We are sharing the annual message from the Secretary General of the European Women’s Lobby, Joanna Maycock.
Dear EWL Friends and Family,
Let me begin by stating the obvious…This has been one hell of a year.
From Brexit, to the US elections, to the heartbreaking suffering of refugees, this year has seen the progress that many of us have spent our lives fighting for, appear to grind to a terrifying halt. Throughout Europe and the Western world, fear and hatred have created a worrying momentum for nationalist right-wing leaders. Women’s rights are under threat, with even the most basic rights seemingly up for discussion. From Poland, to Turkey to Belgium, it really feels like every single day, new laws are being considered to limit women’s freedom over their own lives and decisions.
But no matter how hard this year has been, we will not be defeated.
Here at the European Women’s Lobby, we’re not about to lose hope. We are on a mission to smash the patriarchy, to shatter glass ceilings and to create a feminist future for Europe. A future where person enjoys equal rights; a future where well-being is placed above profit, a future where we live in a sustainable way.
And we will not stop working until we reach this goal.
We need your help! The need for our work is greater than ever, but funding for women’s rights is being cut across the board. Your donations have never been more important than they are today. This is why we have launched the Glass Ceiling Emergency Fund, a campaign to help us raise 5,000 euros by the end of 2016, so we can be bolder in our campaigning to strengthen women’s rights.
This year, we have had some incredible successes in our fight for gender equality in Europe.
We held the first-ever transatlantic conference on women in politics, hosting 40 activists the from the US and the EU in Brussels for workshops.
We held our second AGORA young feminist summer school, bringing 50 women under the age of 30 together for an invigorating feminist training.
Building on EWL’s work on male violence and on asylum, we undertook the #womensvoices project, which is giving visibility to women refugees and bringing their issues to the European policymaking arena.
Our advocacy helped lead to France’s adoption of the Nordic model on prostitution, an enormous success in terms of protecting women from male violence.
….and these are just a few examples!