The antiracist research network RASTER supports the criticism and demands raised by SahWira Africa International towards the recent award-winning PLAN International Finland campaign “Maternity wear for a 12-year old”. We also encourage other organisations to continue the critical discussion about the repetitive gesture of speaking on behalf of and “saving brown women”.
On March 8, 2016, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, I was asked to give a speech about safety at a public demonstration in Turku. The event was organized by individual activists together with KJAR (the System of Free Women Society of East Kurdistan). The theme was Take Back the Night, which has been a rallying point for different feminist demonstrations in Turku during the last three years. In 2016, the theme Take Back the Night was motivated by a desire to reclaim public space from fascist and nationalist groups that had roamed in public spaces in the city at night. They claim that their motive is to protect Finnish white women who are under threat of rape and physical violence by migrant men. These groups have practiced violence and hatred towards women, racialized people, trans* people and other marginalized groups. Like in all nationalist projects, women’s bodies are being used as arguments for racist values.