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Brazil World Cup 2014: support the campaign "No to sex tourism: buying sex is not a sport!"

Posted on 17 April 2014

Brazil World Cup 2014: support the campaign "No to sex tourism: buying sex is not a sport!"

[17 April 2014] The CATWLAC (Coalition against Trafficking in Women in Latin America and Caribe) has launched a campaign to alert on the organisation of prostitution and the trivialization of sexual exploitation in Brazil, especially during the 2014 World Cup Brazil and the 2016 Olympic Games.

Say NO to sex tourism and sexual exploitation. Sign the petition to support the campaign. Your signature can make a real change to the lives of hundreds of women and girls in Brazil.

Click here to read more about the campaign in different languages (Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian). You can also use the material of the campaign to spread the information and get more support.

Brazil is the sixth largest economy in the world with 200 million inhabitants and is hosting the World Cup from June 12 to July 13, 2014 and the Olympic Games in Summer 2016. An estimated 600,000 tourists will attend the Soccer World Cup, mainly from the Americas.

While most tourists enjoy Brazil’s beautiful sites and beaches, many individuals travel to Brazil for sex tourism or while attending these major sporting events, will exploit women and children in the sex trade. Brazil is one of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean with the highest incidences of sex tourism, along with the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Puerto Rico.

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Ask your candidates to the European Parliament elections to endorse EWL Manifesto!

Posted on 15 April 2014

Ask your candidates to the European Parliament elections to endorse EWL Manifesto!

As the European Parliament elections are getting closer, we need to make sure that women’s rights and gender equality will be at the core of the policies and work of the new European institutions. Let’s join forces to contact all candidates and make sure that they support the Manifesto of the European Women’s Lobby "Act now for her future, commit to gender equality!".

The more candidates support EWL Manifesto, the more gender equality will be taken into account both in the European elections discussion, and in the new European institutions. Getting many supporters is therefore important at all levels: it will help you to address women’s rights at local and national level, and it will help all of us to push for a Europe that promotes gender equality.

This week is the last plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. We know that many MEPs are answering their emails, and many of them are candidates. So please take action this week and contact your candidates!

You can use the template message below to contact them, and please inform us of their answer!

You can also send twitter messages to your candidates, using this template:

@xxx Ready to commit to #genderequality? Listen to #EuropeanWomensVoice and say YES to our #EP2014 Manifesto! @EuropeanWomen

You will find here the list of MEPs who have already endorsed EWL Manifesto. Let’s get much more until the European elections! Thanks for your support!

Dear xxx,

In a month, women and men from all over Europe will vote for new European institutions.

We turn to you to ask you to listen to the voices of women’s organisations: do you want a Europe which fosters gender equality and promotes and protects women’s and girls’ rights?

Last month, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, the European Women’s Lobby unveiled its Manifesto for the European elections "Act now for her future, commit to gender equality!", which comprises concrete and realistic demands for a Europe realising gender equality and supporting women’s human rights (see the Manifesto attached). These demands are based on the reality of women’s lives, as experienced by our members and all the women and girls that our member organisations are supporting and assisting every day in all parts of Europe.

Will you be the champion of gender equality and endorse EWL Manifesto “Act now for her future, commit to gender equality!”?

Realising equality between women and men is crucial at all levels, from the local to the European. We hope that you will show your commitment and endorse EWL Manifesto.

On behalf of the millions of women and men in Europe, who believe in gender equality as a tool for social justice, solidarity and dignity, we thank you for your attention, and hope to read your answer soon.

Best regards,

xxx

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Support EWL innovative training project on Catapult!

Leadership training for newly elected young women

Posted on 15 April 2014

Support EWL innovative training project on Catapult!

The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is now part of the Catapult community! Catapult is a crowdfunding platform dedicated to gender equality, and is hosting an innovative project of the EWL. Please help us to reach our crowdfunding goals in order to be able to deliver transformative training for young women leaders elected in the European Parliament! Because young women parliamentarians are leading the way for the next generations.

