Women's rights: general mobilization!
Thursday, March 23rd, 2023
Engaged in favor of Gender equality and women’s rights all over the world,
Le Projet Imagine’s team has particularly shown its support towards Afghan, Iranian and Ukrainian women during this month of March.
Woman, Life, Freedom !
The celebration of Samanak, a woman's affair
On the March 19th, Afghan-born Shakiba Dawod, artistic activist and advocate, founder of the french-afghan cultural association “Le Cercle Persan”, hosted the celebration of Samanak (or Samanou for Iranian) in Paris.Aware of our engagements in favor of Iranian and Afghan women, Shakiba invited us to take part in the event in order to strengthen our ties in view of a possible collaboration in the future.
With delight, we met up with Nicolas Delhopital, founder of Famille France-Humanité, an association which aims to help people in exile or homeless people, especially Afghan families.
To welcome the Iranian new year, the Iranian and Afghan diaspora takes part in the preparation of Samanak each year on March 21st, on the eve of the vibrant Nowruz celebration.
These celebrations are a part of the intangible cultural heritage of Afghanistan.
Samanak is a woman’s affair: during the whole night, women from all ages reunite around its preparation. That special dish is prepared with wheat seed germ whilst playing daf, singing and dancing around the fire.
Thus, their songs of hope, love, revolt and despair are passed down from generation to generation. Currently, it is almost one of the last way of express themselves they still have.
It is only in the morning that the men can join them to taste the feast, pray and ask for blessing.
Cultural transmission, the only weapon in the hands of women
This culture is intolerable in the eyes of fundamentalists, in Afghanistan as in Iran. This is what was denounced by the various speakers of the round table in the first part of the evening: Monira Hashemi, director, playwright and feminist, Zalmay Kaveh, translator, writer, journalist and poet, Ofran Badakhshani, poet, historian and sociologist, Maryam Mana, moderator in Farsi / Dari, journalist at Afghanistan International and Darya Javaheri, student in human geography, interpreter in Farsi and Iranian activist.
They reported on the dramatic situation of women in Afghanistan: they do not even have the “right to live” in the true sense of the word! Their presence is purely banned from the public space. “A whole social world is closed to women in Afghanistan. Their entire social existence is conditioned by the ban. And the basic cultural rules are: modesty, shyness, silence. Hence their difficulty in expressing themselves. In this context, oral narration takes on an essential dimension: the transmission of ancestral knowledge and values traditionally in the hands of women remains the only weapon still available to them. Their resistance is expressed in a cultural battle, a challenge that all the friends of “Le Projet Imagine” understand perfectly!
Finally, Shakiba also alerted the public to the worrying situation of Atefa, a 23 years old student who, thanks to her brilliant academic results, had obtained a scholarship in Kyrgyzstan. Now that she has to return to her country, she aspires to come and study in France with the ambition of helping Afghan women to find financial autonomy.
To help her pursue her studies in France, the “Le Cercle Persan” has opened an online fundraising campaign. A nice way to support a talented young woman, determined to change her life to improve the lives of others! We say yes, what about you?
After the exchanges, the party really started around a delicious meal prepared by the volunteers. The evening continued with songs and dances, a clear proof of an art of living that was lost with the Taliban barbarism, but that only aspires to be reborn…
Women: the strength of courage
On March 10 at the “Hôtel de l’Industrie”, Frédérique Bedos was the main speaker at the round table entitled “Women: the strength of courage” organized by the “Société d’Encouragement pour l’Industrie Nationale”, the “Cercle Optima” and “Opinion Internationale”, with the support of “Femmes Débat et Société”, the think tank “Ivy Plus European Leaders” and “2GAP“.
The first round table brought together diverse women of power to share their expertise on “the courage to undertake“, in particular on the relationship between women and men in the professional sphere: Béatrice Kosowski, President of IBM France, Muriel Barneoud, Director of Social Commitment for the La Poste Group, Nathalie Wright, Director of Digital IT and Sustainable Development for the Rexel Group, Nathalie Pilhes, President of 2GAP – Gender & Governance Action Platform….
In a second time, entitled “the courage of freedom“, committed women, notably from Afghan, Iranian and Ukrainian communities, spoke about their struggles: Alla Poedie, French-Ukrainian consultant for LCI, specialist in behavioral intelligence, Engareh Alirezaï, co-founder of the campaign “Together for the revolution Woman Life Freedom” in Iran, Fahimeh Robiolle, academic, lecturer at ESSEC and at the Universities of Tehran and Kabul, Vice-President of the Club France Afghanistan, Samira Djouadi, General Delegate of the TF1 Foundation, President of the associations “Sportavie”, “Tous en stage” and “Stop illettrisme”, Hélène Pichon, Director of the Alliance Française de La Haye and founder of the International Women’s Forum in France, and Maria Adle, writer, President and founder of the think tank “Ivy Plus European Leaders”.
Paying tribute to the courage and humility of the participants in the debate, Frédérique Bedos recalled how complicated the situation remains, not only in the world but also in Europe. Even in France, there is still a long way to go to achieve real equality of rights and treatment between women and men… Insisting on the margins of progress, she returned to the economic impact of women’s work and pleaded for men to truly take up the issue. She called for “a revolution of consciousness to become fully human” or how to spread our wings to become the women and men we want to be.
The evening continued with a special screening of the film WOMAN by Yann Arthus-Bertrand directed by Anastasia Mikova.
The inclusion of women in aviation campaign
On the 8th of march, on the day of International Women’s Day, Frédérique Bedos hosted the second edition of the campaign “Féminisons les métiers de l’aéronautique” (Inclusivity for Women in Aeronautics), organized by Airemploi, a guidance point for jobs in the aeronautics and space industry and the airline industry.
Aiming to promote the inclusion of women in aeronautics, this event counted among its guests : Air France, Airbus, Dassault Aviation, Transavia, the French Air Force, the French Marines… All of thems are major actors in the field and joined the charter “ Feminisons”.
Sharing can make a difference
Spotlight on the latest novel by Laurent de Cherisey “Partager peut tout changer” (Sharing can change everything): the author depicts his past 15 years of commitment to Simon de Cyrène’s association. In a society of loneliness and isolation, either among young people or disabled people, sharing and caring can change everything.
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