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Formentera sets out to chart unprecedented course on LGTBIQA+ equality

foto 2021 banc la molaThe Formentera Office of Equality and LGTBI Affairs has commissioned the island's first strategy "to elucidate the realities facing the local LGTBIQA+ community and develop initiatives that promote equality and non-discrimination for its members", explained President Alejandra Ferrer.

In big picture terms, Councillor Vanessa Parellada said the plan was about "taking the temperature of the LGTBI community on the island and propose public policies and measures to mainstream sexual and gender diversity and thus collaborate in promoting equality and non-discrimination".

Two consultants have been tapped to help prepare the plan: one is from Interferències, an association which specialises in gender and LGTBI policies and feminist research from an intersectional perspective; and the other, also a specialist in gender, from Filosa, which works to educate and train assorted local stakeholders. Technical directors of offices of municipal government will coordinate efforts and facilitate local contacts. Researcher and feminist social worker Alba Pons Rabasa, who holds a Ph.D. in social anthropology, will be at the helm of the initiative.

Preparing the plan

An initial scheduling and planning meeting was held 13 September. Otherwise, the first associated action will take place at the Casal de Joves from 6.00pm on 18 October. That gathering will see formation of the steering committee to assist in drafting.

Work on the plan will bring together various actors, including government agencies, associations and islanders at large. From these key areas, efforts will focus on determining what conditions are necessary to ensure real and effective equality in the exercise of LGTBI people's rights, the goal being to prevent, correct and eliminate discrimination in the public and private spheres over which the Consell de Formentera and other local authorities have jurisdiction.

Parties interested in helping prepare the plan, whether members of the LGTBI community or not, can send an email to igualtat@conselldeformentera.cat and register to join the steering committee.

6 October 2021
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Workshop aims to make language and local media more equitable

foto 2021 llenguatge no sexistaYesterday afternoon the Formentera Office of Equality and LGTBI Affairs put together a training session on ‘Inclusive and non-sexist language’ for personnel at local media outlets and other islanders whose jobs involve communication. The workshop was given by the FOEL department liaison, Sofia Vergara Levitt.

Councillor Vanessa Parellada started by welcoming attendees of the workshop, which was included in the island’s first Equality Plan (2019-2022). Among the stated objectives are improving perceptions of women and fomenting the use of non-sexist language.

“At the government level, we want to promote actions that support a more egalitarian society”, said Parellada. “This time we’re asking for the media to get involved too so we can all do some soul-searching and see where we can make changes to speak in a way that’s more inclusive”, she continued.

The talk included a colloquium and ideas exchange and gave participants the chance to capacity build and discuss among participants, whom Parellada thanked for their attendance.

28 September 2021
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Helping Espai Dones promote equality and stop gender violence

foto 2021 espai donesConsell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer and head of Espai Dones Maria Dolores Fernández Tamargo signed a deal today that will unlock a €3,500 subsidy to promote equality and prevent gender violence in 2021. Equality chief Vanessa Parellada was also on hand at the signing.

Under the arrangement, Espai Dones pledges to carry out activities to promote and energise women’s equality and prevent gender violence. In particular, they will educate around equality and social awareness of women’s rights. In 2021 the subsidy increased €500 from €3,000 the previous year.

1 July 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Unpacking how island men and women see equality, and how invested they are in getting it

foto 2021 ritxarThe Formentera Department of Equality has organised sensitivity trainings and a guided discussion in which participants ask questions like how they perceive equality, what preconditions and challenges they think exist to attaining it and how invested they are in the process. The sessions are being led by anthropologist and social worker Ritxi Bacete and are part of Formentera’s Internal Equality Plan.

Twelve municipal employees —six men and six women— gathered today for day-two of training: participants sat for a full-house session where participants were encouraged to pool ideas that had emerged in earlier discussion groups where participants were divided by gender. The sessions gave birth to a parallel discussion group aimed at gathering information on gender equality, in general, and the situation on Formentera, in particular.

