The first European Lesbian*Conference ended this Sunday in Vienna. 500 hundreds lesbian activists, artists, academics, politics, journalists, NGO leaders from 45 countries and 148 cities, met for 3 days during a major and historical event for the European lesbian community.
Final recap of the conference asked policies and decisions makers, governments, and all institutions, from health to work or media spheres, and even LGBTI organisations, to stop invizibilizing lesbians.
All lesbian activists coming from places as diverse as Kazakhstan, Greece or Sweden underlined the urge to facilitate access of lesbians to rights and services. Some 30 workshops or plenaries allowed speakers with very different backgrounds to address the issues they face as lesbians or part of other minorities.
EL*C made it clear that lesbians were neglected and suffering from lack of datas, lack of funding, lack of representation.
To start working on this lack of datas, some statistics were disclosed during the conference. It was stated by some that out of 424 million dollars for international LGBTI issues in 2013-2014, only 2% for LBQ (lesbian, bi queer) women, that out of 100s recommendations of States at the United Nations (UN) those last years, only one was about lesbian. EL*C itself produced a first brief report on lesbian lives in parts of Europe https://europeanlesbianconference.org/elc-brief-report/ .
On Saturday, October 7, the participants took the streets of Vienna, marching in a “European Lesbian March” to reclaim public space for Lesbians shouting “Lesbians are always and everywhere”, the precise words used by Ulrike Lunacek, Vice President of the European Parliament, Co-President of the EP’s LGBTI Intergroup and green party top candidate for the austrian national election (October 15) during the opening reception on Thursday October 8 at Palais Epstein in Vienna. They were greeted and supported by many women and allies on their walk through the Viennese streets.
Those three days of conference proved how powerful the network of lesbians* is across Europe, how often lesbians are at the forefront of many social changes in their own country. EL*C ‘s challenge, which already started during the conference, will be to strengthen this network and make sure all those powerful voices are better heard by policies and decision makers.
Press Contact: Alice Coffin + 33 6 40 12 80 49
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Report on the conference will soon be published, you can already find many of the statements made during the converence via the hashtag #EuroLesbianCon or on European Lesbian Conference Facebook page and Okto TV where some of the conference has been livestreamed.