Support our project, donate, share the link on Internet and social media, make noise about it! We would like to reach our funding goal by the time of the European elections!

This project is key to make sure that gender equality is at the core of the future European Parliament. By partnering with Catapult, the EWL wants to make a concrete change for women’s rights: the project we have posted on Catapult aims at training young women leaders elected in the European Parliament, about leadership and gender equality, in the autumn 2014. Young women under the age of 40 make up only 5% of European parliamentarians in Brussels today. The training will provide them opportunities to network, exchange tools and information with peers, and strengthen knowledge on women’s rights and gender equality.

We are investing in young women leaders! Our workshops will bring confidence and leadership tools to young women leaders in Brussels. As a result, they will become more visible in their field and bring the voice of young women to debates and policies. We hope that more young women leaders will commit to women’s rights and make a change in the European leadership world towards gender equality. In the long term, these women will act as role models for other young women.

Click here to find out more about the project.

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Share and sign the European Women’s Lobby petition: 2016 as European Year to End Violence against Women!

Posted on 21 March 2014

Share and sign the European Women's Lobby petition: 2016 as European Year to End Violence against Women!

[Brussels, 21 March 2014] Together with the European Women’s Lobby, sign and share our petition calling on the current and future Presidents of the European Commission to establish 2016 as European Year to End Violence against Women and girls.

We have 8 months until the new Commission’s President gets appointed to get a critical mass of signatures. We need you to make our voice heard!

We also have a great opportunity now as the European Parliament adopted two weeks ago a resolution with recommendations to the European Commission on combating violence against women, including a demand to establish a European Year to End violence against women.

By establishing a European Year to end violence against women and girls, the EU would play a leading role in raising awareness on violence against women, and at the same time propose concrete measures to act against the perpetuation of violence against women.

We cannot miss the opportunity to say that: We want 2016 to be the European Year to End Violence against Women! Women cannot wait any longer!

#2016EUYear to #endVAW

Sign and share this petition:

In all our actions linked to One Billion Rising 2014 Brussels, the EWl has been calling the EU to:

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On International Women’s Solidarity day – urging for the Lithuanian Parliament not to ban abortions

Posted on 11 March 2014

On International Women's Solidarity day – urging for the Lithuanian Parliament not to ban abortions

[Vilnius, 8 March 2014. Juratė Juškaitė and Aušra Karklytė - Manoteises] International Women’s Solidarity day was greeted near the Seimas, the Parliament of Lithuania, not with the tulips though, as still is the case in many Post-Soviet countries, but with the slogan “Abortion ban is not the solution”. Several hundreds of protesters urged the Parliament not to treat women as incubators for children; for those, who aim to increase the birth rate in Lithuania – the protesters suggested improving social services for families instead.

Situation of concern for women’s rights in Lithuania

In the end of spring session (May-June) Lithuanian Parliament will vote on the adoption of the draft law on “Law on the protection of a life in a pre-natal phase” and accompanying legislative projects, otherwise known as “abortion ban bill”. The law considers abortion a criminal act punishable for up to three years imprisonment. The bill equates doctors who help to terminate pregnancies to the murderers of unborn children. It blatantly limits woman’s right to choose by allowing terminating pregnancy in only two cases: if it poses an evident threat to life of a mother or if a pregnancy is a result of a rape.

On the 8th of March, the speakers came on the podium, while rally participants were holding two meters high poster with the words “A hanger is for clothing; let’s leave it like it is, no for abortion ban”. This poster was sending a message for the Seimas that nowadays abortion prohibition amounts to returning country to the 20th century, when abortions were often self-imposed using wire hangers. Therefore, a wire hanger has become an international symbol of illegal abortions, not worth the restoring. The current regulation in Lithuania allows terminating the pregnancy before the twelfth week.

