European Feminist Initiative: "Palestine, Libya, Syria... More than ever Feminists for Peace and Democracy"

We live in historic times. People in the Arab world are rising up against political dictatorship and corruption; they demand reforms and are organizing for freedom, human dignity and social justice. Women have been shouldering the responsibilities in all uprisings and their movement is an integral part of the democratic forces for social and economic justice. But they are systematically excluded from the decision making processes that shape the future of their countries. What democracies are then being prepared and negotiated?

Freedom, human dignity and social justice cannot be imposed with guns and bombs

In Syria the democracy loving people are trying to solve their problems with the resources of their own civil society and country. We express our strong support for their on-going civil resistance and call for international solidarity with their national demands for aspired social and political change. The determination of the people to refuse any intervention from outside, be it NATO or not, is their legitimate right. Weapons and bombing under the pretext of bringing democracy can never be justified.

Democracy means the recognition of women’s rights as universal human rights

European Feminist Initiative (IFE-EFI) strongly support human rights movement and opposition leaders to urgently put the women’s human rights on their agendas for transformation of the society towards freedom and dignity and stress again that nothing can be more crucial to human freedom, dignity and justice than their implementation. Democracy cannot exist without the full implementation of women’s rights as universal human rights, neither can it be used as a tool in the name of which military interventions and invasions are justified. We fully support the women’s movements in their struggle for rights and full citizenship. The establishment of Civil States and civil legislation, social justice and democracy based on equality between women and men are the only way to prevent the raising of a fundamentalist wave on the current political scenes. The democracy and peace loving people across the world are watching.

IFE-EFI condemns all forms of oppression, all military acts, repressions and killings used to subdue the progressive social movements.

We denounce the use of military and all other types of violent attacks against civilians as a way to solve conflicts. The democracy and peace loving people across the world are watching; they give their strong political support and pressure their governments to use all diplomatic tools and not armed insurgency in any country.

In these times when Israel once again arrogantly refuses the international right and violates the international resolutions, we urge for the recognition of an independent State of Palestine on the occupied territories of 1967 war with full sovereignty and with East Jerusalem as its capital, as a necessary step and a precondition for a comprehensive peace process in the whole Middle East Region that will facilitate the democratic transitions and enhance the respect of fundamental rights of women and men.

IFE-EFI European Coordination, October 2011