EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA
FemPoint is an inclusive women-driven group which aims to build a strong LGBTQIA+ community in Kazakhstan. They aim to provide information and support to members of their community, many of whom have lost jobs and need basic assistance such as food during the pandemic. Members of their community are also having trouble accessing hormone therapy and psychological support in the current crisis. FemPoint aims to provide a friendly network of support including relevant specialists in both online and offline meetings so that LGBTQIA+ people can stay healthy and feel better; protected and surrounded by friendly people.
StrongGogo is based in Georgia and works to protect the rights of girls from immigrant and ethnic minority communities. The group provides support and advice programmes and gets girls talking, learning, and united for collective action. The issues immigrant and ethnic minority girls face in normal circumstances have been amplified during the pandemic; girls struggle to access reliable information in their native languages; family conflicts and domestic violence are becoming more frequent; and families have lost income and are struggling to buy food, hygiene products, medical care and to pay for energy. StrongGogo is supporting the critical needs of immigrant and ethnic minority girls and continues to develop recovery strategies to support them during the COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 periods.
STRASS, Syndicat du Travail Sexuel
STRASS, Syndicat du Travail Sexuel is a sex worker-led organisation in France and serves as the sex workers' trade union for the country. The organisation defends the interests of all people working in the sex industries and promotes a rights-based approach. During the pandemic, many sex workers have been infected and two trans women have died. All sex workers have been affected by loss of income due to lockdown, and with no support from the government, the group has relied on online fundraising to support the community. STRASS aims to provide a legal service to the community to allow them to maintain housing and report sexual violence, and when possible will offer direct support to new sex workers who are less informed about their rights and more vulnerable to violence.
Udruženje za kulturu, afirmaciju i savjetovanje ''KAS'' Banja Luka
Udruženje za kulturu, afirmaciju i savjetovanje ''KAS'' Banja Luka, based in Bosnia and Herzegovina, has a vision of a world in which every girl is safe, educated and empowered, especially girls with disabilities, who encounter double discrimination. Deaf and hard of hearing girls still lack access to vital information about COVID-19 and its prevention, and social distancing has negatively affected girls who rely on daily support from assistants and translators. Mask wearing is affecting their ability to lip read and see facial expressions, which is excluding them from conversations. Udruženje ''KAS'' Banja Luka aims to produce educational content in sign language about the prevention of COVID-19, creation or buying of face masks which are designed for the deaf and hard of hearing population, as well as food and hygiene support and psychological support to deaf and hard of hearing girls.
Roma Women of Vojvodina
The Association of Roma Women Vojvodina in Serbia was formed to ensure Roma inclusion and equality by contributing to social development and encouraging women to self-organise. COVID-19 has caused mass unemployment, uncertainty, fear and increased tensions in the Roma community, already marginalised, poor and discriminated against in the state of Serbia. This is especially pronounced among people with disabilities who have all but been forgotten and who are socially isolated, lack food and hygiene products and are uninformed and uneducated about COVID-19 infection. The Association of Roma Women Vojvodina aims to improve hygiene and nutrition in the community to ensure the spread of COVID-19 among the Roma population is prevented.
Association for development and education of youth "Safe step"
Association for Development and Education of Youth "Safe Step" in Bosnia and Herzegovina supports Roma girls to live a life in which they have freedom of choice and are free of gender-based violence. Roma girls have an isolated lifestyle, are discriminated against based on their ethnicity, often face gender-based violence and are all but invisible to the general population. COVID-19 has meant they are even more isolated, with loss of employment affecting their mental health, their sense of dignity and putting them and their socially vulnerable families further into financial crisis. Through online activities and street actions, Safe Step aims to inform and empower Roma girls with information on their employment rights, and encouragement to fight for their rights. The group also aims to provide legal support to tackle the employment injustices they are experiencing.
