Gender Concerns International
The best strategy to combat violence against women is to get organized and form a wider international solidarity platform, concludes Sabra Bano, director Gender Concerns International as the chair of the discussion on the theme of personal and political dimension of violence against women and the Role of Migrant Women in Europe.
The Discussion Forum was organized by Dona Daria, Rotterdam and Gender Concerns International, The Hague on 5th February. The chief guest Dr. Nawal El Saadawi linked all forms of violence against women to the development of patriarchy and talked about the diminishing of matriarchal society. She referred to various forms of defacing and disfiguring of a female body as a systematic and pre-calculated practice to mutilate womenâ€™s power over their brains. Referring to violence she mentioned about her experience as from being a young Egyptian village girl to becoming an author of 43 books, receiving many international prestigious awards and to the candidacy for the presidential post in the last election in Egypt.
â€œThe price for freedom of expression on issues that raise the public opinion and potentially can unite people to demand justice is always too highâ€, Says El Saadawi. Even at the age of 76 now Dr. Nawal el Saadawi was brought to a court in Cairo on 28th January this year, she disclosed, answering a question during the discussion.
Other Speakers as Drs. Suaad Abdulrehman and Belgi Ahmetaj spoke about the efforts of migrant women in Europe to combat personal and political violence against women and emphasized the need for forming and strengthening Solidarity Actions to address all forms of violence against women. At this occasion the need to highlight the violence against those women that are caught in various political conflicts was emphasized. In particular the situation of women in Kashmir who suffer 60 years of invisibility of violence and abuse was discussed in detail and the initiative to launching the Hello Sirs! Campaign was considered important and timely. Prior to the discussion the Forum was opened up by the welcoming address of Gerda Nijssen, director Dona Daria. The hall was full to its capacity and the audience-panel interaction was excellent during the question-answer session. It was a well organized, fruitful and an inspiring event.