R. Šalaševičiūtė: Sexual violence may cause abortion

Affiliated Member of the Parliament and the former Children’s Rights Ombudsperson, Ms. Šalaševičiūtė, in her speech has emphasised that if enacted the abortion ban would result in many negative consequences for women: “60 percent of women suffer domestic violence, and one in three has experienced sexual abuse. Also, 20 percent of people are living below the poverty line in Lithuania, majority of whom are women. This may be the reasons why you would decide to terminate the pregnancy,” - said Ms. Šalaševičiūtė, representative of the Social Democratic Party in Lithuania. MP Masiulis, who participated in the rally on behalf of the Liberal Movement Party, has spoken very poignant. According to him, politicians proposing such laws have some personal problems and we should do more to take care of their needs: “I propose to introduce a brain abortion for those who seek to outlaw other person’s freedom of choice. Women and men are planning their own lives and no one needs to interfere,” - said a leader of the Liberal Movement.

Another member of the Social Democratic Party, Ms. Jolanta Bielskienė, echoed the assembly and she said that the Parliament is not a contraceptive thus abortion ban will not stop unplanned pregnancies. Among the participants of the protest there were seen several MPs from the Social Democratic Party: Ms. Giedrė Purvaneckienė, Ms. Marija Aušrinė Pavilionienė, Mr. Julius Sabatauskas, Ms. Sigita Burbienė.

Protester: I gave birth not because abortions were prohibited

After the speeches the participants of the rally were invited to write their messages addressed for the MPs, who proposed the abortion ban. The protesters have expressed their outrage on the colourful sheets of paper that were glued to wire hangers. They were emphasising that a matter that will have a dramatic impact upon Lithuanian women is decided by male-dominated Seimas. Male MPs never were pregnant and never will be. Messages written by protesters also expressed outrage of the Catholic church interference in the legislation and willingness to impose norms in accordance with their religion for the rest of society: “My body is not your property”; “Instead of stupidity – more sex education, not a religious dictatorship”; “I was giving birth not because abortions were not allowed”; “I want to live in a state where I am a person, not an incubator” - wrote the rally participants. The protesters hanged the wire hangers on racks for clothes, thus symbolically placing them for the intended purpose and offering members of the Seimas not to send back the Lithuanian women to the inter-war period, when the wire hangers were used at the time to carry-out illegal abortions.

Please sign the petition:http://www.laisva.lt/322/my-body-belongs-to-me-not-to-the-parliament/

FB page of the Lithuanian Initiative “For Safe and Legal Abortions”: https://www.facebook.com/uzteiseiaborta

Pictures: Laura Vancevičienė

Original Source in Lithuanian: http://manoteises.lt/straipsnis/mot...

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Call for Solidarity with the women in Lithuania for the right to safe and legal abortion!

Posted on 4 March 2014

Call for Solidarity with the women in Lithuania for the right to safe and legal abortion!

[Vilnius, 4 February 2014, Iniciatyva „Už teisę į saugų ir legalų abortą” - Iniciative for the right to safe and legal abortion] The Lithuanian Parliament is currently deliberating the “Law on the protection of a life in a pre-natal phase” and accompanying legislative projects, otherwise known as the “abortion ban bill”. The Committee on Health Affairs has already approved the bill and those who initiated the law expect it will be passed by the Parliament in Spring. The bill is a dangerous violation of basic women’s rights, blatantly limiting the right to terminate pregnancy in two cases only: if a pregnancy poses an evident threat to life of a mother or if a if a pregnancy is the result of rape. Even in the latter instance, the victim of a rape has only 12 weeks to prove the rape case and terminate the pregnancy. Also, if approved, the bill would equate women who terminate pregnancies with the murderers of unborn children, and abortion would be considered a criminal act punishable by up to three years in prison.

The number of abortions in Lithuania is constantly and purposefully declining. To continue to decrease the need for abortion, consistent preventative measures such as sex education, affordable and available contraception, and an encouraging social and financial environment must be introduced. However, the guaranteed right to abortion in case of an unwanted pregnancy must remain intact. Women must have access to safe and legal abortions, so that women seeking to terminate pregnancy will not be persecuted and will not risk their lives in search of illegal alternatives.