SAVE (Sex workers Against Violence and Exploitation) is an informal activist collective in The Netherlands that consists of primarily young sex workers (and a few older sex workers) of different genders. SAVE was founded to fight against the Wet Regulering Sekswerk law and works to combat violence towards and exploitation of sex workers by sharing valuable harm-reduction information and speaking out against stigma. COVID-19 hit the sex worker community extremely hard as sex workers suddenly lost their work and income, and many received no support from the government. Those who continued working, although forbidden, face police harassment, fines, eviction and client violence. In addition, trans sex workers are struggling to access hormones. Although licensed sex workers are allowed to work again, many still face challenges. SAVE aims to support sex workers’ basic needs and expenses through collaboration with the Dutch Emergency Fund and Trans United Europe, sparking hope and a sense of solidarity in the sex work community.
Magdalena Theatre Productions Collective
Act Women’s Ženergija Hub
Ženergija Hub is feminist initiative conceptualized as a physical and digital space where young women can meet up, gain knowledge and skills about investigative journalism, podcast making and public appearance. We want to empower these women and give them the tools for their own expression. We will create a trans-generational dialogue between younger and more experienced activists with the aim of fighting back the retraditionalization and media censorship in our country, opening the space for various female voices to be heard and strengthening the feminist movement in Serbia.
Association Alliance Citoyenne, Syndicat des Hijabeuses
Association Alliance Citoyenne, Syndicat des Hijabeuses are an organisation of Muslim women in France who are fighting for the right to play football in the main French football league, whilst wearing their hijabs. They aim to provide Muslim women with a safe place to share the difficulties they face, and to feel understood by women with similar experiences. Alliance citoyenne des hijabeuses would like for every young woman, Muslim or not, to have the option to play football if she so wishes. Due to Covid-19, schools, leisure centres and playgrounds have been closed, leaving the organisation with no space to meet or to play football. With the easing of restrictions, Alliance citoyenne des hijabeuses are working to organise a football tournament in a safe place that will allow for Muslim women from different neighbourhoods to exchange experiences, empower one another and strategize towards reaching their goal of obtaining the right to play in the main football league whilst wearing a hijab.
Giuvlipen (Asociatia Actorilor Romi)
Asociatia Actorilor Romi manages the first and only Roma theatre company in Romania, Giuvlipen. The company produces original theatre plays using an intersectional feminist approach, speaking openly about themes that the Roma and, more specifically, the Roma LGBTQIA+ and female communities are facing. Their project aims to build up a strong response to racist discourse in Romania and to bring forth Roma artists, cultural workers, sociologists, anthropologists, historians, linguists, and other representative voices from the Roma community in order to break down old well-established myths, stereotypes and misconceptions. As a result of the current pandemic, Giuvlipen’s work is extremely compromised: making theatre without the public is nearly impossible, as theatre means direct contact between actors and the public. Although theatres were recently opened in Romania under strict conditions, there are no institutions open for Roma theatre. The organisation aims to produce a weekly or bi-monthly vodcast show in Romanian entitled “I Am the Leading Actress”, which would be a feminist guide for the public and for private institutions, media and the general public, for relating and positioning oneself in a constructive way to the Roma community.
Drum 'n' rage (cro. Drum 'n' bijes)
Drum ‘n’ rage are a collective based in Croatia who use drumming to spread a message of resistance against xenophobia, misogyny, disrespect for human, civil and labor rights, and social injustice. By participating in protests and empowering individuals who are drumming to support social change, they want to help create a more educated, active and socially sensitive community. They aim to nurture queer-feminism and solidarity within the collective and outside, empower oppressed persons and groups through gathering and drumming, develop critical and political awareness amongst participants and encourage self-organisation and comradeship. In addition to drumming at protests, Drum ‘n’ rage also organise and conduct drumming workshops and mentor young female/queer persons for coordination, action planning, communication and activism within the group. Along with continuing to collaborate with other organisations and informal initiatives that share their values, the collective is working to strengthen and expand their capacity, as well as decentralise their work.
