On Monday, November 11, we went to the Women's Congress (Nőkongresszus) organized by the Hungarian Women's lobby, EWL (European Women's lobby) members, which bring together around 800 participants. We had the opportunity to listen to several personalities in the field of fight for gender equality. For instance, we were very impressed by the presentation of Eve Ensler (In the body of Justice). She is an American playwright (best known for her play The Vagina monologues) and a prominent feminist activist. By using strong images, she addressed issues of violence against women and girls. She didn’t hesitate to use shock phrases, crude language in order to make the people react.
Concerning Roma issues, we were pleased to listen to Rita Izsàk, lawyer and UN independent expert on minority issues. Lívia Járóka, Hungarian politician and Member of the European Parliament could not be there but she had encouraging words through a video message. Both have Roma origins and are involved in the fight for Roma rights.
Rita Izsàk presented the Human Rights Council (UN) and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). For her, before we reach the representation level of women in politics, we have to work on the local level, but one mustn’t exclude the other. There is a lot to remember from her conclusions. She insisted on the importance of having good working relations with the media, articulating demands clearly and continually (not only to the government but to the society), regarding the education we had to focus on gender equality and human rights.
Lívia Járóka said that „We can help the Roma women, but at first we must identify the multiple discriminations existing in the Roma community”. She pointed out that the number of women living in poverty has increased compared to the number of men living in poverty and it concerns especially Roma women. A major problem in Roma communities is that Roma women work illegally. Working illegally, they do not receive health insurance and do not have the right to maternity leave. This problem leads to the fact that Roma women are more depressed than the others women.
The Hungarian government must find solution for inclusion of Roma women in democracy and democratic process of Roma women. Lívia Járóka hopes that it will approve a project as soon as possible. This involves the creation of special schools for Roma and non-Roma young women who become mothers. She talked about vocational schools teaching them how to have a job and how to get independent.
They all state strongly, that all fights (for human rights) are connected. A solidarity is needed as a precondition as society change.
IN 2013, ONE BILLION WOMEN AND MEN SHOOK THE EARTH THROUGH DANCE TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS.
THIS YEAR, ON 14 FEBRUARY 2014 WE ARE CALLING ON WOMEN AND MEN EVERYWHERE TO HARNESS THEIR POWER AND IMAGINATION TO RISE FOR JUSTICE.
IMAGINE, ONE BILLION WOMEN RELEASING THEIR STORIES, DANCING AND SPEAKING OUT AT THE PLACES WHERE THEY NEED JUSTICE, WHERE THEY NEED AN END TO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS.