Democracy and Power

Real Democracy Means Women Have the Equal Share of Power in the Public/Productive Sphere and Shared Responsibility in the Private/Reproductive Sphere

Womanhood is a historic fabrication whose direct consequence leads to the subordination of women in the private sphere and their exclusion from the public sphere. What is male is still universally considered as a norm, and the male, as being taken as a norm, is defined as more important and of higher worth. Patriarchal domination still persists in all societies and the question of gender power is present in all spheres of life. The presence of women in decision-making arenas and the co-decision making procedures in those arenas are high democratic stakes. Democracy will remain an empty concept if women and men continue to have unequal share in the decision-making process in the productive sphere - a process that is neither indirect nor covert- and unequal share of responsibility in the reproductive sphere. Our feminist approach to analyzing democracy includes putting lights on the interplay between the private and public that justifies the exclusion and the subordination of women.

Euromed Feminist Initiative believes that human kind needs urgently a new social contract, with transformed power relations between men and women, and new rules of democracy, where power is no longer of synonym of domination.. Democracy that means equal share of power in order to build together, women and men, and not a democracy that is used as a tool to exercise authority or as a mean of oppression. The fight against gender domination is part of a global project which challenges all forms of exploitation and oppression.

In Europe there is no opposition as such stopping women from accessing power, but there are many obstacles and pernicious means of resistance that stand in their way: the weight of tradition and the force of stereotypes, the unequal distribution of house chores and of social times, gender segregation in jobs and training possibilities and unequal access to knowledge, to name some. Therefore even if the economic, political and social structures aim at changing society, their engendered democratization is the precondition for a full transformation of the societies to real democracy based on respect and implementation of women's rights as universal human rights.