After a Special Issue to #StandwithUkraine (Opens in a new window), we are back for our third edition to continue to shine the light on inspiring stories, changemakers and initiatives all around us.
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These will be published in the follow-up ‘Community Edition' at the end of the month, so stay tuned!
Issue #3 - April 2022 Gender Equality 💜🏳️🌈
Following Women's History Month in March and before the Pride Month in June, we release this issue to celebrate and highlight the work of those who are actively contributing to a fairer and gender-equal Europe.
Gender discrimination is multifaceted and sometimes so deeply rooted in our cultural lives that it goes unnoticed or unchallenged. Our selection below shows us that it’s possible to address this crucial issue in very diverse ways and spheres of life. We present six solution stories ranging from groundbreaking labour policies to youth activism in hostile environments; six inspiring changemakers from France, Germany, Hungary, Spain and the UK; and six innovative initiatives such as a Twitter bot for equality, a Rainbow Index or a network for female business founders.
We see that by acting from local to political levels, it’s possible to strive for equity and work together to make a gender-equal Europe possible.
Weighing words: fixing Macedonian media coverage of gender-based violence (Opens in a new window)
✍️ By Elena Gagovska for Unbias the News on 21 March 2022
Media in North Macedonia still have a tendency to sensationalise coverage of gender-based violence and blame the victims. Activists are working with the state Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Services to develop new tools, training and increase social awareness. They hope it can help improve the way that victims are portrayed in the media.
Germany appoints first 'commissioner for queer affairs'
(Opens in a new window)✍️ By Rina Goldenberg and Kyra Levine for Deutsche Welle English on 06 January 2022
Sven Lehmann from the Greens was appointed to help Germany "become a pioneer country in the fight against discrimination". He will be in charge of preparing a national action plan to promote acceptance and protect diversity. The move was welcomed by a number of LGBTQ+ groups in Germany, including the Lesbian and Gay Association, with a tweet reading: “Congratulations to @svenlehmann. We look forward to the queer-political awakening promised by the traffic light and to the noticeable improvement in the rights of LGBTI people”https://twitter.com/lsvd/status/1478746066891771904 (Opens in a new window)
The LGBT+ youth fighting for a 'Polish Stonewall' (Opens in a new window)
📹 By Isolde Penwarden for I-D UP+RISING in Poland on October 2021
See also more recently ‘How Polish & Hungarian activists are helping queer Ukrainian refugees (Opens in a new window)’ and the work of the ‘Campaign Against Homophobia’ in Poland.
Iceland's trailblazing wage law narrows gender pay gap
(Opens in a new window)✍️ By RFI on 24 September 2021
While most countries have equal pay laws, Iceland has made unequal pay a criminal offense and a health and safety violation. Before, employees had to prove they were subject to discrimination, today companies have to prove they are paying men and women equally.
Paternity leave extended to 16 weeks in Spain (Opens in a new window)
✍️ By Cristina Saldaña for El País in English on 06 Jan 2021
In January 2021 Spain adopted a 16 weeks 100% paid non-transferable paternity leave, pushing forward the message that fathers too have the right and obligation to be carers, as well as preventing gender-based discrimination in the labour market. In March 2022, Denmark (Opens in a new window)passed a similar law for each parent to get 11 weeks of non-transferable parental leave. For a snapshot of the situation in other places, see this update by Moonshot News on ‘The best European countries to be a father (Opens in a new window)’.
Our Podcast recommendations 🎧https://open.spotify.com/episode/3FalViOONrhReO8BuSIdVw (Opens in a new window)
Gender Reveal Podcast (Opens in a new window) (EN), an award-winning podcast about nonbinary, transgender, and queer folks. They interview LGBTQ+ artists, activists, and educators to analyze current events and answer listeners’ questions to get a little bit closer to understanding what the heck gender is. See above their Gender 101 episode to get back to basics!
Homo Sapiens (Opens in a new window) (EN), Christopher Sweeney presents the world from a Queer perspective with conversations, stories, and a good old laugh with LGBTQ+ icons and allies (already more than 170 episodes and counting).
The Frontline (Opens in a new window) (EN), ILGA-Europe brings you to the core of queer activism and presents the extraordinary ways in which the work of those on the frontlines continues in a rapidly changing world. Listen to their most recent episode ‘LGBTI People and the War in Ukraine (Opens in a new window)’.
