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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire UCL AL #308 - Antipatriarchy, #IwasCorsica: to finally break the omerta (de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Wed, 7 Oct 2020 08:14:42 +0300

Between 400 and 600 people took part in feminist protests in Corsica at the start of the summer. Following the hashtag #Iwas, many women testified about the sexual violence they had suffered. A hashtag specific to Corsica (#IwasCorsica) was thus created. ---- #Metoo had little resonance in Corsica. Following this observation Laora Paoli-Pandolfi and a friend decide to list the testimony of Corsican victims. On June 6, the Iwascorsica Twitter account was created. Demonstrations were then organized in Bastia and Ajaccio, by the Zitelle in zerga (angry young girls), Donne in lotta (women in struggle), Donne di Manca (women on the left), Donne e Surelle (women and sisters) and the Information Center on the Rights of Women and Families (CIDFF). "Organizing is both difficult as a victim, but also cathartic. A sorority has been created around the demonstrations", testifies Lina, of the collective Zitelle in zerga. It is a new impetus for Corsican feminism. Part of the population had to open their eyes: rape is not uncommon and the aggressor is often close to the victim.

The organizers are calling for the establishment, in middle and high schools, of sex education as well as the presence of caregivers trained in questions of sexual violence. "A real education in consent would have helped us not to experience all these traumas or at least to better understand them" assures Lina. In addition, they ask for better access to contraception. Corsica has a high rate of abortion of minors while planning centers are rare (those in Haute-Corse do not practice medical abortion) and medical confidentiality is little respected. A discouraging journey, especially for the youngest.

They want to implement the "non-violence patent", launched by NousToutes in 2017. The aim is to raise awareness from an early age to sexual violence on the model of the road safety certificate. However, the project remains unimplemented due to a lack of resources. Finally, they ask that the police be trained to take complaints of rape. "We don't expect much from the police. We discussed with several officers, they hold a sexist speech, or are resigned," says Lina.

Prevent violence
All the municipal candidates in Bastia participated in the demonstrations but none presented concrete measures. Following Schiappa's request, the former prefect of Corsica and the former regional secretary for gender equality agreed to receive the organizers. The former elected officials declared themselves in favor of the demands and proposed a meeting, without however setting a date. A regional councilor announced that she wanted to meet one of the collectives, but never did. Laora Paoli-Pandolfi supposes that this turnaround is "perhaps following the accusations of assault and sexual harassment which target a Corsican politician" .

#Iwascorsica and the Zitelle in zerga collective continue to collect testimonies, help to file complaints and support feminist projects. The organization of a demonstration in Corte as well as public meetings between the various feminist organizations are under discussion. The movement is not over.

Our societies are patriarchal [1]. The public authorities have no interest in putting in place real measures against sexual violence. Only the balance of power established by feminists allowed progress. To break the patriarchy and its institutions: a solution, self-management.

Akina (UCL Montreuil)

[1] "Perceptions of equality between women and men in France", CSA Report, September 2016.

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