A challenging 2022 has come to an end and has shown the importance of being united and working together as a global network of women’s NGOs in Europe and raising our voices. The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) has been recognized as one of those voices representing a network of 2000 female NGOs in Europe and was therefore invited to organise a workshop at the Gender Equality Forum 2022, hosted by the European Institute for Gender Equality in Brussels (Belgium) in October 2022. The title of the workshop was “Loud and United! Feminist women’s organisations resisting the backlash!” and this was led by the EWL Executive committee members.
Prof. Bettina Pfleiderer, EWL Vice-President and MWIA´s EWL representative produced a video highlighting the multiple crises that our planet is undergoing – COVID-19 and its aftermath, economic recession, the war in Ukraine, gas shortage, political and climate upheaval. These are deeply interconnected and feed each other. Women’s civil society is at the forefront of all these crises that the world is experiencing, providing crucial support to women and girls on the ground. In this workshop, examples of how this is manifesting itself in some countries were given with best practice examples of how women and feminist organisations are resisting.
At the workshop we also mapped the backlash on women’s rights throughout the EU and the countries of our full membership with the attendees (Fig. 2). EWL is conducting a follow-up event on 9 January 2023 presenting the outcome of the event to EWL and members and discussing “how can we move from words to actions?”. Many brilliant ideas were shared.
The chair statement summarizing the gender equality Forum outcomes can be found here: https://eige.europa.eu/publications/gender-equality-forum-2022-chair-statement
The EWL Executive Committee met in person 12-13 December 2022 in Brussels discussing the 2023 working strategy plan with a focus on how youth can be better included in our activities.