FEM and gender
FEM is very serious about gender.
Violations of freedom of expression and information are different depending on your sexual orientation and gender identity.
Real examples in Myanmar
- Protesters are often pushed around by the police and their clothes are ripped. The effect of clothes being ripped is very different for men and for women.
- Journalists often want to cover the news in conflict areas. Women journalists are rarely allowed to go because their editors want to "protect" them from violence.
- Human rights defenders are sometimes taken away by police to secret locations and their families and friends have no information for days. If the human rights defender is a woman and the police are all men, when she returns home, she is likely to face shaming from both her family and community.
- Digital activists are often trolled and abused online. Those that are women and sexual minorities regularly get fake sexual pictures uploaded and shared.
FEM prioritises gender because:
- Violations against women and other minorities are often made worse by discrimination in culture, family, community and society
- Our beneficiaries include women and other minorities and we need to understand them better so that we can check that our analysis and policies do not ignore them or make their situations worse
- We need to check ourselves to make sure we are representative
- It tells our partners that we think gender is important and that they should also recognise it.
FEM takes two approaches:
- We mainstream gender into all our work so that we consider issues of sexual orientation and gender identity when working
- We specifically target gender and do some work focused only on gender issues.