Following the same formula, Formentera’s elected officials formed two groups as well and will take part in the sessions this evening.

The goal, said President Alejandra Ferrer, is to find out “how people view gender equality and what they think is standing in our way to achieving it”. Ferrer confided that, though the first reflection centred mainly on equality within local government, “we’re also interested in checking in and getting islanders’ thoughts on equality more broadly”. She added, “True equality will mean incorporating men in this fight too: their involvement is essential to doing away with all forms of violence against women and building a fairer society for all of us”.

Equality chief Vanessa Parellada spoke of the importance of “opening up cracks” in the way people look at equality, themselves and our purported companions in the struggle for gender equality. “Men and women aren’t rivals in this”, she insisted, “and we can start by developing a critical vision of what we are and what surrounds us and aspiring to an ‘oil slick’ effect with the people we’re close to.”

Following the sessions, Ritxi Bacete will work with the FDE to craft proposals including possible measures to apply internally and define policies on equality and future strategies for getting closer to equality on Formentera.

22 June 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Formentera celebrates LGTBIQA+ Pride Day with activities for young and old

cartell 2021 orgull AEarlier today the Formentera Department of Equality and LGTBIQA+ unveiled its activities poster for World LGTBIQA+ Pride Day on Monday 28 June. The tagline? ‘Proud to fight for equality’. “This year’s festivities will offer a panoply of activities with something for everyone from Thursday 24 June to Tuesday 29 June”, said President Alejandra Ferrer, who highlighted hopes that “islanders of all ages can enjoy a programme crafted with visibility and support for LGTBIQA+ communities in mind”.

On Thursday 24 June at 7.30pm, islanders can log on for an online talk that asks why we need LGTBIQA+ pride day if there’s no straight pride day. Alejandro Piña Redondo and participants will reflect on the reasons LGTBIQA+ people need a day to make their struggle visible. To sign up, send an email to igualtat@conselldeformentera.cat .

Family dynamics
Friday 25 June at 7.00pm, the crowd at jardí de ses Eres can take part in a “family dynamics”-inspired event including screening of the interactive documentary Trans* Happy, followed by a discussion for children and parents where young and old are invited to explore diversity in feelings and identities. Next up, Chrysallis will present “Stories with Pride”, a storytime activity with LGTBIQA+-themed children’s stories.

The colours of Pride Day
To add colour to World Pride Day, Formentera’s government is taking to social media to issue a challenge: join in the Pride Day celebration and share photos from hometown sites adorned with the Consell with the LGTBIQA+ flag. With installations in each town on the island, participants are encouraged to be on the lookout and to share submissions on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, tagging the official Consell de Formentera profile and using the hashtag #prideday #proudtofightforequality.

On a related note, on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, 17 May, municipal crews painted a Sant Francesc bench, a pedestrian crosswalk in Sant Ferran and and assorted street furniture across the island with the rainbow flag. The initiative will soon reach its conclusion with the celebration of Pride Day, and before Monday 28 June, pedestrian crossings in la Savina and es Pujols and benches in es Caló and la Mola will get a new coat of paint as well. Grab your camera and snap a picture!

Film and book corner
Finally, on Tuesday 29 June in jardí de ses Eres, Lucía Puezno’s XXY will tell the story of Àlex, an unusual 15 year old who’s hiding a secret. When Àlex was just an infant, her parents left Buenos Aires to live isolated in a wooden shack on the beach, seeking to secure their daughter a happy, protected life free from prejudice until she was old enough to choose for herself which path to follow. Before the film audiences will see Miguel Parra’s Formentera Film Festival winning short (A)NORMAL.

And, at Marià Villangomez library in Sant Francesc, a corner will be created for books on LGTBIQA+ themes on loan from Chrysallis. This programme also has support from sa Clau de s’Armari.

21 June 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

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