable to pay your membership fee and/or debt, please contact the IUSY Secretary General Ana Pirtskhalava (ana.pirtskhalava@iusy.org) and IUSY President of Control Commission (roland.gur@iusy.org) to discuss possible options.

Travel reimbursement

IUSY will cover your flight ticket up to a fixed reference price. The maximum amount for travel reimbursement will be sent to you together with a confirmation letter that states you have been selected.

Please note you should not buy any flight tickets before your application is approved!!!

Visas

The IUSY Secretariat will support visa applications for the event. If you require a visa, please send a copy of your passport to iusy@iusy.org as soon as possible, so the secretariat can draft a visa invitation letter for you. Please note that you will have to book your appointments and conduct the visa process by yourself.

Travel

Arrivals and Departures

Day of arrival for the IUSY Student Working Group is 2 May and the day of departure is the 5 May. Please make sure to arrange your travel accordingly and do not forget that IUSY will NOT be able to cover accommodation or any other additional expenses for delegates who need to stay additional nights in Brussels.

Cancellations

There will be a 30€ cancellation fee charged to each organisation whose participant withdraws after 20 April, 2019 without a valid reason.

Contact

Amanda Lilliefeldt

IUSY Project Manager

Email: iusy@iusy.org or amanda.lilliefeldt@iusy.org

Phone: +43 699 135 32 970

 

IUSY Asia Pacific bares plans for 2019, passes resolutions on democracy and human rights

Asia Pacific member organizations of the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) approved their annual activity plan and resolutions on democracy and human rights during their committee meeting in December last year.

IUSY members in the region passed the following resolutions unanimously:

  • A resolution on the minorities, marginalized and displaced peoples in Asia

  • A resolution resolve the Bhutanese refugee situation in Nepal

  • A resolution calling for the liberation of Tibet

  • A resolution supporting people’s call for democratic elections in Thailand

  • A resolution calling for justice for Nirmala Pant, a young woman murdered and raped in Nepal

The member organizations also identified key skills and knowledge for future training designs including management and leadership, public speaking, campaigning, organizing, networking, international law and other topics.

IUSY-APC will also have human rights campaigns with special focus on regional concerns such as climate change, ending gender inequality and violence against women, and curbing corruption.

The plans include expansion of members to youth organizations in SAARC, student groups in the Philippines, political parties in the SEA region, and women’s organizations in Nepal.

Participating organizations include Akbayan Youth in the Philippines, Nepal Students Union and Nepal Tarun Dal, Youth for a New Society in Burma, Young Progressives for Social Democracy in Thailand, Tibetan Youth Congress, Youth Organization of Bhutan, and Pergerakan Indonesia.

Day 17: Stories of Women*: Women’s Rights Are Still Under Attack – We need to continue to mobilise

This year is the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women has existed for 39 years and been ratified for 37 years. For 70 years human rights have been a protected concept and for 37 years the promotion of gender equality has been a corner stone of international law. Amnesty International labeled 2018 as a year of female resistance, we have seen women* raising their voices and kicking ass. We have seen successes like repeal the 8th, the Ni una Menos campaign in Latin America, the protests of endemic violence in South Africa and India, the brave women* in Saudi Arabia and Iran who has faced imprisonment for protesting the right to drive and the forced wearing of the hijab respectively and the thousands of people across the globe who have continued the #MeToo movement are among the highlights. [1] Although 2018 has been a year full of women*’s rights heroes there has been a reason for it. We continue to see countless violations of human rights and attacks on women* across the globe. Women* remain a marginalised group and continue to suffer discrimination and violations.

During the International Day for Women* Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs), UN experts highlighted that it is becoming increasingly difficult and dangerous for women* human rights defenders to do their job. This because in addition to facing the standard risks, threats and intimidation that somehow comes along with defending our fundamental rights, women* face more multifaceted attacks based purely on their gender. Carrying out the work itself often challenges social constructs of family and gender roles which can cause hostility from the general population and authorities which lead to stigmatisation, ostracism by various groups including community leaders, faith-based groups, families and communities who consider them to be threatening religion, honour or culture through their work. Often the real threat to women* human rights defenders is the work itself, taking steps to advancing women’s rights makes them targets of attacks. Women*’s rights defenders are at a higher risk of “being subjected to different forms of violence, prejudice, exclusion and repudiation than their male counterparts” [2] according to UN experts.We need to continue to demand justice to women*’s rights defenders like Marielle Franco who was murdered for promoting the rights of black women*, LGBTI and young people. We need to continue to speak up for women’ human rights defenders, we need to continue to celebrate their bravery and we need to come together to stop attacks against them.

