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A global demo movement

The election in Sweden opens up feminist initiatives in the rest of the EU.


[stockholm, sweden] Sweden has got a new government. We do not yet know what policy it will implement to strengthen women's rights. What we do know is that we should once again look at the ban on buying sex, and that the right to self-determined abortion is not a matter of course for all parties that are part of the government alliance.

Also elsewhere in the world, women's (human) rights look bleak. Nicaragua has just introduced the most stringent abortion law in the world. Like Malta, El Salvador, Chile and the Vatican, Nicaraguan women are now consistently denied the right to abortion, even

after rape. In Poland, everything suggests that a majority in parliament will amend the Constitution to become the state that will protect the lives of all citizens from the moment of conception.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban have tightened their grip, and the uninterrupted violence is especially affecting women and children. So now the same Taliban are ruling as the US would bomb away to free women. Women can be used a lot, among other things to strengthen their own position of power. In Iraq, women's rights have been weakened as US desperation has increased, and religious fundamentalists have gained more and more power.

The task of feminism is to make visible the pervasive power structures and the idea of ​​domination. It is an idea that goes everywhere, in the bedroom, at the kitchen table. The pattern of the relationship continues since at work.


And that is the starting point for both porn and prostitution, and it continues in the international arena, in the slave trade with women's bodies. It is the same pattern that makes it almost impossible for women at the negotiating tables to make decisions about escalating violence. At the same time as women's bodies become the new battlegrounds with systematic violations in every military conflict. The same men, that is, later in the name of their faith, forbid all forms of abortion.

Security policy has never included women – only men and states defined by men. The nation-state is a male project in which a number of other dimensions are also embedded: the right (hetero) sexuality, the harmonious relationship between the sexes, the purposeful

servant women's body, the good (Swedish, Norwegian, French, American and so on) man. He who goes to war and defends women and children.

Feminism, on the other hand, has nothing to do with nations and territories. Feminism is a global democracy movement. Unpatriotic and innovative. The Feminist initiative in Sweden, F !, is not primarily "Swedish". It just happened to happen in Sweden. In response to the prevailing party policy's inability to deal with gender-based injustices and structural discrimination.

Feminist movements never talk about what is best for a particular country, but about universal rights and the stopping of all forms of discrimination. Feminism is thus the antagonism of xenophobia and narrow-minded nationalism.

Challenging the patriarchal mindset of domination, in all areas and at all levels, is a necessary step if we want to continue democratic development. Local, regional and global. Thus, in the highly polarized world we live in, feminism is the carrier of the power of change that is needed.

Therefore, there is now a discussion at European level about the importance of organizing from a feminist point of view. There are elections for the European Parliament in 2009, and it would not surprise me if there are feminist initiatives in many more countries than Sweden.

Gudrun Schyman is spokesperson for the Feminist Initiative (F!) In Sweden. She writes exclusively for Ny Tid.

Translated by Siri Lindstad

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