Everyone is invited to sign this on-line petition and to join the Lithuanian Citizens’ Initiative for the Right to a Safe and Legal Abortion, and tell the Lithuanian Parliament that women’ bodies belong to women!

Take pictures of yourself or of the members of your organization with pro- choice posters in Lithuanian and to send them to the Embassy of Lithuania of your country of residence.

Please, send the pictures to the Initiative’s official page on the Facebook and we’ll post them in a gallery for the cause:

https://www.facebook.com/uzteiseiaborta?fref=ts

The Lithuanian Citizens’ Initiative for the Right to a Safe and Legal Abortion is also organizing a demonstration to support women’s right to choose. On March 8th, International Women’s Day, everyone who believes that women’ bodies are not state property is invited to join for informative talks and slam poetry and for rally near the Lithuanian Parliament. Those who are abroad and cannot come to Lithuania, are invited to rally near the Lithuanian embassies in Europe to protest against this law. Every voice is appreciated!

The suggested slogans in Lithuanian:

  • Moters kūnas – ne valstybės nuosavybė (Engl. Woman’s body – not a state’s property)
  • Moters kūnas = moters pasirinkimas (Woman’s body = woman’s choice)
  • Nelegalūs abortai = moterų mirtys (Illegal abortion = women’ deaths)
  • Draudimas – kelias į savadarbius abortus (Prohibition – a straight way to a self-imposed abortions)
  • Ne abortų draudimas, o lytinis švietimas („No“ to prohibition, „yes“ to the sex education)
  • Abortų kasmet mažėja ir be draudimo (The number of abortions is declining every year, the prohibition is unnecessary)

The initiative’s official blog in Lithuanian: http://priesabortudraudima.wordpress.com/page/2/


Action supported by Women’s issues information centre , Lithuanian member of the EWL.

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Vote of the European Parliament on #HoneyballYes report on prostitution - Watch and share EWL video clip on the Brussels’ Call

Posted on 21 February 2014

Vote of the European Parliament on #HoneyballYes report on prostitution - Watch and share EWL video clip on the Brussels' Call

[Brussels, 21 February 2014] The European Parliament report on prostitution is going to be voted next week during the plenary session in Strasbourg. The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) calls on you to spread the word about the NGO mobilisation and support to the report. Please disseminate the video clip presenting the Brussels’ Call, which gathers more than 200 NGOs, many of them being umbrellla organisations, and working on women’s rights, gender equality and human rights in Europe and beyond.

The Brussels’ Call has been launched in December 2012 during a European conference on prostitution in the European Parliament, and has been endorsed by more than 50 MEPs in October 2013, after EWL seminar on the reality of prostitution.

In light of the vote of the European Parliament on the report of Ms Honeyball (S&D, UK) on "Prostitution, sexual exploitation and their impact on gender equality", the video clip aims at giving visibility to the voice of women’s organisations and survivors, and support MEPs in their discussion. The EWL calls on all MEPs to listen to the voices of NGOs and survivors and support the Honeyball report. #HoneyballYes #brusselscall

The Brussels’ Call (English version)

L’Appel de Bruxelles (version française)

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Watch and share EWL video clip on the Brussels’ Call "Together for a Europe free from prostitution"

Posted on 14 February 2014

Watch and share EWL video clip on the Brussels' Call "Together for a Europe free from prostitution"

[Brussels, 14 February 2014] The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is happy to unveil its video clip presenting the Brussels’ Call, a political statement calling for the abolition of prostitution in Europe, and signed by more than 200 women’s organisations from all over Europe and beyond.

The Brussels’ Call has been launched in December 2012 during a European conference on prostitution in the European Parliament, and has been endorsed by more than 50 MEPs in October 2013, after EWL seminar on the reality of prostitution.