The wave of nationalism and populism brings with it attacks on women*. Nationalistic and populist regimes will always have negative consequences for women*. We have attacks on women* ranging from wanting to put us back in the kitchen and to birth more babies (despite the fact that our earth is overpopulated) to continued victim blaming. Women* are not and should never be reduced to being incubators without rights of their own. Women* will reproduce when they choose to, but it is not their whole identity or purpose to do so. The attacks on women*’s right to control their own bodies are one of the fundamental reasons why we are not yet equal to men. Until we can control our own bodies both legally and socially we will not be equal to men. For example El Salvadors total ban on abortion can be seen more as a war on women*. The country has yet another poster child for the trauma, abuse and punishment this type of ignorance and violation causes. The recent poster child is a 19-year-old rape victim who gave birth to a stillborn in a latrine who has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for murder. Countless women* have been imprisoned in the country for having miscarriages, as a result of that abortion is banned in all circumstances. The ban punishes mostly poor young women* with obstetric complications. [3] The problem becomes that for women who cannot access safe, legal and free abortions and in the case of women* in El Salvador, once she becomes pregnant, she loses all her rights because the fetus has more rights than she does. We have to continue to demand free, safe and legal abortions for all women*. You do not have to be pro-abortion, but you have to be pro choice. What you cannot do is restrict another woman*’s right to choose; her body, her life, her choice.

2018 is ending and our legal systems are still full of prejudice and victim blaming. Women* are not believed. 2018 has seen countless of rape cases where the rapist has been acquitted and the victim has 1) not been believed 2) blamed for what happened. One of the most famous and outrageous cases was that of the 17 year old girl in Ireland who was raped by a 27 year old man. The 27 year old in this case gets acquitted because the defense lawyer uses the victim’s underwear, a thong with lace, to say that she consented.[4] Never in my life has my underwear said if I wanted to have sex or not. So if she were wearing boy-shorts or “granny” panties her refusal would be different? Victim blaming has to stop. We cannot accept the continuance of this awful patriarchal system to continue. We need to continue to raise our voices and speak out against victim blaming.

NewsMavens (an ace European news outlet solely consisting of female journalists and of women* picking the news) released a report on Obstetric violence, a report revealing the prevalence of gynecologists’ gas lighting women*. What struck me the hardest was not the countless descriptions of harm caused to women (although it did make me want to puke and hit a wall simultaneously) it was this quote: “many gynecological procedures are done without pain relief or the anesthetic is not working properly and women are not believed when they complain. Other times, as in childbirth, pain relief is forced on women. Women’s point of views [are] not taken into account when it comes to their experiences and to the care they need or want in maternity and childbirth. They are infantilized and made to feel inferior, which puts their life and the life of their babies at risk.” [5] Further, it was that we are not discussing our reproductive health and rights, as it is seen as something intimate. But most of all the painful fact is the culture of “this is just how it is done”. Traumatic births, violence from our health care providers and procedures without anesthetics is not something women should have to endure going into 2019. We need to continue to create forums for women’s voices and stories to be heard. We need to create better care policies and continue the fight for women to be believed.

These are just a few examples of how women*’s rights are restricted across the globe and of systemic issues that we need to continue to fight to change. So in 2019, join me and let’s mobilise to defend women*’s rights defenders, strengthen our sexual health and reproductive rights, end victim blaming and strengthen women*’s position in society so that our voices are not only hard but believed. Sign petitions, join movements, speak out in person and online. No one can do everything, but we all can do something.