Geten, Center for LGBTIQA People's Rights
Geten, Center for LGBTIQA People’s Rights is the first HRO working in the field of TIQ/gender diverse rights and the improvement of TIQ people‘s position in Serbian society. Over the course of last 20 years, Geten has completed numerous projects focusing on changing and improving legislation connected to trans and intersex people’s rights and they provide direct services primarily to the TIQ, but also LGB community. The impact of Covid-19 on people’s health and finances, as well as the economy, has placed further pressure on the pre-existing, and grave socio-economic position of minority groups in Serbia, meaning that TGNC people have been put at a particular risk. Geten hopes to alleviate the specific suffering and problems of TIQ and GNC people, and make the crisis more bearable by providing care packages, bringing the community together and improving mental health through their trans support group and other direct services (LGBTIQ SOS Helpline, psychological consultations, legal support, media), and providing a virtual space for the community in times of physical distancing (Balkan LGBTIQ Chat service, forum and social networks).
Identity.Education was born in 2018 out of the need for formal representation for the LGBTQI+ community, the promotion of their human rights and to fight against discrimination and gender stereotypes. In Romania, Covid-19 has affected queer women in arts and culture - an already vulnerable group. Public and private funding has decreased and physical distancing has posed challenges for hosting events. Identity.Education aims to support queer women in art and culture by hosting a multidisciplinary documentary art expo and a digitalized theatre play, both of which will focus on the life of queer women in Romania. They also hope to analyse and survey the life of queer women in the city and create a digital map of the spaces that are considered safe.
Lesbian* Resistance are a group of young lesbians* and gender non-conforming people who aim to mobilise, empower one other and bring visibility to their concerns in Georgia. The group utilise a non-hierarchical, non-formal structure, and they hope to remain radical and free by rethinking the meaning of resistance. Lesbian*Resistance’s major goal is to spread queer feminist ideas amongst community members who avoid formal organisations and thus remain beyond their services and reach. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the economic vulnerability of Lesbians*, many of whom have precarious employment, and there are no shelters in Georgia for LGBTQI people. Lesbian*Resistance aims to provide direct support to community members by covering their basic needs, offering mentorship opportunities with the hopes of increasing employment options, and providing free and professional psychological support.
QueerFemme and BraveLab
QueerFemme and BraveLab are self-support groups for LGBTI people in Bulgaria. QueerFemme is a group for LBT women and non-binary people and BraveLab is for LGBTI youth aged 14-29. Both groups aim to provide safer spaces for people to share their experiences and provide support to each other. The groups also work to empower participants by raising awareness about LGBTI and feminist topics, and providing opportunities for training and volunteering. The Covid-19 crisis has exacerbated the social inequalities affecting LGBTI communities. The pandemic and subsequent lockdown have created complex challenges and risks for the most marginalised individuals, which in Bulgaria are queer women, trans and intersex people and LGBTI youth. The pandemic has also had a strong impact on the mental and physical health of these groups. QueerFemme and BraveLab are working to organise an activist Academy for their members, the main goal of which is to multiply the number of people who are motivated to come up with new ways of engaging and supporting LGBTI youth and queer women during the pandemic.
Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO
Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO is a community based, democratic, human rights defender organization. It is the first and only NGO run by and for trans people and sex workers in Armenia and in the South Caucasus region. Founded in 2016 by young trans activists, the organisation aims to ensure the well-being, protection and equality of the trans community and sex workers by achieving social-cultural and legal changes through cooperation with state bodies, civil society and with international organizations. Trans and LGBQI people have been one of the most marginalized, least visible and discriminated groups in traditional and conservative Armenia, without any protection within the community and society at large. Along with monitoring and reporting human rights violations of the community, Rights Side Human Rights Defender NGO provides legal, social and psychological services to the community, holds annual trans camps, vocational education trainings, language courses, capacity building workshops and seminars, awareness raising campaigns, etc., the NGO hosted the first gender equality and diversity cultural festival in Armenia in 2019 as a pre-event for the first Pride which is planned to be held in 2021.
