Buenos Aires Times

argentina FOCUS ON ABORTION

60k women march on Trelew for annual summit

The summit is a key event for Argentina's women's movement, which in August came close to seeing a core component of its agenda, the decriminalistion of abortion, approved in the country's Congress.

Monday 15 October, 2018
Demonstrators sing and dance before the National Congress demanding equality, an end to gender-based violence, and to press for the legislation of abortion.
Demonstrators sing and dance before the National Congress demanding equality, an end to gender-based violence, and to press for the legislation of abortion. Foto:AP/NATACHA PISARENKO

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Close to 60 thousand women descended this weekend on the sea-side city of Trelew in Argentina's south for the 33rd annual Women's National Summit (ENM) .

The summit is a key event for Argentina's women's movement, which in August came close to seeing a core component of its agenda, the decriminalistion of abortion, approved in the country's Congress.

"This encounter has brought together the pioneering generation of women, lesbians and trans [with] with thousands and thousands of young women who have joined the struggle in recent times. It fills us with energy, happiness and strength in order to keep fighting against the patriarchy", Buenos Aires legislator Andrea Conde told the Noticias Argentinas news agency.

Police reported clashes with minority groups of protesters, including an incident involving a Molotov cocktail which a protester threw at the city's Government offices. Ten women were arrested, local media reported.

SETTING THE AGENDA

This year's event in Trelew included 70 workshops on issues including abortion, the feminisation of poverty, maternity, gender identities, and violence against women and transgender women.

"One of the proposals of our comrades during the workshops was to carry out a huge protest in front of the Brazilian Embassy [in Buenos Aires] on October 20 to reject the manipulated elections [in Brazil] and the advancement of the extreme right in that country in the form of [Jair] Bolsonaro's candidacy", City lawmaker Myriam Bregman said.

Another issue raised during the summit was the separation of church and state.

"The rejection of the Senate for legal interruption of pregnancy, in line with the campaigning of the hierarchy of the Catholic and Evangelical churches, along with the austerity agenda that [President Mauricio] Macri is preparing with governors and the IMF (International Monetary Fund), is a clear example of the hidden intentions of these sectors|, said PTS lawmaker Natahlia González Seligra.

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