Amanda Lilliefeldt
IUSY Project Manager, Feminist and Human Rights Activist

[1] https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/12/oppressive-sexist-policies-galvanize-bold-fight-for-womens-rights/

[2] https://www.ohchr.org/en/issues/women/wrgs/pages/hrdefenders.aspx

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/jul/06/el-salvador-teen-rape-victim-sentenced-30-years-prison-stillbirth

[4] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/15/world/europe/ireland-underwear-rape-case-protest.html

[5] https://newsmavens.com/special-review/914/when-gynecologists-gaslight-women

Day 16. Stories of Women*: Untitled

Decido contar mi historia, porque abrí los ojos a tiempo… y si no hubiera sido así ni si quiera hoy estaría aquí.  

Todo empezó cuando conocí a un hombre (15 años mayor que yo) en mis pensamientos la idea no es un parámetro. Pero quiero aclararlo igual. Empecé una relación con esa persona que venía de un segundo divorcio y con una hija en camino. Lo acepté con sus cosas y su pasado. Al principio era el más bueno y romántico, todo fue cambiando cuando me pedía que no me pinte los labios como una “ puta” ni use escote ni nada corto abajo de mi cintura… esas veces las deje pasar, después todo fue empeorando cuando me hacía volver temprano del boliche y le preguntaba al remisero de la dirección que me traía ( para verificar si venía o no del boliche) y antes de entrar a su casa me olía el cuerpo y la ropa para ver si tenía perfume de otro hombre… la dejé pasar reiteradas veces. Hasta que ya empezó a romper mi ropa interior cada vez que teníamos un encuentro, solo para que “ no me vaya con otro hombre”…. todos los meses me compraba ropa interior porque él me la rompía. 

Siguieron pasando los meses, y un día descubrí que tenía un flujo oloroso y me picaba en mis zonas. Consulte con la ginecóloga y fue consecuencia de no usar preservativo y de que él me acabara adentro. Si, me obligaba a tener relaciones y me acaba adentro porque quería tener un hijo conmigo a lo cual yo tomaba pastillas anticonceptivas a escondidas porque yo no deseaba ser madre.  

Siguieron pasando los meses hasta que decidí cortar esta relación enfermiza y tóxica. A tal punto que el no pudo aceptar y me seguía y sabía todo de mi, mis horarios, con quien estaba y donde y demás.  

Un 20 de septiembre del 2017 me escribe un msj diciéndome que estaba afuera, yo nunca le había avisado donde estába… no nos hablábamos ya. Salí y él estaba ahí, pensé que sería el último día de mi vida… me sentí en peligro y amenazada por la persona que yo amaba. Salí, nos vimos y me obligó a ir a un motel. Tuvimos relaciones, contra mi voluntad y me resistí tanto que empecé a sangrar por la vagina y él gritaba diciéndome te rompí… sos mía. Mi mujer… y yo lloraba , me quería bañar e irme lejos. Antes de irnos del motel me amenazo de que deje de frecuentar con un chico con el que me estaba conociendo sino él actuaría al respecto. Deje de un lado a esa otra persona e ignoraba a todo hombre que se me acerque. Hasta que un día dije basta, no doy más !!! Mi vida vale, soy una mujer fuerte saldré de esto… lo saque de mi vida y lo amenace con denunciarlo ya que si lo hacía era en vano porque su padre es un funcionario político de una ciudad de mi provincia. Lo bloquie en todas las redes, empecé mi tratamiento psiquiátrico y aquí estoy empoderandome y amándome todos los días y agradeciendo de estar con vida para contarlo. 

Day 15. Stories of Women*: Untitled

Hoy 21 de nov hace exactamente un año y un mes desde ese terrible momento que me tocó vivir, la persona que más quería, una persona intachable y a quien consideraba un segundo padre, si así es, un segundo padre. 21 de octubre día de la madre, toda la familia reunida en mi casa, días previos mi tío materno quedaba a dormir en mi casa, siempre vivió así un tiempo acá, otro en casa de mi abuela y así, es una persona adicta al alcohol, hago esta aclaración que de mucho no vale, supongo.. Esos días lo veía bastante raro más allá de su abstinencia tenía actitudes un tanto raras para conmigo pero no les di bolilla. Terminaba el día de la madre, mis viejos se fueron de casa a dejar a unos familiares en su casa cuando cansada me recuesto en la pieza de mi hermana y mi hermano en la suya. Este tipo (tío) se despierta de su larga siesta cálculo que habrá sido tipo 20hs, se me acerca y se sienta en la punta de la cama a darme charla y me dice je se quedará ahí por que esta aburrido, yo seguía jugando con mi celular hasta que llegó un momento en que empezó a tocarme las piernas y a subir su mano y con esas palabras que jamás voy a olvidar “no le cuentes nada a la mami”. Reacciono de inmediato a gritar a mi hermano a lo que el no me daba bolilla y le grité, me está tocando!!! 

