Women’s rights and democracy is under attack in the era of Covid-19, with governments all over the world using the pandemic as an excuse to pass laws and regulations restricting civil rights.
In Poland, the parliament aims to pass a bill severely restricting the rights of women to abortion, a bill that was scrapped in 2016 when millions of people protested in the streets of Poland and in cities all over the world.
Now, due to the epidemic, no more than two people are allowed to assemble in Poland, an opportunity for anti-abortion politicians to pass without protest legislation which would effectively ban abortions.
The right of assembly is the cornerstone of democracy, but restrictions put in place by many countries because of the Covid-19 pandemic has undermined these rights. In Iceland, a small group of people assembled in front of the Polish Embassy on April 14th 2020 and protested current efforts to ban abortion in Poland.
The feminist group Dziewuchy ISLANDIA read out loud a letter to the Ambassador of Poland to Iceland, and the assembled protesters signed the letter, one by one, disinfected pens on a table next to latex gloves and hand sanitizers.
Perilous times are ahead of us all and we need to be ready to face serious challenges when the epidemic has passed, not only financial instability but also attacks on women’s rights and democracy, locally and globally. Let’s stand together!