Roma WomenS Center Rromnjako Ilo
Roma Women’s Centre in Serbia is a group of LGBTQI Roma women formed to empower and encourage Roma women of various sexual orientations to freely make their own choices in life. LGBTQI Roma women in Serbia experience extreme marginalisation, anxiety and violence which has been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic and with the return of family members from work in the EU. Roma Women’s Centre provides legal support, psychological counselling and sexual violence trauma healing to LGBTQI Roma women to ensure they are supported and visible in society.
SARPA is an activist group who organise events and use online platforms to engage on issues such as gender, feminism and human rights for adolescents in Uzbekistan. Formed in early 2020, SARPA has held a DIY festival and exhibition addressing Gender Based Violence, as well as started a blog. The restrictions implemented as a result of Covid-19 have led to a loss of employment for many young girls and women, as well as an increase in Gender Based Violence in Uzbekistan. Isolation, along with the threat of restrictions on Social Media have also resulted in reduced access to networks of support. SARPA aims to continue with and expand their online work, as well as create a space for young girls interested in feminism to meet and gain support in the future.
Social Center "Oktobar"
Social Center Oktobar in Serbia was founded with the aim to create a cultural, social and political space for radical left and progressive ideas, in a time when there was no such place in Belgrade. Oktobar is dedicated to the development of anti-capitalist, feminist, anti-fascist, and other progressive ideas and practices. It is a public place, run by 8 activists on a voluntary basis, open every day from 4pm until midnight. It is a self-sustained place, that people can support by donations and is in most part financed by individual donations from those who recognise the importance of their work.
Stop the Violence Before It's Too Late
Stop the Violence Before It's Too Late is an informal group currently working online and based in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The main purpose of the group is to raise awareness about domestic abuse towards women and help them escape from the abusive environment. The #NisiSama (#YouAreNotAlone) project has been designed to support all women who suffer or have witnessed abuse so they can report the abuse and start a new life.
The Fireflies are a non-professional, non-governmental organisation formed by young girl activists who fight for equal rights by making PSA short films in Bulgaria. They educate people who prefer to stay in the shadows, but they also represent young girls and women who have a hard time in life, with the hopes of fostering solidarity and support. Their goal is to educate, represent and advocate for equal rights. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, The Fireflies are unable to safely make films. Additionally, they have limited resources for film-making equipment which means they are unable to realise their organisational goals. The Fireflies are working towards producing more professional movies with the hopes of reaching more viewers.
Vpershe is a female-led collective which operates an online platform that provides comprehensive sexual education to teenagers and youth in Ukraine. The organisation posts clearly written, scientifically relevant articles, offers an anonymous Q&A, and provides a platform for the voices of marginalised people (e.g. transgender people, gay people who have been to war, asexual people, HIV+ people). They also interact with their readers/viewers through online lives and webinars. Covid-19 has prevented the collective from giving lectures, as well as limited their ability to communicate with one another as the founders are based in different countries. Vpershe’s audience have also been affected, and the collective is working to focus their content on prioritising mental health and self-care during quarantine, as well as giving advice about dating and sex.
Women’s Gaze in Georgia provides sexual and reproductive health and rights services and information to women from 16 to 30, including a free gynecology service. A drop in employment rates of 45% in Georgia and a rise in domestic violence cases during the pandemic has directly impacted young women and their ability to address their basic needs, particularly contraceptives and hygiene products. Women’s Gaze aims to support young women to regain access over their reproductive health, choices and bodies during the COVID-19 crisis.
StudioMobile – accent on action
Young Women’s Group operates within StudioMobile – Accent on Action (SMAA), an organisation which works towards the advancement of women’s and other marginalised groups’ human rights. Young Women’s Group produces documentaries for educational purposes and conducts seminars and discussions on gender issues through documentary screenings in mostly rural areas of Georgia. The group works mainly with rural and transgender women. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made it impossible to organise big meetings and educational sessions, Young Women’s Group are working to reach their target audience virtually. Through using multimedia platforms, the project aims to raise awareness about sexual and reproductive health and rights among young girls and women in general.
