At SolidarityNow we honored the International Women’s Day by informing and empowering our women-beneficiaries of the programs implemented by the organization. Many and different actions were carried out in the framework of all the programs, with the majority of them and the most targeted ones concerning the women-beneficiaries of the program “Child and Family Support Hubs”* (CFSH), which is implemented by the organization in 14 open accommodation structures of refugees and migrants in collaboration with UNICEF Greece and IOM Greece. In all our efforts to inform and support women, we pay attention to the broader environment and the current conditions, developing activities and discussions, which respond to the issues of today and contribute to the public discourse.
Covid-19’s impact on women
The European Parliament dedicated this year’s International Women’s Day to the crucial role of women during the Covid-19 crisis. Women have been at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic not least because they predominate in the healthcare sector. Of the 49 million care workers in the EU, who have been most exposed to the virus, around 76% are women. Many have also been hard hit as they are in insecure or precarious jobs, which have disappeared or changed with the crisis. In addition, the continuing lockdowns have led to an increase in domestic violence. Women-beneficiaries of SolidarityNow in the open accommodation structure in Andravida sew protective masks for everybody living in the structure from the beginning of the health crisis.
The Greek #metoo
At the same time, Greece is experiencing its own #metoo movement after the allegations of abuse – verbal and/or physical – on behalf of women in numerous professional areas. Antigone Lyberaki, General Manager of SolidarityNow states: “In another very difficult year, we honor the International Women’s Day. Unfortunately, despite the progress that has been made, equality in Greece remains a major issue. The pandemic and the measures to deal with it exert more pressure and erect more difficult obstacles in women’s lives. At the same time, however, they shed light on the value of basic functions offered by women. In this challenging condition we must not allow any setbacks. The beginning of the Greek #metoo and the bravery of many women, fill us with optimism and faith in equality, so that Greek society to enter a new phase“. See the relevant article entitled “What we expect from our #metoo“.
Activities for Women by SolidarityNow | Child and Family Support Hubs
SolidarityNow in collaboration with the Municipality of Thebes and its Women’s Support Counseling Center launched an online painting exhibition on “Woman”. Women, younger and older, who live in the open accommodation structure for refugees in Thebes and participate in the art painting workshops implemented by SolidarityNow in its female friendly space, captured thoughts and feelings for the day in their paintings. The exhibition is available online in the Counseling Center’s blog (http://sumvouleutikothivas.blogspot.com) as well as on the social media of SolidarityNow and the Municipality of Thebes.
In the open accommodation structure for refugees in Drama, the female friendly space opened its doors with treats, flowers, and cards for Women’s Day. On the cards were written words such as: mother, wife, worker, strength, will, abilities. After a detailed discussion of the day’s story, the SolidarityNow team and the women-beneficiaries analyzed the meaning of the words on the cards. Every woman read the word on her card and connected it with the feminine nature. Empowerment videos were presented throughout the day, and the women’s team distributed flowers and love to the women who were unable to attend the event.
In the open accommodation structure for refugees in Ritsona, the teenage girls participated in a discussion with the psychologist of the SolidarityNow team, about women’s rights and the persistent need to defend them. The girls learned to say no with body language and put it into practice through experiential exercises.
In the open accommodation structure for refugees in Elefsina, the teachers of SolidarityNow talked to the young students about the meaning of the day and then asked them to draw a strong woman! A 10-year-old student painted a woman and a man with their fists raised and the message “I support the fight for equal rights” and gave it to his teachers full of pride!
In the open accommodation structure for refugees in Kato Milia, women and teenage girls had the opportunity to discuss the history of this day, the status of women in every decade and part of the world, and to capture on t-shirts empowering expressions that inspire everyone. Driven by a red rose, the women identified their unique characteristics and gave a symbol (shape, color, fragrance and name) to femininity as each one of them experiences and feels it.
In the open accommodation structures of refugees in Volvi, Malakasa and Serres, the next day from March 8 was different for women. There had been group discussions about the significance of the international day, its history, and its importance today. The women wrote short empowerment phrases and posted them on the structures, painted portraits of women and experimented with free drawing, depicting how they imagine the meaning of freedom!