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Mona Eltahawy in The Female Convention - #TheFutureIsFemale

'Imagine the patriarchy as an octopus' - video essay (English spoken)


When we talk about the Istanbul Convention, I want you to imagine women who are long ignored. All countries who are signatories or want to ratify the Istanbul Convention must remember migrant women, refugee women, and women who don't have papers or whose papers depend on their husbands.

Egyptian writer and activist Mona Eltahawy calls for protection of these groups of women against domestic and sexual violence in her contribution to the Winternachten festival 2021-programme #TheFutureIsFemale: The Female Convention.

She pleas against patriarchy and against forms of oppression that maintain the power of patriarchy such as racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, capitalism and ableism.

It's up to us. This is what women in Poland and Turkey are demanding in their protests for gender equality and for better protection against violence. The ruling right-wing nationalist politicians in their countries want to withdraw from the so-called Istanbul Convention. This human rights convention of the Council of Europe is the world's first binding instrument to prevent and tackle violence against women. Some governments doubt the "moral implications" of this important milestone and even believe that it could be "harmful" to their societies.

In The Female Convention, we analyzed the demonstrations and gave a voice to authors. In short: we employed literature to make the convention tangible and to breathe new life into it. This program featuring strong women and political current affairs was hosted by journalist Nicole le Fever and has been made by programme maker and writer Meltem Halaceli.

Mona Eltahawy is a feminist author, commentator and disruptor of patriarchy. Her first book Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution (2105) targeted patriarchy in the Middle East and North Africa and her second The Seven Necessary Sins For Women and Girls (2019) took her disruption worldwide. Her commentary has appeared in media around the world and she makes video essays as FEMINIST GIANT, which is also the name of the newsletter of which she is founder and editor-in-chief.