Smash Patriarchy to free Women, curb Climate Change and save the Planet

shared from Al Jazeera. ….Smash the patriarchy to save the planet Most illustrations added

The same forces that feed into the violence against migrant women are also undermining climate action.

Belen Fernandez

by Belen Fernandez 25th Nov 2019

Maria Meza, a migrant woman from Honduras, runs away from tear gas with her five-year-old twin daughters Saira and Cheili at the US-Mexico border on November 25, 2018 [File: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon]
Maria Meza, a migrant woman from Honduras, runs away from tear gas with her five-year-old twin daughters Saira and Cheili at the US-Mexico border on November 25, 2018 [File: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon]

Last December, the Trump administration enacted a scheme requiring Central American asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their legal proceedings drag on indefinitely in the United States.

The Migrant Protection Protocols policy – a handily perverse euphemism – is the approximate equivalent of calling the Exxon Valdez oil spill the Marine Life Protection Initiative. As various human rights and advocacy organisations have pointed out, the border programme has exposed tens of thousands of asylum seekers to violence; including rape, kidnapping and assault, in the unsure border regions of Mexico.

In light of the surplus of rapes and other abuses already documented as a result of so-called “protection”, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – marked annually on November 25 – is an ideal occasion to reflect on the violence facing migrant women in an era of mass migration.

Pervasive violence

As the UN Women website observes : ” Rape is rooted in a complex set of patriarchal beliefs, power, and control that continue to create a social environment in which sexual violence is pervasive and normalised.”

The feminist revolution in Rojava, N.Syria, shows how patriarchy can be defeated, even in a rural and strictly religious society. The revolution is now being destroyed by a Turkish invasion with a strongly patriarchal mentality. The Rojava kurds formed the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) in 2015 and welcomed dozens of Arab, Assyrian, yazidi, Christian..militias into a common front, spreading their revolutionary methods (eg in Manbij Council).Yazidi women victims have formed their own militia within SDF and recently the first arab women’s militia has been formed (July ’17). There are profound feminist implications in the context of previous extreme social repression.

For an idea of the extent of normalisation, just recall Patriarch-in-chief President Donald Trump‘s own previous advice about fondling women without their consent: “Grab ’em by the p****.”

Migrant women, of course, are particularly vulnerable to “grabbing” – and much worse – especially given that crimes against migrants are not generally reported or prosecuted. And for Central American women transiting Mexico to the US border, sexual assault is frequently par for the course.

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