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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire AL #305 - Antipatriarchy, Containment: My body, my choice except in the corona period ? (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Wed, 27 May 2020 08:31:47 +0300

The current health crisis amplifies the consequences of patriarchal society. As domestic violence increases, police harass those who go out to buy pregnancy tests and hygienic protections while access to abortion is complicated and the WHO announces a shortage of condoms. ---- Violence against women, from the start of confinement, increased by more than 30% and continues to increase. It cannot be said enough the majority of violence (physical, sexual and psychological) suffered by women takes place in the home. In a context of total isolation, women find themselves locked up with their attackers, with no possibility of escape. The same is true for many, many LGBTI youth forced to return to families for whom non-acceptance is at risk of violence.

Patriarchal violence also includes that of the police. Witness the women, often racialized and working class who have been victims of violence and police threats for simple purchases. Several women report[1]threats of fines and intimidation because they have gone out to buy hygienic protections or pregnancy tests. One of them testified that her companion was fined "because if Madame really needs[sanitary napkins]she only has to go out and get them herself". We can be alarmed by the safety of transgender men going out to buy periodical protection. For this police which respects the patriarchal order it is not a question of purchase of first necessity [2]and it is up to women to assume these questions.

In addition, the UN fears a global shortage of condoms, linked to the production of rubber in Malaysia currently blocked by containment. If France should not be affected because, for once, of sufficient stocks, a rise in prices is to be feared and with an increase in STDs and unwanted pregnancies.

Back at home, women in danger
The mobilization of hospitals to treat the victims of Covid-19 makes access to abortion difficult (already complicated by the disappearance of local structures). In the hospital, the slots reserved for abortions have been eliminated and the out-of-hospital facilities close for lack of caregivers or protective equipment. Yet an abortion remains urgent, since it can only be done during 12 weeks of pregnancy (and 14 weeks of amenorrhea). We can however welcome the decision of the High Health Authority of April 9, urged by advocates of abortion, to extend to 9 weeks, against 7 currently, access to medical abortion at home. For minors, there remains a 48-hour reflection period, two compulsory meetings and support by an adult.

In a period conducive to the expansion of the patriarchy, we must remain vigilant against the macho violence that takes place in the family lockup. Even if confined, we can continue to inform about the systems put in place to help victims of gender-based violence and to set up neighborhood solidarity. The pandemic cannot be an excuse for a retreat from the achievements of women, it is necessary to maintain constant feminist pressure to assert our rights.

Sarah (UCL Bordeaux)


[1] The Verbalized site (because) inventories the testimonies on the abusive fines related to the exits during the confinement.

[2] Since 2015, the change in VAT for hygienic protections from 20% to 5.5% has made them enter the list of essential products.

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