Public Foundation of Girls with Disabilities Nazik Kyz
Public Foundation of Girls with Disabilities Nazik Kyz works to improve the quality of life of women and girls with disabilities in Kyrgyzstan. Many of the girls and women the group works with are internal migrants who rely on selling crafts and souvenirs to support themselves. The global pandemic has eradicated any opportunity for these girls and women to lead an independent life as they can no longer earn a living this way. Public Foundation of Girls with Disabilities Nazik Kyz works with these girls and women to help them adapt, learning new skills needed for online work such as English language and copywriting, and also master new technologies so that they can earn a living working online.
Fundacja Akademia Młodych Głuchych (The Academy of Young Deaf Foundation)
The Academy of Young Deaf Foundation was established in December 2018. The group aims to raise awareness and knowledge among the Deaf community of feminism and to advocate for the rights and equal opportunities of women in their private and professional lives.
The Rights Collective
The Rights Collective is a group of South Asian womxn who are looking to tackle the distinct and often subtle ways in which disempowerment, inequality, trauma, and harm manifests within the South Asian diaspora community in the U.K. The group works to better understand how gendered experiences manifest in community spaces and how a shift towards justice, equity, and harm reduction can be facilitated. The group's collective and individual experiences have shown them how certain practices, deeply embedded socio-cultural norms and the ‘immigrant’ experience can negatively shape and uphold notions of what womxn should be. The group carries out its work through three pathways: breaking the silence, cultivating a new culture, and co-creating spaces for support.
Our collective's mission is reducing discriminatory attitudes through education and awareness-raising street action.Our main goals focus on providing education on sexual and reproductive rights of LGBTQIAP* people and increase in social acceptance towards queer community in Poland. We've widely disseminated educational materials all over Poland free of charge so underprivileged youth can access comprehensive knowledge. We've also been organizing day street events in small towns and villages, where resolutions 'against LGBT ideology' have been enacted. During such an event we distribute leaflets and stickers, and talk to passers-by, usually elderly and middle-aged people.
JESTEM (I AM)
Our group provides antidiscrimination education and spreads knowledge on sexual and gender diversities. We’re a group of queer youth below 30, living in towns and cities all over Poland. As a group we created an interactive antidiscrimination book ‘From A to Z about LGBTQIAP’ for young people. We managed to organize events on the book and LGBTQ-related topics for different audiences. Our goal is to spread the knowledge and reduce stereotypes and prejudices regarding queer community and to empower and support our queer peers, who suffer from mental health illnesses and struggle with common queerphobia.
Helping Hand is a women-run NGO with a mission of inspiring and equipping youth as volunteers to meet the needs of their communities. Vision is of a world where united and engaged youth (ages 14-31) discover their power to create a change and are supported by an extended network of over 1000 volunteers. Through volunteering we strive to support young women and girls, non-confirm youth, people with disabilities, most vulnerable families challenged by poverty, homeless youth and children. We also serve girls affected by the Russian war and living in conflict affected regions of Georgia.
Intersex - Greece
Intersex Greece was set up by the mother of an XXY child in 2013. In 2017, it embodied all intersex conditions and was named Intersex Greece. Since then, it has been growing fast with over 220 members that include intersex persons, parents and caregivers, specialised health professionals, and LGBTQI+ activists. The group’s goal is to soon become an official organisation, promoting intersex awareness and human rights in Greek society, including in parliament, education, and with health practitioners, and enhancing the quality of life for all our members.
The Y-PEER youth peer education network of organisations and institutions works in the field of sexual and reproductive health, gender equality and other issues related to adolescent and young people in 52 countries throughout the world. Y-PEER is a comprehensive youth-to-youth initiative pioneered by UNFPA since 2001. Y-PEER Azerbaijan uses the methodology of theatre-based training, capacity-building programs, outreach and advocacy campaigns. Thousands of young people have been trained in rural and urban areas of Azerbaijan to change the attitude of young people and society in general with a focus on the topics of early marriage, sexual health, violence and hate speech concerning the target groups in vulnerable communities. Y-PEER Azerbaijan particularly works on gender equality, LGBTQI rights, HIV/AIDS and other STDs.