Tuesday, February 20, 2007

For women's rights in Europe and across the globe...

What are European Values?
2007 marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, the 50th anniversary of the European Union. In light of that the German presidency will organize a meeting in March. All Heads of State and Government of EU member States will assemble and adopt a "Berlin Declaration" about European Values.

Personally I don't believe in "European Values". I don't believe in a "European culture" or "identity". Europe is a group of states that are so culturally different that grouping the values within these cultures together as "one" is simply impossible, it would be ever contradicting. Nevertheless an active lobby of religious leaders wishes to ensure a prominent mentioning of specifically "Christian Values" as an overarching European value.

The rights of social and sexual minorities are often restricted or discarded in name of religion and culture. – Newsflash - the crusades are not something in the past, they’re happening today and they’re as violent and damaging as in the past. Under the banner of morals and values oppression continues. Where in the past there was the inquisition, today there is more subtlety in what religious conservatives propaganda calls for. But an oppressive legislation can be as damaging as an inquisition.

If “Christian Values” are accepted as a so called European Value, what about access safe abortions? The rights of same-sex couples? Access to comprehensive sexual education? What about the right to choose your own religion, and your own religious values…?

I do not oppose Christianity, only the conservatism and its consequences. The Vision for Europe project is a joint venture between the International Humanist and Ethical Union, the European Humanist Federation and Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC). They have come to develop a one-page summary of their common values: the Brussels Declaration. A document that states the liberal values of individual freedom, democracy and the rule of law on which modern European civilisation is based. Values don’t need to be oppressive, they just can be.

But most of all, I would like to see is an assembly of all Heads of State and Government of EU member States that adopts a declaration about "European Rights" instead of "Values". Europe does not need a moral guideline, it doesn't need a declaration trying to tell what's "right" and what's "wrong". What Europe really needs is a strong statement that this Union will forever commit itself to promoting rights, in every sense of that word.

Under their MyBody brand, the World Population Foundation has initiated a petition for the rights of women in Europe. It is meant to draw attention of Heads of State and Government, gathered in Berlin on the 25th of March, to women’s rights and the importance of the neutrality of the State. Sign it!


2 comments:

아름 said...

He-jin! Have you had good time in 설날? I visited my grandpa, 90 years old men. Looked him, very sad.

아름 said...

I don't know where is guestbook so I wrote here!