In September, the first summer school for young feminists from 18 to 30 years old took place, with more than 50 participants from over 20 European countries, representatives of a new generation of feminists in Europe. The summer school was organised by the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) in the Amazone building – a center supporting women’s organisations in Brussels.
The participants not only had the opportunity to visit the European Parliament, but also to meet and talk with two MEPs who are fighting for women’s rights and gender equality. One was Ulrike Lunacek, vice-president of the European Parliament, and the other one Marie Arena, member of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality. They both agreed that as feminist activists we do not need to be aggressive, but sometimes it is more than necessary to be radical.
We exchanged our diverse skills and knowledge through workshops and debates. Some of the topics were: political participation of women, online campaigning, international legislation on women’s rights, refugees in Europe, how to include an anti-racist perspective in feminism, women under ISIS, women’s bodies in photography, feminist literature, sexual violence, sexual harassment, violence against women, family violence … and much more.
The activist Elisabeth Gehrke offered training in “Master Suppression Techniques” and the journalist and trainer Laura Shields held a media workshop. Furthermore, we had the opportunity to meet EWL president Viviane Teitelbaum, who told us that she thinks that the basis of the fourth wave of feminism lies in communication.
During the breaks and in the evenings we were building bridges and discovering each other’s worlds. These were beautiful days filled with ideas, inspiration, talks and laughter and they ended up in friendships based on many memories and stories. We will stay in touch for sure – and have together launched this blog!
Unfortunately, the idea that feminism is about hating men, as well as other similar misconceptions, prevails. The Agora was one approach to overthrow this and other stereotypes, and proved that feminism is the fight for the rights of everybody – women, men and others.
For this unforgettable experience I would like to thank the Slovenian Women’s Lobby and the European Women’s Lobby.
The original post was made available by courtesy of Katja Matko