One Billion Rising Croatia launched their 2017 campaign last September 22nd on the occasion of the Croatian National Day Against Violence Against Women. This year OBR Croatia is rising for the women who were killed by violent husbands or partners, for the hundreds of thousands of women who have lost their jobs or economic resources or have experienced some form of institutional violence, for the women who are denied their reproductive and sexual rights, for victims of wartime sexual violence who are further stigmatized, for minority women and women with disabilities, and for members of the LGBT community.
On the 21st, there was a special pre launch OBR event with former women workers of a textile factory.
OBR Croatia Kamensko Factory Women Workers: September 21, 2016
Stolen factory – Stolen lives
By Rada Boric (OBR Coordinator – Croatia/ OBR Regional Coordinator)
In solidarity with women from the Kamensko textile factory:
Women from the former textile factory Kamensko gathered on September 21 in the park near their life-long working place, which is now turning into a new apartment building. Their company, after being sold six years after declaring bankruptcy, still owes women former workers unpaid salaries and severance pay. Women gathered to demonstrate against ‘crimes of privatization’ and yet another injustice.
Kamensko was a renown textile company and an example of a successful company that was ‘privatized’ in the 1990s with the break-up of Yugoslavia and the socialist regime.
Kamensko started operating in 1950 as a textile factory in the centre of Zagreb and the production was flourishing in the 1980s with 2,500 workers. Out of these workers, majority of them were female employees, who worked in two or occasionally three shifts, tailoring and sewing quality clothes for both women and men. Up to 90% of the products were exported to Western markets. Kamensko, like many ‘people’s owned factories’, went through a process of privatization which immediately meant layoffs. The situation for women worsened. Workers tried to stage protests in 2010. When salaries were delayed for several months, a group of 19 workers went on a hunger strike and slept in the park in front of the factory. They were working during the day and were on strike in the afternoon and night, supported by students and women from women’s groups.
They hoped this might make the state to react, but the company declared bankruptcy and stopped production in October 2010.
And now, Kamensko is finally sold. The banks, the owner, and the managers, everyone but women workers, were paid out.
Majority of women are still at the unemployment office. Majority are over 40 or 50 years of age with little chance for any work. A small number of them work in a ‘grey economy’ – underpaid, sexually harassed, and non-insured.
Smaller number of workers established Association Kamensko – “Open Kamensko”- in 2011, with an office and workshops where women sew everything – from small corrections on skirts to designer clothes made by Croatian designers.
They were the ones who sewed the OBR flag and the beautiful textile OBR badges and rose with us on February 14.
Last September 21st they again stood up for their rights but also rose in solidarity with women exploited all over the world.
One world – one struggle!
FROM THE CENTER FOR WOMEN’S STUDIES – COORDINATING BODY FOR OBR CROATIA:
Celebrating the national day of fighting violence against women, on September 22., 2016- OBR Croatia launches the 2017 campaign
“There is no revolution without solidarity” The National day against violence against women is a reminder of the daily violence that many women and girls in Croatia face. This year a dozen women lost their lives from abusive husbands and partners, hundreds of thousands of women have lost their jobs or economic resources, or they have or are experiencing some form of institutional violence. Croatia has not yet ratified the Istanbul convention – the council of Europe convention on preventing and combating violence against women and violence in the family.
Women continue to be victimized on many levels – including the denial of their reproductive and sexual rights, being further stigmatized as victims of sexual violence in war, as minority women, women with disabilities, members of the LGBT community among others.
1 OUT OF 3 women in the world will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. That’s one billion women and girls!
For the fifth year in a row many women’s associations and other civil society organizations worldwide will Rise against violence towards women and girls, as part of One Billion rising Revolution involving over 200 countries.
We urge people everywhere to actively participate in the fight against all forms of violence against women and girls.
In 2017 a billion people will rise for women and girls, and will keep building global solidarity – until the violence stops!
We invite women and men, activists and militants, journalists and writers, students, artists and athletes, employers and institutions, to join us for One Billion Rising Revolution 2017: Solidarity Against the Exploitation of Women”!
“There is no revolution without solidarity. We can’t achieve system change – a change in mentality and structures that support violence, changing mindsets about understanding violence, rejecting patriarchal values and culture and policy changes which affect the women economically, socially, sexually, physically, emotionally without it. We can’t stop repeating forms of control, oppression and exploitation. Solidarity is the key to connection “ – Eve Ensler