Report from Vice President for Northern Europe

Dr. Elizabeth Lichtenstein

Dr. Elizabeth Lichtenstein MWIA Regional Vice President for Northern Europe

December is upon us and activities are slowly returning to normal after the pandemic. As I write this, we have yet another outburst of illness upon us and we are not sure what will happen next with face-to-face meetings and social life. We are all at once experiencing Flu, Covid and RS-virus.

Sweden has a new government as of October and steps reached earlier towards a feministic viewpoint are no longer prominent. The word gender has disappeared from statements and for example the situation of women caught in prostitution is unclear as to their rights and the possibility of being helped. We are back to blame-the-victim strategies with the far-right influences in the government.

In the Northern European region several countries have voiced concern over the last General Assembly as many matters were not discussed and several members experienced difficulties in casting their votes. This just shows how difficult it is to have a hybrid meeting when it comes to democracy issues and even though we spent the last two years meeting virtually we still have a lot to learn when it comes to how to perform a safe and open meeting when mixing hybrid and face-to-face meetings.

Europe is for the moment experiencing the worst crisis since WWII and we stand appalled and shocked as a European country is being slaughtered and women are once again being raped, abused and killed. These are atrocities that spread like waves on water. The effects of misogynistic politics are seen for example in Poland where raped Ukrainian women are denied abortions as they flee, in Germany as brothels are filled by traffickers recruiting women at the border.

What we really want to do now is to start meeting and working towards our goals. We need to develop our strategies and find partners to work with so that our planet becomes a safe place for all, including women and children, from all countries, without discrimination or injustice. A safe environment where we can live in peace without fear. Is that too much to wish for?

Please Santa Claus