Public Statement of the young women of Trama di Terre – read publicly in Imola on the 14th February 2015 for One Billion Rising Revolution

One billion rising is the campaign created by Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, to encourage more than one billion people to demonstrate, while dancing in all the most important squares of the world, for the right of every woman to live her own life without violence and fear. The demonstration is held the day of S. Valentine in order to give men the opportunity to perform real love and respect together with their partners. It is an alternative proposal to traditional flowers and chocolate. 207 countries are participating and, in each squares, women and men are dancing together for the revolution against a society that does not allow us to be the owner of our own body! The women experiencing violence are billions, but one billion of women dancing is a revolution!

We, the young women of Trama di Terre, gathered together for the first time on the 25th of November, last year, the date of the international day against violence on women. Since then, we are meeting weekly at the Intercultural Center of Trama di Terre. There, we feel protected from an external reality which does not belong to us and which does not give us the right space. During these months, we shared and discussed our needs and deep doubts. That doubts and needs that our strong patriarchal society continues to ignore and hide under a veil of shame and conspiracy of silence. At Trama di Terre we can freely express ourselves and we do not feel ashamed of our body, we do not fear our “differences”, while, and most importantly, we become aware of the importance of dialoguing to strengthen our relationship.

During the meetings we discussed different subjects, according to each others will, such as: our body, our nutrition, the embarrassment of being a woman and a teenager, the influence of the mass-media in the discrimination of the female image. The strength of this group of young women is self-management. We are not hierarchically organized: each one of us supervise the topic that reflects more her personality.

We have been working on the organization of ONE BILLION RISING REVOLUTION for a month now. We, the young women of Trama di Terre, join this international demonstration to fight for our rights through our strength and self-determination. Dancing make all this possible, gathering people all over the world and making us belong to one world.

The Revolution of One Billion Rising 2015 is the continuation of the first two phases of our campaign against violence on women. One billion rising and one billion rising for justice. We danced. We claimed justice. Today we ask for changes.

An important awareness has grown in these years: the problem of violence against women can not be solved without providing resources, funds and the necessary legal recognition to the antiviolence centers. For this reason we are here today, to remember to the supervisor of public money that we cannot go on like this, we do not accept this situation any longer. Nearby, there is an antiviolence center, where some experts and resolutes women are working. This center does not have a convention with the Municipality. Why? Why all women and men are indignant and disapprove violence against women out loud the 25th November and the other days of the year they leave us alone? Why? Women’s life counts more than the front-page of newspapers.

We ask for concrete actions, from all of you women and men, and in particular from the Public Institutions, in order to abolish the sexist-culture fostering a chauvinist, patriarchal and often hidden mentality entirely responsible for women’s disrespect. Refuse to acknowledge our great, paid and not, work, women’s care and reproductive work, the brilliance, the creativity, the women’s manifold role is inhuman.

We ask to not underestimate, dismiss and criticized the word “feminicide”; because, it refers to an existing phenomenon, although many people still deny it; and because, most of the people still consider women guilty when murdered and raped. We are thinking of the two kidnapped girls in Siria, Greta and Vanessa, as well as the disgraceful and shameful way they have been described. Luckily, they came back safe; but they have been described by the public opinion as irresponsibles for putting their life in danger while helping a war-victim population. Would the reaction be the same, if they were men? Probably, they would have been welcomed as heros, as it has been the case of the two Marò, accused of the murder of some indian fishermen.

 As women, we are tired of seeing how our rights for choice and self-determination are always questioned. The Council Minister of Madrid (THE RAJOY GOVERNEMENT) formulated and tried to approve a law to make abortion illegal, a crime that can be decriminalized only under some circumstances (rape or danger for the mother’s life). Spanish women went on the streets shouting #MiBomboEsMio, “my belly is mine”. Thanks to their fight, the government had to withdraw that ridiculous law they had proposed.

In our country as well, the crusade of religious integralism, in particular, the Catholic one (as it was the case, here in Imola, of the appeal made by the “Giuristi per la vita”) continues to promote a social and familiar model organized into a hierarchy, restricting the woman’s role to mother and wife and denying the existence of sexual and gender differences as well as the existence of rights – from the marriage to children’s adoption – to all the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisex, Trans, Queer) world.

In this italian obscurantist atmosphere, Imola included, women see their rights denied by the obstructionism of the conscientious objectors, even in the public health facilities. It is often difficult to obtain prescriptions for contraceptive medicines, such as the birth control pill, or to buy the medicines (if the pharmacist is an objector, he/she will not give the medicine to you, even if you have the prescription). It happens way too often that a woman, who is already living a difficult emotional status, has to listen to some sort of prude sermon, by the anti-abortion objector of the moment. This is not acceptable.

Another case, already known in our country, is the one of the “sentinelle in piedi” (literally “standing sentinels”, who demonstrate against the abortion right, with the growing support and tolerated infiltrations of neofascist parties and organizations, like Forza Nuova). The last news, which really shocked us, is related to the Ferrara bishop’s statements. He had the courage, and the ignorance, to say that “the economic crisis exists because of the abortion”.

And among everything, we think of all the unemployed women, female-worker on redundancy payment, evicted woman living in difficult situations and who fight daily.

We think of the raped and killed, violated, bothered, harassed, insulted women.
We think of the migrant women, often victims of a double discrimination.
We think of the kurd women, who freed Kobane from Isis and we think of the whole Rojava region in which people are inspired by the will of a democratic self-determination.

The neoliberalist policy of Renzi’s government does not leave space to the construction of a national project to contrast violence against women. We ask the government to re-open the dialogue on National Plan against violence against women, which should be continuously revised according to stable and continuative plan, and surely not “extraordinary” intervention, because male violence is an everyday problem for women! (Coordinamento dei centri antiviolenza dell’Emilia-Romagna).

Therefore, we ask our city to build a serious and concrete policy of prevention and contrast to violence, trough a permanent work-table and in particular a convention with the antiviolence centre of Trama di Terre.

We ask for concrete and daily changes, little and big ones, also to you, young and aged, Women and Men.

We demand respect for each woman, daughter, sister, mother, colleague, prostitute, neighbor, migrant or unknown. We want respect, equal dignity and social inclusion, and no more violence and abuse of power.

We invite, in particular you, girls and young women, to participate in our weekly meetings in Trama di Terre and to become part of this great change.

And now, we invite you all, Women and Men, to break the chain dancing all together with us!

14th February 2015