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Today, 8th of March, millions of women as well as members of the LGBTIQ community, are marching, striking, and disrupting sytemic patriarchies all over the world in recognition of the International Women's Rights Day. 

Female and non-male visibility and representation in politics across Europe remains low. In order to continue countering this, the Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG) has brought together 20 female and non-male young Greens for 5 days in Istanbul,  in an autonomous and safe space,  to discuss ways to demasculinize the structures, organisations and societies we live in. The empowerment of women and the establishment of supportive solidarity platforms is necessary to challenge the consequences of living and working within oppressive patriarchal systems.

These young Green activists will participate in the International Women's Day demonstration  in Istanbul as part of the wave of solidarity calling for equal rights and freedom of choice, against patriarchal, homophobic and transphobic discourses across the world. FYEG encourages all, but in particular women, to lend their voice to the global call for equal rights by participating in the marches, campaigns or strikes happening in various cities all over the globe.

On this occasion, and on every other day, we; 

Say NO - to any kind of violence against cis-women, transgender, gender variant, and intersex people! FYEG calls on the Member States of the European Union to enact the Istanbul Convention, and demands concrete measures are introduced to protect women, transgender, gender variant, and intersex people who are victims of violence based on their gender identity, and gender expression.

Say NO - to all those who police our bodies and infringe on our personal spaces! Bodily integrity is a human right, and every individual should be able to decide freely what they want to do with their bodies. We stand for access to safe, legal, and free abortion, sexual health and reproductive rights, and call for an end of forced sterilisation of transgender people, and forced genital mutilation on young girls and intersex people.

Say NO - to a system that considers labour of  women and non-males as being worth less than their male counterparts! Women Rights are Human Rights, and we support all those courageous women and non-males who will today, in their work spaces, strike against the unfair and illegitimate salary gaps. 

Say NO - to militarist, egocentric, and sexist politicians, who use their greed for power against democracy and the protection of the environment! Women suffer the most from climate change, and conflicts. We continue to fight for solidarity across nations, peace, and open borders for those whose lives and basic rights and freedoms are under threat

Say NO - to the under-representation of women in politics and in representative positions!  Convinced by the necessity for non-males to have safe spaces for exchanging, strategizing and empowering each other, we will fight in our societies, and within our organisations, for feminist and solidarity structures, processes and events aiming at everyone's empowerment and self-determination, and to smash patriarchy. 

In these troubled times for women and LGBTIQ rights, especially in today's Turkey, we will stand alongside our sisters against hopelessness, regressive politics and all forms of oppression over the freedoms and rights of individuals, no matter their gender. 

Our lives ! Our Rights ! Our bodies ! Our decisions !


*"We Want Life!" (#HayatıIstiyoruz) is the rallying call for the IWD march in Istanbul, Turkey on 8th March 2017.     

*Cis-women is a term to refer to women who identify with the gender/sex they were given at birth. Using this term is inclusive of transgender women.