Les Couilles sur la Table (Opens in a new window) (FR), a feminist podcast in which Victoire Tuaillon and her guests discuss different types of masculinity and analyse the patriarchy at the root of our societies. See also the 10+ other productions from Binge.audio (Opens in a new window).
Generación Futuro (Opens in a new window) (ES), they propose to create a space for dialogue between young activists and renowned thinkers, and Spanish government officials, to imagine the future together.
Academic, author and activist in Hungary
See her work at the CEU Democracy Institute (Opens in a new window) and the Labrisz Lesbian Association (Opens in a new window)
The LGBTQ+ community in Hungary is a recurrent target of hate crusades and smear campaigns by the party in power. Dorottya is a symbol of the courage needed to advocate for their rights in such an environment. She spearheaded the development of the children’s book A Fairy Tale for Everyone (Opens in a new window), which incorporates LGBTQ+ characters into reimaginings of traditional fairy tales, and became a symbol of resistance in the country and abroad.
A protester-turned-politician, Irene has embraced a confrontational style hallmarked by an assertive defence of feminism and was flagged as one of the most influential European politicians under 30 by Forbes magazine. In 2021, she presented a law on transgender rights to let people register a gender change on their identity documents without a medical report.
“Feminism is the best thing that ever happened to this country.”
Screenwriter and Filmmaker in France
Follow her on Instagram (Opens in a new window), see her movies and more on Linktree (Opens in a new window). Below, her interview by Brut about making it in the male-dominated movie industry without money or contacts:
Adowa has starred on the covers of international publications, featured in short films, music videos and in Hollywood movies. Nevertheless, having struggled with depression and addiction, she recognised the lack of mental health resources for young women. This inspired her to launch Gurls Talk, a mental health organisation that offers a safe space to discuss a wide range of issues, including loneliness, body image and sexuality.
See also the radically inclusive social media accounts of Jameela Jamil (Opens in a new window) and her work with I Weigh Community (Opens in a new window) dedicated to promoting self-worth and a body-positive movement.
Entrepreneur, author and influential voice on diversity in Germany.
See her numerous work on her website (Opens in a new window)or follow her directly on Linkedin (Opens in a new window), Instagram (Opens in a new window) and Twitter (Opens in a new window)
Tijen is not only committed to promoting gender equality but also to playing an active role in seeing it come to life. For that, she founded ‘Global Digital Women (Opens in a new window)’, a leading international diversity consultancy, which supports and advises companies on diversity and inclusion.
French Youtube star Bilal Hassani is one of the country's most glamorous popstars. After taking part in the Eurovision and receiving a backlash of negative comments, he started an anti-bullying campaign in French schools. Here are some of the lyrics from his song ‘Roi’ (Opens in a new window) that was presented at the 2019 Eurovision song contest:
“You put me in a box, you want me to be like you
Je suis pas dans les codes, ça dérange beaucoup
At the end of the day you cannot change me!
Alors laisse-moi m'envoler”
🤖 @BotForEquality (Opens in a new window), he’s just a young intersectional bot, amplifying gender equality content published on Twitter.
🌡️ Gender Equality Index by the (Opens in a new window)European Institute for Gender Equality (Opens in a new window) (Opens in a new window)that measures the progress of gender equality in each European country and gives more visibility to areas that need improvement. See also the Rainbow Index (Opens in a new window) made by ILGA-Europe (Opens in a new window).
🗣️ Aino Aid (Opens in a new window) by We encourage (Opens in a new window) in Finland, a conversational AI tool for victims of domestic violence that provides psychosocial support and guidance 24/7, for everyone, no matter your gender.
🚀 AcceleratHer (Opens in a new window) in the Uk, a network to accelerate the growth, visibility and backing of talented female business founders and leaders.
🩸 Needie Paddie (Opens in a new window) in Belgium, to fight the double sanction of cost and taboos around sanitary products for women, they install collected boxes in strategic places to collect and distribute the products to people in need.
🎥 13th LGBT+ Film Festival (Opens in a new window) in Poland, happening in few days in April-May 2022, is the biggest LGBT+ celebration in Central and Eastern Europe and an act of resistance in itself.
We hope you found this content inspiring!
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