Idag röstade vi om den sk SRHR-rapporten, som handlar om kvinnans rättighet till sin egen kropp. Abort, preventivmedel, sexualundervisning mm är en del av detta. Men rapporten stärker även på många områden HBTQ-personers rättigheter, vilket antagligen är mer skrämmande för de mörka krafterna än att arbeta för kvinnors rättigheter.
Under dagens votering blev en del bra saker bortröstad, men fortfarande är rapporten väldigt bra. Skrivningar som försvann var om lesbiskas rättigheter och förbud av tvångssterilisering av transpersoner togs bort.
Röstsiffrorna blev 19-15 för att anta rapporten och skicka den till kammaren. Där kommer den med största sannolikhet i december eller i sämsta fall i januari.
Med tanke på att lesbiskas rättigheter och förbud av tvångssterilisering av transpersoner togs bort, blir mitt tal senare på eftermiddagen ännu mer intressantare. Jag höll talet på en GUE/NGL workshop om lesbiska rättigheter. Så här lät det ungefär (på engelska):
Lesbian rights are about fundamental right for LGBT people. It’s about to live lives free from discrimination, violence and injustices that are directed against them because of their sexual orientation or sexual identity. But, rights for lesbians in Europe, is also about advancing women’s rights and gender equality in Europe – to live in societies where all women can express their sexuality, have equal opportunities in work and education, access to health care, housing, pension rights etc.
And in this sense, Lesbians accumulate two dimensions of discrimination – or more, if they belong to a minority group of course!
I think one can safely say that the LGBT movement does not enough take into account a feminist perspective or a gender equality perspective – lesbians remain still largely invisible. And it is also safe to say that lesbians are not taken enough into account in the mainstream work for women’s rights.
The work here in the European parliament is not an exception in this, I am afraid. The FEMM committee has not done any specific report on the situation of lesbians in Europe, and to my knowledge the LGBT intergroup has not organised such an event like this one focusing on the rights of lesbians.
The FEMM committee has done some work on the issue of lesbian rights – mostly by integrating references to rights of lesbians in other reports; for example employment, violence against women, or issues of non-discrimination.
There are two occasions, where the FEMM committee have raised the issue more clearly on the rights of Lesbians:
First: A resolution in the plenary on ”Violence against lesbian women and LGBTI rights in Africa”. It was adopted in the spring of 2012. This resolution focused on rights of lesbians outside the EU as you hear from the title – but it was good in the sense that it linked the women’s rights agenda and the rights of lesbians together, and said clearly for example, that lesbians are subjected to violence, both on the basis of being a woman and on the basis of sexual orientation;
Secondly: The report currently underway on SRHR. At this very moment we are working on a report on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (rapporteur Estrela) – The original draft text had very strong wording in favour of LGBT-people and lesbians. It had a paragraph ”calling for Member States to make assisted fertility treatments available for lesbians and single women”. But this paragraph was unfortunately very criticized by some political groupings, so it was voted out on todays Committè meeting. And we are up against very powerful conservative players. They have so far blocked the vote in plenary, and today they tried to block the process in the committee. We are still working on it, and I really really hope that this report will be adopted by this parliament because it’s protecting all women’s rights to bodily integrity, to sexual freedom, to decide freely over their bodies.
We have people in this house that are very much against women’s rights – in particular women’s sexual and reproductive rights! And we have members of this house that are very homophobic. Luckily so far they have not been in a majority when we vote. But the outcome of this report will show if we have really achieved the progress we want!
Once again, I am very happy that we organise this workshop, and we will hear from experts and activists about the situation – and what needs to be done. I know we can do more as politicians, but I also know that we cannot do it without the support of NGOs and activists, so I thank so much for being here.