On 30-31 May 2015, the European Women’s Lobby held an action packed Annual General Assembly in Brussels. Over 100 participants representing members from across Europe, our UWE Vicepresident Isabelle Trimaille present, too, came together to imagine and strategize for a Feminist Europe. As they celebrated 25 years of feminist activism in Europe, a new Strategic Framework was approved; elected new Board Members from Germany, Portugal and Serbia and approved emergency motions on the peace negotiations in Cyprus, the situation of women in the Ukrainian conflict and calling for the inclusion of the control of small arms as a part of the European Year to End Violence Against Women.
Finally a joyful and moving farewell was given to the wonderful Colette De Troy who is retiring after 17 years incredible contribution to the work of the European Women’s Lobby in her capacity as Director of the Observatory on Violence against Women.
Together for a Feminist Europe
It was approved an exciting new trans formative Strategic Framework “Together for a Feminist Europe” that sets out our vision, mission, values and key strategic aims for the coming 5 years. The strategy shapes a common framework for how the European Women’s Lobby will bring together the women’s movements in Europe to influence the public and European Institutions in support of women’s rights and equality between women and men. EWL will seek to reinforce and broaden support for Women’s Rights in Europe, making our language and demands more accessible to a wider audience beyond the European Institutions, to build broader pressure for change at EU Level, which remains the primary focus of EWL work and action.
Building on the considerable experience of generations of feminist activists, a particular emphasis on younger women will be placed, seeking to understand and support their concerns, recognizing the new challenges they face, and empowering them so that they become a key constituency shaping the future of EWL. The strategy is inter sectional: it deliberately recognizes that oppression effects different women in diverse ways and demands that we engage with women and men in all their diversity, particularly where rights and discrimination intersect, for example, across race, economic status, disability, and sexuality.
This strategy will enable the organization to be part of a bigger discourse on the future of Europe, promoting a holistic, transformational socio-economic vision, based on well-being, care, social justice, and a strong voice against women’s poverty. They will work to position women at the heart of political, social and economic participation and decision-making and act for an end to all forms of violence against women.
Three Emergency Motions were brought by the Members and were approved by the Assembly :
- A motion to call on the Cypriot leaders to ensure that women make up 50% of the team at the negotiating table in the forthcoming peace talks in line with UNSC Resolutions 1325 and 1820 as well as the European Parliament’s Resolution 2000/2025 on the Participation of Women in Peaceful Conflict Resolution.’
- A motion calling for EU action to protect vulnerable women (Internally displaced persons) in the conflict areas in Ukraine was also unanimously approved.
- A motion to call for the EU to name 2016 the European Year to End Violence against Women, and to include specifically reference to the control of small arms that are used to commit violence against women.
New Board Members and Alternates were happily welcomed:
- Deutscher Frauenrat (Germany) Ulrike Helwerth (Board Member) Brigitte Triems (Alternate)
- Plataforma Portuguesa para os Direitos das Mulheres (Portugal) Ana Sofia de Jesus Fernandes (Board Member); Rute de Oliveira Castela (Alternate)
- Network for European Women’s Lobby (Serbia): Alekseandra Nestorov (Board Member); Vera Kurtic (Alternate Board Member)
UWE Vicepresident Isabelle Trimaille – right