AWID issues a statement against 'anti-trans agendas' at the UN

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Idem Tv - Carmen Porta
  • The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences, Reem Alsalem.
    The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences, Reem Alsalem. Source: IdemTv.

Specifically, the manifesto denounces the statements of Reem Alsalem, Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, who defend the obstruction of the legal recognition of the gender of trans people.

Last May, the association for Women's Rights and Development (AWID) issued a statement denouncing the obstructing speech of Reem Alsalem , special rapporteur on violence against women and girls at the United Nations, in reference to the legal recognition of the gender of trans people .

AWID is a global feminist organization that was founded in 1982. Every year it issues a report on the situation of women's rights and gender equality around the world. They define their goals based on the vision of "a world where feminist realities flourish, where resources and power are shared in ways that allow everyone, and future generations, to prosper and realize their full potential with dignity , love and respect, and where the Earth nurtures life in all its diversity".

In the statement 'There is no place for anti-trans agendas in the United Nations' they denounce that the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences, Reem Alsalem "has persistently defended the installation of obstacles and additional conditions for the legal recognition of gender that undermine the protection of the rights of trans people, instead of asking for bodily autonomy for all ".

This manifesto highlights the problem, reinforced recently, of the questioning by a sector of feminism of the equality of the presence of transgender women in the fields of women and feminists. This sector is usually called, from inclusive feminism , 'TERF', an acronym for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism, as it proclaims the exclusion of transgender women within the defense of women's rights, so it is marked as a transphobe.

AWID claims to be part of the diverse and inclusive feminist currents and denounces this current which is increasingly rooted in the movement. They argue that trans people need special protection given their vulnerability and the increase in transphobic violence .

In its feminist advocacy strategy, AWID highlights different priority areas based on the universality of rights and the creation of "a space so that the feminist, women's rights and gender justice movements and their allies can recognize the influence and impact of anti-rights actors", in this line they propose to " uproot fascisms and fundamentalisms".

It is from this line of action that they declare themselves feminists from a real intersectional perspective and denounce "the serious inappropriate use of the feminist concept of intersectionality by the holder of the mandate. In this way, the Special Rapporteur actively violates the principles of universality and indivisibility of rights , and opposes our values ​​as feminists".

AWID and intersectional feminism

This organization, which has already accumulated 40 years of existence, is co-directed by Faye Macheke , a pan-African feminist with extensive experience in finance and organizational development, and Inna Michaelim , a queer feminist activist and sociologist. In addition, ten of the thirteen members of the Board are feminists from the Global South, and the alliance of the different feminisms within it also adds up in the LGTBIQ+ field.

They promote the feminist agenda in international spaces such as the Human Rights Council, the Commission on Population and Development, the Commission on the Social and Legal Status of Women and the UN General Assembly.

It is in this sense that AWID claims in its statement that "the Special Rapporteur must guarantee the independence of the mandate and the accountability of the persons holding rights" and they reiterate that "the harmful position adopted by the Special Rapporteur violates the integrity , the independence and credibility of the special procedures mechanism as a whole".

This statement, which has received the support of ILGA Món among others, finally demands that "accountability be given for the damaging practices of the Special Rapporteur, and that they be put to an end". They thus urge the United Nations system to ensure "that the voices and concerns of feminism, of the LGBTIQ+ movements and for women's rights, and especially of groups led by trans people, are brought from the margins to the center".

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