On 19th October, Celine Fabrequette, ACP YPN Programme Manager and SDG5 Expert presented a Press café on ‘women in conflict’ at the Thon Hotel EU in Brussels. Celine animated the discussion with Angelika Hild (Founder of European Young Feminists) and was joined by other high-level speakers, including Olga Frańczak (European Women’s Lobby); Nada de Murashkin (UN mission in Darfur); Isabella Eisenberg (Formerly with Relief and Reconciliation for Syria). This was part of a Networking series organised by ISC Paris and World Solidarity Forum where each participant had the opportunity to join a discussion circle, which covered the topics of women’s treatment; women disabled by war; women taking a stand (in which Celine intervened) and women in refuge.
Celine’s intervention focused on how communication tools are enabling women in the global South to take a stand in conflict and non-conflict zones by enhancing and fostering political participation and activism. To illustrate this, Celine used the example of #StopRacismatPretoriaGirlshigh movement and the role played by women in Colombia in the elaboration of a peace agreement. Celine underlined that social media, especially when well-used, has transformative power i.e. social media can foster international solidarity and the fight against discrimination, not only at the political level but throughout the world by changing lives. She also recognised that young women are now leading many movements, and in her opinion this confirms that youth want to be more involved in political dialogues and the social development of their countries.
The discussion also recognised the limits of social media, which do not always guarantee political and positive actions toward equality. For example, the movement #blacklivesmatter raised the question of the limits of the communication tools in creating political pressure and dialogue at the political level. The audience believed that to counter such negative effects more efforst were needed to continuously empower women and young people to enable them to take part in political debate and negotiation in order to improve their rights in a long term. Celine concluded the session by quoting Aung San Suu Kyi “Please use your liberty to promote ours.”
By Ms. Celine Fabrequette, ACP YPN Programme Manager on EU relations and SDG5 Expert.