On Saturday, January 21, voluntary women solidarity “Sister marches” will be organized worldwide. In Latvia, everybody who believes that women’s rights are human rights is also invited to gather at 11:00 in Old Riga, next to Poļu gāte, to participate in a solidarity march to the Freedom Monument.
Human rights under threat
In recent years, there have been an increasing number of political initiatives threatening women’s rights. US law makers restrict the right of women to receiving medical assistance. In Poland, women have to fight for their right to abortion, even when the pregnancy put their life and health at risk. The Russian parliament debates on domestic violence that should not be punished. In Saudi Arabia, women fight for their right to drive a car. In Ghana, young girls do not attend schools as they have monthly periods and lack hygiene products. In Bangladesh, there is an ongoing fight against forcing minor girls into marriage. Attempts to restrict women’s rights can be seen in both rich and poor countries, regardless of the predominant religion.
In Latvia, women also deserve more equality. The Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church has recently announced its decision to ban women from being priests. There was a high risk that Latvia might become one of the few countries that do not sign the Istanbul Convention whose goal is to stand against domestic violence. The Law on Partnership is not passed either. It would enable legal regulation and protection of women in relationships not registered by registry offices. There are MPs who believe that women cannot decide themselves about their reproductive health and when to give birth to children.
This solidarity march will remind us and also other women in Latvia and worldwide that only all together we can achieve freedom and safety. At present, 616 marches with more than 1 million participants are scheduled to be held all over the world.
Topical issues in Latvia
In Latvia, there are several topical issues in the field of women’s rights. Firstly, poverty in Latvia has a woman’s face – we shall start to think about protecting the rights of single mothers on a national level. This priority is put aside, and only one goal is set in demographic plans: to give birth to more children and focus attention on increasing the number of marriages. Secondly, the young people need generally accessible information and services in the field of reproductive health. The problem of abortions is topical in Latvia, yet solution is not in imposing restrictions, but in educating people about reproductive health. Women are capable of taking decisions by themselves, and these decisions affect their lives and families. And, finally, we shall continue the fight against domestic violence.
Everybody who considers these issues important is invited to demonstrate his/her attitude by participating in the march!
More information about “Sister Marches” is available here šeit: https://www.womensmarch.com/sisters-press