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Celebrating Young Green Feminist Activists

Today is International Women’s Day

In these trying times, women all over Europe have been showing us what a great feminist activist looks like.

We celebrate our amazing Green activists who despite the circumstances stood out from the crowd. From councillors who led their government to a Green recovery to essential workers and activists, FYEG’s women have been leading the feminist actions despite the pandemic.

Today, we showcase only a few of many female activists and celebrate their work and achievements.

Shout-out to them!

Hannah Clare is the Deputy Leader of Brighton and Hove Council in England. The Greens took over government in the midst of the pandemic in July. She stood up against the UK government by protecting children and young people by demanding schools to stay closed after Christmas."We knew we had a challenge - helping the city combat the virus and putting in solid plans for a green recovery. [...] I'm proud that we're putting children and young people first in our recovery.”

Helena Vidal Brazales is a family mediator in Spain. She helps families navigate high conflict situations and divorces and tries to reach agreements with them. In the lockdown, she had to adapt to online meetings to provide a safe space for children to meet with their non-cohabiting family members.

"My work as a family mediator is hard sometimes but helping families [...] is a rewarding activity. My task supporting children and making it possible for them to visit their family in a safe environment following court order instructions is also a challenging role.”

Ellie Gomersall is an activist and essential worker in Scotland. Over the last year, she worked tirelessly as an essential worker in a supermarket. Additionally, she has become one of the most important young activists in Scotland.

"I am shaping the way to a more equal Scotland as a Green candidate for the next Scottish election and as a volunteer for Trans Pride Scotland."

Aneth Hembert is one of the co-spokespersons for Les Jeunes Ecologistes. During the first lockdown in France, Aneth contributed to the writing of the "Manifesto for the World After" of the French Young Greens.

"I hope that the end of the pandemic will be an opportunity to change the system, and to put justice and climate at the center of public policies.”

Today she is committed as federal co-secretary of the French Young Greens, and she is carrying the campaign 'Ecology: ally of the struggles'

Ria Patel is an activist based in England. In the last year, they became involved with the Green Party of England and Wales and helped organise a lot of different campaigns and events. Through the LGBTIQA+ Greens, they were able to hold the UK government on their LGBT+ Action Plan accountable. The community in the LGBTIQA+ has been a supportive and inclusive environment that Ria is looking forward to work with them in the future.

“I am thankful for the community within the Green party. In particular LGBTIQA+ Greens, have been so supportive and I look forward to doing lots more inclusive work with them.”

Kathryn Bristrow is the co-spokesperson of the Green Party Women group in England. Kathryn is continually campaigning towards all trans people having access to the healthcare they need, people of colour being free of state violence, and getting more women in politics.

"From firsthand experience I know how vital intersectionality is. This is key to fight for the liberation of all."

Sarah-Lee Heinrich is a member of the Federal Board of the Junge Gruene in Germany. As a member of the German Federal Executive Board, Sarah has been working on social policy, anti-racism and feminism. A strong advocate to abolish Hartz-IV, Sarah is fighting for social justice and the end of child poverty in Germany.

"No one shall be left behind anymore."

Joëlle Canisius is an activist and former DWARS board member in the Netherlands. She led the campaign to ensure that abortion rights in the Netherlands remained accessible and safe throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Over 15.000 people signed their petition.

"With the hashtag 'Ook nu baas in eigen buik', women from all over the Netherlands supported the campaign and showed their solidarity."

Sophia Vara is a member of the Green Youth of Ukraine. She has one piece of advice:

“Calm down and exhale, take a day off and just relax. Sh*** happens, but you shouldn't feel bad or depressed about it."

Dr. Marylin Ivanova is a medical doctor at the National Emergency Hospital in Sofia, Bulgaria. She has been on the frontline since the very beginning of the pandemic.

“My friends called to check on me, which was nice and yet again annoying because of the imminent question: 'How are you?' Honestly, that question has been damn hard to answer. That’s because you don't know if you're sick because you're exhausted. Once, I was about to finish a 24-hour shift and I had to write a prescription. I wrote down my DUIN (doctor’s unique identification number), and I had to add my name. In that instant, I hesitated. I could not recall my own name.”

Maria Kola is the International Officer of the Young Cyprus Greens. Even during the pandemic, her role has given her the strength and will to work together with others to build a better world.

“Being an International Relations secretary helped me understand that you can learn from everyone at any time, anywhere. We all live in the same timeline and planet, but our realities are so different at the same time. We will always have our common values, which are and will be met at the same fights - to leave this world a bit better.”

Alina Bijl is the Secretary of the FNV Young & United in the Netherlands. She worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to show that women need five times more experience than men to be able to achieve something in politics. Numerous times, she also argued how valuable trade unions are for feminists and how they should work together.

“Women should not behave more masculine, but embrace their femininity and use it in politics.”