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  • Minister Verge meets with Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar to advocate for a global feminist alliance

Minister Verge meets with Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar to advocate for a global feminist alliance

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Minister Verge meets with Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar to advocate for a global feminist alliance

  1. Verge met at the Capitol with Ilhan Omar, who wanted to learn first hand about the equality policies being implemented in Catalonia
  2. Verge also met in Washington with the president of the feminist organisation National Organization for Women (NOW)
  3. The Minister also took part in an open dialogue with students at Georgetown University

The Minister for Equality and Feminisms, Tània Verge Mestre, met this Wednesday in Washington with Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, one of the most prominent advocates for women’s rights and for the rights of migrants and refugees in the House of Representatives.

Congresswoman Omar expressed a great deal of interest in the existence of a Ministry of Equality and Feminisms in Catalonia, especially in the policies being implemented by the Government of Catalonia. During the meeting, the minister and the congresswoman emphasised the need to unite efforts in defending and guaranteeing the rights of women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and migrants and refugees in the face of the rise of anti-rights groups. The Government Delegate to the United States and Canada, Isidre Sala Queralt, and the Secretary for Feminisms, Montserrat Pineda Lorenzo, accompanied the minister.

“A global feminist alliance is needed now more than ever to advance women’s rights and also to protect them against the threat posed by anti-rights groups. We need more governments and unapologetically feminist policies, which also include LGBTI rights and anti-racism,” Verge argued, expressing her conviction that “we will achieve this thanks to the many alliances we have forged during our participation in the United Nations conference on women’s rights and meetings with prestigious organisations and personalities who see Catalonia as a beacon of hope in defending and guaranteeing human rights”.

Omar is a well-known Somali-American politician and activist from Minnesota who, in 2019, became the first African refugee and one of the first two Muslim women elected to the United States Congress. The congresswoman showed particular interest in policies regarding sexual and reproductive rights, such as the universal distribution of free reusable menstrual products to all women in Catalonia; the Action Plan against Racism, which includes measures by all government ministries to correct the inequalities and violations of rights that racism entails; and the Rights Defenders Plan.

Interest among the international community in Catalan equality policies

During her trip to Washington, Minister Verge also met with the president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), Christian F. Nunes. This feminist organisation, founded in 1966, consists of 550 chapters spread across the 50 states, with 500,000 members, making it the largest base in the country. Considered one of the most important feminist organisations in the US, NOW fights for constitutional equality, economic justice, reproductive rights, and to combat violence against women.

The Minister explains the policies of the Government of Catalonia to two North American universities

The policies of the Government of Catalonia have also aroused the interest of US universities. During her trip to the United States, Minister Verge presented the ministry’s policies at the City University of New York (CUNY) and at Georgetown University. At CUNY, the minister spoke about sexual and reproductive rights in Catalonia. She was invited by the prestigious professor of Political Science, George Andreopoulos, founder of the Center for International Human Rights at this public academic institution in the city.

Verge discussed the feminist transformation pillar included in the Government’s plan and how this strategy not only reinforces existing rights, such as access to abortion, long-term contraception, or specialised healthcare for transgender individuals, but also introduces new ones.

At Georgetown, Verge participated in an event titled “A Talk with Tània Verge Mestre,” in which Lamis Kattan, Professor of Economics and Visiting Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy, and Nadia E. Brown, Professor and Director of the Gender Studies Programme at the university, who served as moderator, also spoke.

The event was jointly organised by the Gender Studies Programme, the Gender+ Justice Initiative, the McCourt School of Public Policy, the Women in Public Policy Initiative, the Women’s Center, the LGBTQ Resource Center, and the Georgetown University Disability Cultural Center.