BRUSSELS, JANUARY 20: Thousands of women, men and children are set to attend the Lights for Rights March in Brussels today in solidarity with the women’s march in Washington. This unprecedented attack on women’s rights across Europe and worldwide is linked to much larger geopolitical changes.
Political fomentation is at an all-time high and there is an increasing attempt to close the political space for all women, especially the most marginalised, to starve the women’s movement and take away the rights we have been building over the last 50 years. Right-wing populism is not just a problem in the US but is a major issue across much of Europe evident in efforts to undermine women’s rights in Poland, Hungary and Turkey.
Europe has made incredible progress in improving and advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights, yet this political backlash risks reinforcing a misogynistic culture that in turn will have a huge impact on women in society. This worrying pretext of anti-feminist sentiment is why IPPF EN are calling on the EU to defend European values and stand firm on the protection of women’s rights.
“The EU must safeguard women’s rights. We are concerned about what the rise in populism means not only for democracy but for the life of women in Europe and beyond,” IPPF EN Director Caroline Hickson stressed.
“All too often when rights are eroded, the first line of attack is a woman’s body. Now, more than ever, we need to come together in solidarity with all those who trust and support women to make their own decisions on the things that matter most to them.”