In light of the vote of the European Parliament on the report of Ms Honeyball (S&D, UK) on "Prostitution, sexual exploitation and their impact on gender equality", the video clip aims at giving visibility to the voice of women’s organisations and survivors, and support MEPs in their discussion. The EWL calls on all MEPs to listen to the voices of NGOs and survivors and support the Honeyball report. #HoneyballYes #brusselscall

The Brussels’ Call (English version)

L’Appel de Bruxelles (version française)

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Support the EP report against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity!

Posted on 30 January 2014

Support the EP report against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity!

[Brussels, 30 January 2014] On Tuesday 4 February, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will vote on a report written by MEP Ulrike Lunacek asking the European Commission to adopt a new strategy against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

A petition coming from the extremist opposition has already gathered over 100,000 signatures. This petition is circulating and calling upon MEPs to reject the Lunacek report. The petition and letters sent to the MEPs include a lot of misinformation and lies.

The report simply underlines the importance of sex education that has been proven to reduce HIV and unwanted pregnancies and aims at fighting hate crimes towards the LGBTI community.

Please find the report here.

We need to stop this misleading discourse and join forces for the progress of LGBTI equality in the EU.

Please take action! join the campaign #LunacekYes = stop extremism.

1. If you are using social media such as Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr, then join the Thunderclap action of ILGA-Europe by following the steps here: They need only minimum 100 supporters before Monday 3 February 17.00 to make the Thunderclap happen - so hurry up, and do not hesitate to spread the word!

(Thunderclap is a social media based platform that helps people be heard by saying something together. If enough people support it, Thunderclap will blast out a timed Facebook Post or Tweet from all your supporters, creating a wave of attention.)

2. Tweet to MEPs that they should support the Lunacek Report. Use the hashtag #LunacekYES. MEPs’ Twitter accounts are on their profile page on the European Parliament website.

Thanks a lot!

Together we can make a change and realise equality for all!

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Join the demonstration in Brussels to support women in Spain and abortion right in Europe! 29 January 2014, 17h

Posted on 22 January 2014

Join the demonstration in Brussels to support women in Spain and abortion right in Europe! 29 January 2014, 17h

Join the demonstration in Brussels to support women in Spain and abortion right in Europe. The demonstration, co-organised by the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) together with other European NGOs, will take place on the 29 January 2014, at 17h, in front of the Spanish Embassy.

On 20 December 2013, the Spanish Council of Ministers approved a draft bill aiming at reforming the current law on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). If approved, abortion would be allowed in Spain only in the case of rape or if the pregnancy poses a serious physical or mental health risk to women.

Any abortion carried out that does not fall under the two permitted categories will be considered a crime, leaving women in Spain with two choices: travel abroad to get a safe and legal abortion or having an “underground” abortion with serious threats to their health.

If approved, this new bill would lead to a 30 years step backwards in the rights of women and to the failure of the Government to fulfill its fundamental role to promote gender equality and human rights.

On January 29, we will gather in Brussels to support women in Spain and their mobilization of 1st February “El Tren de la Libertad” in Madrid. This demonstration is part of a wider mobilization in Europe as similar events are planned in several European cities on the same week.

In order to support the women in Spain and, in general, the right to abortion in Europe, the EWL together with the European Humanist Federation (EFH), the Platform “Abortion Rights”, the International Planned Parenthood Federation – European Network (IPPFEN) and Catholics for choice are co-organizing a demonstration on 29 January 2013.

The demonstration will start at 17h in front of the Spanish Embassy and, from there, will go together to the European Parliament.

17.00: Meeting in front of the Spanish Embassy (19, rue de la Science) 17.30: Speeches by NGO representatives and politicians 18.00: Torchlight march to the European Parliament (Place du Luxembourg) 18.30: Speeches by NGO representatives and politicians

Following this link you can find the letter that the European NGOs will send to the Spanish Government.

Join us if you are in Brussels!

and/or disseminate our facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/693050114059222/

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