De inmediato viene mi salvador, quién lo corrió y amenazó con llamar a la policía. Obvio, se fue pero negandolo todo. Entre lágrimas yo no podía hacer nada, más que avisar a mi familia creyendo que me creerían, hasta el dia de hoy sigo dudando que me hayan creído. Actuaron de lo más normal, no quisieron que lo haga público para cuidar la salud de mi abuela, ni tampoco hacer la denuncia. Actualmente mi vieja sigue teniendo contacto con este tipo y lo sigue ayudando, también lo hace mi hermana que nada le importó. Pero en este año y un mes, solo vino a molestar en casa una vez, el panico, el llanto fue imparable. Todo este tiempo he tenido pesadillas, muchas veces me despierto con el mismo miedo de volver a encontrarlo y saber que puede hacerme algo, el pánico siempre está.. Recuerdo latente que a los días, mi hermano mayor me dijo “bueno,  mira como te vistes, no esperes tanto respeto” 

Hoy gracias al apoyo de muchxs compañerxs logré empoderarme como mujer y aprender que solo yo soy dueña de mi cuerpo, que los demás deben respetarme.  

 

Day 14. Stories of Women*: A story about abortion from the Faroe Islands 

I still remember the feeling that went through my body, when the pregnancy test turned positive. It was a combination of fright and anxiety, which went through every single bone and limb. 

I was 19, confused and uncertain what my future would bring – and this did not exactly make it easier. I had no job and lived at home with my parents. How could I even raise a child – a real, living, breathing individual – under these circumstances? I was careful when it came to my contraceptives, for exactly this reason so I would not even have to make this decision. 

The personal conditions weren’t ideal either. For years I had been struggling with anxiety, but through the last months I could finally tell myself, and mean it, that I was in a good mental state. I was finally starting to socialise again, exploring my limits and slowly moving towards something, that felt good and free. When I started to think about the situation I was in, I immediately felt that these could not be the right circumstances to welcome a child into this world. 

 I also thought about him. He was such a charming, kind guy, when I first met him – and I fell in love right away. Everything escalated so quickly, and it was almost as if we didn’t notice it. Within a few weeks, we met each others families and our friends became more than familiar to each other. 

Just as everything seemed a bit too good to be true, everything turned around and the tingly feelings of joy soon turned to an overwhelming heartache. After a few months, I found out that he had been cheating on me – with one of my best friends. I could feel how my self-confidence started to fade away. Signs of my anxiety started to show. Everything happened so fast. And now I was sitting here. On the bathroom floor at my parents’ house – with a positive pregnancy test. 

He didn’t handle it well. He told me to convince my doctor I was mentally ill, so I could get an abortion. I have to admit that the idea had occurred to me before and was playing like a loop in my head. Days went by, and I decided to tell my family and closest friends. I remember how they without success tried to comfort me and tell me that everything would be fine. One of my friends asked me to join her on a night out, so I could take my mind off things.  

I honestly thought this was a great idea, but the night ended like a nightmare. I met him. He was drunk and said that he wanted to talk. I hesitated for a minute, but then convinced myself that is was only fair to let him speak his mind. We went to a more private place. He told me how unhappy he was about this unexpected pregnancy. I agreed with a small nod. He was not ready to become a father. I wasn’t ready to become a mother either, I replied. He apologised for his actions – for being so unfair to me. Then he asked me if I would try to get an abortion – and for the first time I was sure what I had to do. ‘Yes’, I replied. My gut was telling me that this was the right decision.  

The story could have ended here, but it didn’t. I want to tell the whole story so hopefully someone – and especially those who hold the power – will finally understand that abortion is never simple, and that there is something terribly wrong in our society’s perception of ‘respect’.  

