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RASASC’s Feminist Moments of 2018!

  1. The year started strong with a continued focus and call to action around sexual violence in response to #MeToo – this powerful reflection from the founder Tarana Burke, on how the movement started and where it is now, highlights the pain and strength felt by so many of us within this continued movement of resistance and solidarity.
  1. In January, 156 gymnasts who have survived sexual abuse perpetrated by Larry Nassar read out their impact statements at court in front of the world. Their moving display of courage and power is a moment that will stay with many of us for a long time. Let’s hold onto the words of Judge Rosemarie Aquilina as she spoke to all the survivors: “Leave your pain here, and go out and do magnificent things”.
  1. In February, over 190 women from across the entertainment and VAWG sector signed an open letter “Sisters, this is our moment to say Time’s Up” to mark the launch of the Justice and Equality Fund in UK. The fund is the first of its kind and aims to challenge sexual violence, discrimination and inequality by resourcing a network of specialist advice, support and advocacy organisations and projects.
  1. In April, suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett became the first woman honoured with a sculpture in Parliament Square, as part of the centenary celebrations of some women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom. This was in response to a campaign led by feminist activist and journalist Caroline Criado Perez.
  1. In May, we witnessed a historic moment when Ireland voted to repeal the 8th amendment in the abortion referendum. This huge success was as a result of powerful grassroots campaigning where women across Ireland broke the silence and stood in solidarity for change, freedom and equality.
  1. In August, we saw a Gal-dem takeover of the Guardian magazine, celebrating and placing women of colour front and centre within our media.
  1. In September, we watched and heard the powerful testimony from Christine Blasey Ford. The image of Christine standing in front of a majority male senate, with her right hand raised and eyes closed, as she prepared to speak her truth to the world, will be unforgettable.
  1. In October, Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. Nadia, is a survivor-activist, who has worked tirelessly in her campaign to raise awareness of sexual violence in conflict and the impacts on Yazidi people. Denis is a Congolese gynaecologist who has treated tens of thousands of survivors and who dedicated his award to all women affected by sexual violence.
  1. In November, Lyon striker Ada Hegerberg was the first woman to be awarded the Ballon d’Or award. For over 60 years this prestigious award has been given to a men’s player by France Football, voted for by journalists. This year marks the first time, which is long overdue, that this award has recognised women and women’s football.
  1. Our year ends with police agreeing to stop passing on the immigration status of victims and survivors of crime. This significant change in practice and policy is down to the voices of migrant women and BME women’s organisations that stood together and shared their stories, in often very challenging circumstances.

 

This selection of amazing moments celebrating women reminds us (as if we forget) that women and survivors change the world!

 

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