What happened in March 2021?

Nawal El Saadawi died at the age of 89 on the 21st of March. She is well known for the many feminist books she wrote. She was especially reputed for her fight against female genital mutilation (FGM). She was originally a doctor from Cairo and later became a novelist for some newspapers. In addition, she was psychiatric and she gave lectures at the University of Cairo. She spent some time in Jail under Saddat and wrote her memoir about this experience. Moreover, she was the target of Islamic groups for some writings such as Sex and Women

Kenya: The practice of FGM was forbidden even for consenting adults because the Kenyan court judged it non-beneficial for the health. It also claimed that most of the women undergoing FGM are not voluntary because it is rooted in an old tradition.

EU: On the 11th of March, the European Parliament declared the EU to be a ‘LGBTfreedom zone’ in response to the LGBTQ+ rights backsliding in Poland which is a member of the European Union. Indeed, for two years many towns in Poland proclaimed themselves to be “LGBTQ-free”. The situation for the LGBTQ+ community worsened in Poland and Hungary recently. 

New Zealand: A 3-day paid leave for mothers and their partners after miscarriages and stillbirths.

Netherlands: Week Against Racism leading up to the 21st of March, watch the online theatre and lectures back here:

21st of March: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination since 1966

This day was chosen because of the killing of 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in South Africa on the 21st of March 1960. This day was created to raise awareness about racism in the world. This year some events could be found online. 

8th of March: International Women’s day

Amsterdam: This year was special for International Women’s day because the march did not happen. However, the organisation “Feministas en Holanda” organised a bike strike from Oosterpark to Museumplein. They also organised bike strikes in other cities in the Netherlands like in Rotterdam. 

Kazakhstan: The first women’s march was organised for the 8th of March (International Women’s rights day). The authorities allowed it for the first time. 

31st of March: International Transgender Day of Visibility

In the Hague, the government raised the Transgender and non-binary flag which is the first city to do so in the world. Moreover, Biden was the first U.S president to recognise this day. In his proclamation, he pointed out the struggles and the importance of the activists for Transgender people’s rights. 

World: A report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) found that the economic gender gap moved back from one generation with the pandemic. However, in terms of education and health, the gender gap improves. 

Turkey: The Istanbul convention to fight violence done against women signed in 2011 was withdrawn by the Turkish government. This led to protests against the government’s decision. This convention was the pride of the country but this withdrawal is a way to strengthen the power of Erdogan by gaining popularity among conservative groups. 


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