Testimonies By Women and Gender Rights Defenders at the Peaceful Protest


‘As I peacefully held onto a banner, several police officers tried to rip the banner from my hands by prying my fingers open and dragging me with them as they pulled the banner but I refused to let go’ Kavita Naidu, Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law & Development

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While in the hall the UN police formed a cordon and began to push. I had been standing on one side close to the cordon listening to and amplifying the speech being made by one activist (from Brazil). The police began to push me. I stood my ground. The one closest to me Officer Jose Sanchez Gamaz then kicked me with his knee in my back. I turned round and challenged him on his action and demanded an apology and refused to move away. His only reaction was to half smile and later to shrug when challenged on his actions. His colleague next to him apologised to get me to keep quiet but I insisted that Officer Jose be the one to make an apology. He kept quiet and ignored this demand made by me and several other companerxs who challenged him (this is captured on video by Julie).  During this time he had his badge within his coat and I pulled it out to read his name, but he quickly hid it. This was a shameful and racist act towards a woman of African descent. Officer Jose assaulted me in a manner uncalled for. This violation of women’s bodies is not OK. It is also reminiscent of the histories of dispossession that colonised indigenous peoples have lived through (and my peoples in particular) being kicked off our lands. This must stop. Such behaviour is a microcosm of the larger systemic rot we want to uproot in our call for climate justice. Woman for Africa

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ABOUT

The Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) is one of the nine stakeholder groups of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Established in 2009, the WGC now consists of 29 women’s and environmental civil society organizations, who are working to ensure that women’s voices and their rights are embedded in all processes and results of the UNFCCC framework, for a sustainable and just future, so that gender equality and women’s human rights are central to the ongoing discussions. As the WGC represents the voices of hundreds and thousands of people across the globe, members of the Constituency are present at each UNFCCC meeting and intercessional alongside the UNFCCC Secretariat, governments, civil society observers and other stakeholders to ensure that women’s rights and gender justice are core elements of the UNFCCC. In this action the constituency is joined by other stakeholders committed to advancing women’s human rights, peace and climate justice. http://womengenderclimate.org

RESOURCES

Women and Gender Constituency Key Demands:

http://womengenderclimate.org/wgc-feminist-demands-at-cop25/

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, MEDIA REQUESTS AND INTERVIEWS CONTACT:

Neha Gupta | Email: neha@apwld.org | Phone: +34 634 713 352 (Mobile) | Phone: +66 955 282 396 (Whatsapp) | Languages: English, Hindi

Hanna Gunnarsson | hanna.gunnarsson@wecf.org | Phone: +49 152 040 585 73 | Languages: English, Swedish