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From: The Socialist issue 240, 8 February 2002: Stop Blair And His Wreckers

Search site for keywords: Sweden - Women - Domestic violence - Violence against women

Murdered For Being A Woman

FADIME IS dead. She was murdered for being a woman and fighting for an independent life. This tragic event has touched everybody and is another reminder of why the struggle against women's oppression is so important.

Elin Gauffin, CWI Sweden

On 21 January Fadime Sahindal's own father shot her in cold blood in front of her family who she was secretly visiting.

Many of us remember Fadime. Since 1998 she has appeared in the media and given lectures about 'honour killings' - when women are murdered for supposedly bringing dishonour to their families.

Fadime was living with a Swedish man, which her family didn't approve of. Her father and brother were convicted for threatening her. When her boyfriend died in a car crash she was beaten by her brother who was sentenced to five months in prison. "I don't care about that fucking whore" he declared.

Fadime was a strong woman. She refused to hide and continued with her education in order to help other refugees. But she was constantly afraid of the revenge that she knew would come.

Politicians and organisations discussed honour killings after women from a Kurdish background, like Fadime, have been murdered. But reporting in the media has sometimes had racist overtones.

Domestic violence

Fadime's is not an isolated case. Domestic violence is a common social problem which needs to be fought politically.

Why aren't there enough resources to protect women and children from violence in the home? Why aren't there treatment programmes for abusive men?

How can women manage alone economically without support from their family? And why does the government send refugee women back even though they are threatened with being stoned to death in their home country?

Demonstrations have taken place in Fadime's memory and against honour killings and violence against women. 5,000 demonstrated in her home town and two demonstrations of 700 each took place in Stockholm.

Rattvisepartiet Socialisterna - the Swedish section of the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI) (which the Socialist Party is affiliated to) - took part in these demonstrations.

We took the initiative four years ago in launching a campaign called "refuse to be called a whore", which campaigns against sexual harassment in schools. Since Fadime's death this campaign has been gathering thousands of signatures on petitions from schools and in the streets. We are calling for more resources to fight violence and harassment.

On 5 February our campaign will be meeting Mona Sahlin, minister for integration, and handing over the petitions to her. We will also be linking up with Kurdish groups and organising a demonstration for international women's day (8 March).

THE COMMITTEE for a Workers' International (CWI) will be producing a special statement and organising events to commemorate international women's day (8 March).


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