Dr Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, Member of the European Parliament representing Germany on the platform of the Greens, on the International Women’s Day 2022 and the unfinished work of redressing gender Imbalance
The International Women’s Day is marked this year by the dramatic events we are experiencing: the military aggression in Ukraine.
In addition to the Covid crisis and climate change, which have highlighted gender inequalities, the war is accentuating these disparities of which women are victims.
The pandemic has fostered an upsurge in violence in all areas: domestic violence, an increase in the number of girls excised in Europe who no longer have access to prevention and awareness centres which try to prevent girls from female genital mutilation.
Women are experiencing the negative impacts of the climate crisis that amplify existing gender inequalities and put women’s lives and livelihoods at risk, particularly in agriculture and the informal sector.
At the economic level, the wage gap between women and men is still enormous; especially since women rarely hold well-paid positions. Their under-representation in decision-making and management bodies is striking but above all unacceptable.
The war in Ukraine has exacerbated gender inequalities. Most of the women had to go into exile with their children in order to flee their devastated country. Those who have chosen to stay are mobilizing and taking up arms to defend their homeland against the Russian invasion.
In this war climate, we are particularly concerned about the wave of racism faced by African women living in Ukraine in their attempts to leave the country. This conflict cannot leave us silent.
Some European countries bordering Ukraine refuse them entry to one of the countries of the European Union to get to safety. They are forbidden to cross the border. These unacceptable measures amount to intersectional discrimination.
On this memorable day, it is worth remembering that one of the basic principles of feminism is the promotion of peace for all, to make our planet an oasis of peace, not a battlefield. MEP Women at the European Parliament in Strasbourg dressed in white, sign of peace to celebrate the international Women’s Day 2022. We must promote peace so that every man, every woman has the opportunity to flourish according to their skills.
Dr. Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana is the Vice Chair of the Development Committee(DEVE) and Member of the Women Rights Committee (FEMM)