Black Protests – University Women of Europe in solidarity with women in Poland!

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polish-women-on-strikeToday, on 3rd October, women in Poland will take off work, school and home work to join the protest against a plan to take away the freedom from them to decide about their own bodies and their pregnancies. They will all be wearing black to demonstrate mourning and sadness on a national strike called: #BlackProtest #CzarnyProtest .

Women organisations across Europe in solidarity with women in Poland are reacting strongly against the decision taken by Polish lawmakers to push on with a near total-ban on abortion.

The law in Poland now allows an abortion only in one of the three dramatic cases: if the pregnancy is of life risk to the pregnant woman, if the fetus is very seriously ill or when the pregnancy is an effect of a crime (rape). Nobody forces women to perform an abortion on their bodies in any of the three cases. But the new law not only bans any abortion completely, but also defines that the human life starts with conception – the consequences of which will be a legal investigation and prison punishment for women as well as anyone possibly involved for any kind of pregnancy termination (a women who miscarried will be investigated to find out whether this was not an act of abortion), ban of in-vitro pregnancies, limitation to ban of prenatal examination (as they might lead to miscarriages or the decision of an abortion).

How can we get involved and react?

• Sign this open letter in solidarity with women in Poland and to support women grassroots movements by helping them to fundraise. This is a We move Europe initiative in partnership with the European Women’s Lobby (EWL).
• Write a letter to the Polish Embassy in your country calling for Poland’s obligation to protect human rights and asking Polish decision-makers to listen to the demands of women’s rights organisations.
• Join the social media actions posting pictures in black clothes, hashtag #czarnyprotest (black protest) so that the protest becomes even more viral. Use also the hashtag: #ODZYSKACWYBOR, to show solidarity with women in Poland.
• Share on social media the EWL and We move  Europe campaign visuals calling on several decision makers in Poland and at EU to react and ensure women’s human rights (find them at the bottom of this site).

The bill to liberalise abortion proposed by women’s rights organisations was rejected by the Polish Parliament without any further debate. Here you will find the full text in English of the proposed bill.

The bill proposed by “Save Women” was calling to allow abortion on request in the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy, increase access to contraception and sex education, and preserve existing exceptions for fetal anomalies until the 24th week, and for rape or sexual abuse until the 18th week.  In June this year, the EWL sent a letter to the Polish Government calling for Poland’s obligation to protect human rights and asking Polish decision-makers to listen to the demands of women’s rights organisations.

We’re with women in Poland,  women rights are under a huge threat, please sign the petition and show solidarity !

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EWL webinar on Women and Armed Conflicts – September 21, the International Day of Peace

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EWL Webinar - Women and Armed Conflict (2)

European Women’s Lobby is hosting a webinar on Women and Armed Conflict on Monday, 21st September, the International Day of Peace, 3pm-4pm (Brussels time).

The webinar “Mobilising for a Feminist Approach to Peace and Security” is part  of activities during this Year of Action on Beijing+20. It will give a prominent voice to many EWL members, at national and European level, and EWL partners.


Moderator: Pierrette Pape, EWL Policy and Campaigns Director
• Technical facilitator: Oonagh Eastmond, EWL Policy Assistant


Welcome and introduction, with presentation of EWL factsheet from EWL report on Beijing+20 ‘From words to action’

Section 1: Women’s organisations mobilise for peace and security!

Our Balkan members on the Women’s Tribunal in Sarajevo

  • On violence against women in conflict

Women’s role in post-conflict reconstruction: Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform (NIWEP)

  • On the implementation of UNSCR 1325 in Northern Ireland.

Women at the core of peace negotiations: Cyprus Women’s Lobby

  • On the inclusion of women in peace negotiationsA feminist approach to justice:

Section 2: Towards a feminist approach of peace and security

Feminist leadership in peace and security: WIIS (Women in International Security)

  • What does a feminist perspective to peace and security and women in leadership look like?

Protecting the human rights of women in armed conflicts: Global Justice Center

  • Campaign of the on access to abortion services for women victims of rape in war

A critical feminist perspective of military spending: WILPF (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom)

  • Campaign ‘You get what you pay for’ and WILPF Video: Security: What is it?

The current refugee crisis: Hungarian Women’s Lobby

  • The gender dimension

Discussion and final words from the guests, including their most important recommendations.

We hope that you can follow it, but also share the information in your networks and channels.


Women Speak Out for Peace

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On September 21, 2015 the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders will be commemorating again the International Peace Day. This year’s theme “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” aims to highlight the importance of all segments of society to work together to strive for peace.

We use this global momentum to invite all of you to take part in the Women Speak Out for Peace: A Global Media Campaign. This wide-reaching campaign will take place from September 21 to 27, 2015.

This is a great opportunity for us to transform the dominant images of women in the media as victims to those of peacebuilders, decision-makers and change agents. It is also an opportunity to further raise awareness and knowledge of UNSCR 1325, 1820, and the supporting Women, Peace and Security (WPS) resolutions globally.

More information including a campaign kit in English, French and Spanish containing sample letters to the editor, Tweets, Facebook messages, SMS/text messages in English, French and Spanish here: Women Speak Out for PeaceWomen Speak out for Peace