Ομιλία Ζέφης Δημαδάμα κατά την εκδήλωση του Ισπανικού Σοσιαλιστικού Κόμματος (PSOE) σε συνδιοργάνωση PES PesWomen:
“Progressives against gender-based violence” – 21 November
Violence against women and girls, a worldwide violation of human rights”
25 November International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
– Zefi Dimadama –
I am Zefi Dimadama, I am deputy Spokesperson of PASOK-Movement for Change and Vice President of PesWomen for South Region.
“I am greeting you today from my home in Greece – Athens, as we are again in full lockdown.
After few months between May and August we had an extremely increase of covid19 and now the second and strict lockdown brings again to the surface the problems in our society. Another strict lockdown, another period of fear, of depression for vulnerable people, for women, for children.
Especially for women, the first lockdown was a nightmare.
Women in Greece, as in all Europe, are fighting at the front line the virus and thus being at huge risk physically, mentally but also financially:low-paid and precarious sectors with a weak social safety net disproportionally female occupied; on top of that the main burden of home schooling, household and unpaid care work falls on women; which takes its toll psychologically but also physically.
And then we face a second pandemic, a ‘shadow pandemic’. That one is happening behind closed doors, invisible to many people and still overlooked too often: the raise of domestic and intimate partner violence; where women have no place to run to when trapped with their perpetrator at home during lockdown.
Additionally, moving work and private life even more towards the online sphere, we also see a surge in more hate speech and online violence against women.
In many countries the figures have exploded 2, 3 or 4 times. Unfortunately, the data from the Help- Line 15900 shows that the calls for help in April exploded 4 times (!) from the previous month in Greece.
As PES Women Vice-President of the Southern region, we have regularly meet with our sisters from the region and have discussed the situation of women in this pandemic and also brought it the European level at PES Women meetings.
If you follow us (PES Women) on social media, you must have noticed that we have been very active throughout the whole year to make women’s voices heard.
But unfortunately, this is not enough: What we need is an collective outcry – that is why I appreciate this event so much, because only together, with all level of governments, women and men together – we can draw attention, recognition and action to this women’s rights violation.
It cannot be that in the current times, women still need to fear if they walk to their cars in a parking lot, if they are at work, in a bar, the public transport, but worst – in their own homes.
And especially what we desperately need is a change of narrative and approach: ending victim-blaming and shifting the blame and accountability on the perpetrators; training police and care personal to be able to identify abuse and to know how to help most effectively. Allocate financial resources to strengthen and build up help services.
Last but not least, data collection is key and moreover, giving these numbers credible faces. Behind femicide or harassment figures are real women, with real stories – and we need to give them a platform. That is why involving women and services working with them into the conversation is key.
My party Movement for Change – PASOK referred to the increase of domestic violence behind closed doors during quarantine. As the data from the Help- Line 15900 shows, the calls for assistance in April rose sharply 4 times (!) from the previous month. The domestic violence is an extremely difficult phenomenon to face in this period and because of pandemia most of the people think that it is not a “priority issue”.
The priority issues are the health crises and the economic-financial problems.
So women must stop “grumbling” (!) We had recommended that we need urgent measures to limit the women exposure to violence but we have not been heard.
At the same time, we emphasized the need of ensuring different and new “channels of communication” for women, not only calling but also texting, mailing or even using Facebook.
It is crucial the state to rent hotels too, so that abused women and their children find shelter and leave their home (positive example of France).
As a European community, we really need to overcome the misguided and political motivated oppositions about the Istanbul Convention, which is the gold standard to prevent violence, protect affected women and persecute the perpetrators.
In 4 Days, the international community marks again the Day to raise awareness about the issue and to command action – from the bottom of my heart, I strongly hope that by next year around this time, we have made a big step forward – because women can no longer wait for justice.
We are seeing them as actors of change all over the globe and we must act upon it.
Thank you for inviting me to contribute to the event.