He started to kiss me. Not a bone in me wanted to kiss him – but he didn’t care. He forced himself upon me. I said no – but once again he didn’t care. I have lost count of how often I’ve blamed myself for being raped that night. I could have screamed. Or I could have bit him. But instead I cried and waited until it was over – till he finished. 

I went to the doctor a few days later. I told her that I was pregnant, but that I wanted this to be over as soon as possible. She supported my decision instantly and sent me to the gynecological department at the hospital. Even though my real reason behind wanting the abortion was simply  not wanting to become a parent. My medical records says it is because I was suffering from serious mental illness and was a danger to myself. It wasn’t true but I went along with it anyway. Those are the conditions you have to accept and if you are desperate enough, you would do anything it takes.  

This was my decision and I had thought this through. I wasn’t ready to become a mother. Where would I live? How would I provide everything that you need when having a child? Now I  was also fully certain, that if I would have a child now, I would have been alone in it, I would have been a  single parent. 

I could never see myself give 100% of me for a child at the time, let alone provide the love and care that a child needs. I also wanted him out of my life. I believe that fathers do have rights to their children, but the thought about him – a rapist – as the father of my child still gives me the creeps. I know I could never accept it. Not for my potential children nor myself. 

In the Faroe Islands abortion is only permitted if: 

  1. The maternal life is endangered 
  2. Severe fetal defects 
  3. Pregnancy is resulted from rape or incest
  4. The woman due to serious physical or mental illness is estimated unsuitable to take care of her child

This story was originally published as a part of a campaign by Social Democratic Youth of the Faroe Islands (Sosialistisk Ung) that sought to achieve free abortion on the Faroe Islands in 2017. The woman in the story wishes to remain anonymous, but Sosialistisk Ung knows her real identity. 

The story has been revised in order to make it understandable in an international context with consent of the woman.  

Day 13. Stories of Women*: Untitled

[ES]
A los 7 años fui violada por un amigo de mi familia, a quien tenía que llamar “tío”, todo paso en una cena donde estábamos todos los familiares reunidos. Siempre me llevaba caramelos y él me sentaba arriba suyo, parecía normal, hasta que esa noche me llevó al galpón que estaba al fondo del patio donde abusó de mí, mis padres me estaban buscando y justo me encontraron en el acto, ensangrentada y llorando. Toda mi familia se enteró esa noche, lo golpearon (mi papa casi lo mata) hasta echarlo. A mi me llevaron a la guardia y por suerte no tenía ninguna herida grave. Él solo una denuncia, yo no era la primera a la cual había violado pero si espero haber sido la última (en la actualidad ya está muerto).  

Después de años de terapia y acompañada de personas que me quieren, lo pude superar.  Es un proceso que lleva años y es muy doloroso, pero es posible superarlo. Quedan muchas secuelas como los ataques de pánico que sigo teniendo, pero sé que es algo del pasado y aún queda mucho. Gracias al feminismo me di cuenta que no estoy sola y que no soy a la única que pasó por esto, por eso sigo y voy a seguir luchando por los derechos de todas las mujeres para que ninguna de nosotras pase por lo mismo.  

 ¡ABAJO EL PATRIARCADO! 

 [EN]
When i was 7 years old I was raped by a family friend, whom I had called “uncle”. It happened on a day when all the relatives had gathered for a dinner. He used to always bring me candy and I would sit on his lap. It all seems so normal and innocent. But that night he took me to a warehouse located in the backyard of the house.  

He abused me. My parents were looking for me and found me while he was still in the middle of the act. I was bleeding and crying. My whole family found out. They beat him up, my dad almost killed him. They kicked him out.  

They took me to the hospital but luckily I did not have any serious injuries. He went through and impeachment after. I was not the first one he raped, but I hope I were the last one. He is not alive anymore.   

It took me years of therapy and being accompanied by people who loved me to overcome what happened.  It is a process that takes years and is very painful. But it is possible to overcome. I still suffer panic attacks.   

Thanks to feminism I realised that I am not alone and that I am not the only one who have gone through this. That is one of the main reasons why I continue and I will continue to fight for the rights of all women so that no one has to go through the same things that I did again.  

    SMASH THE PATRIARCHY!