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Gender Equality Festival Sibiu, 19 – 21 September 2014

Equality starts with you!

Why a Gender Equality Festival?
Sibiu is known as a city of festivals. While most festivals have a cultural or commercial purpose, the Gender Equality Festival is the only educational festival, promoting social change. The main goal is to encourage new attitudes and behaviours, especially among young people; the activities are based on non-formal education methods and entrance to the events is free.

CoverThe Gender Equality Festival is an annual awareness-raising campaign organised by A.L.E.G. to draw attention to the fact that violence against women is favoured by prejudices and stereotypes. What would aliens say about the women on Earth if their opinion on women relied on magazines, advertisements or TV news? “Their life’s dream is to remove stains from shirts and socks. Most of them are under 35 years old and they cannot eat a bar of chocolate without undressing. There are a few scattered – mostly for decorative purposes – among the male suits in the parliament and government. After the age of 35 they become fat and live in a flat.” What about men? “Most of them are politicians, football players or criminals. The others are bald, big-bellied and do nothing all day long but drink beer and order women what to cook.”

Unfortunately, these recurring daily images eventually influence even us, mere mortals. Stereotypes cling on to us without realising it. We end up looking at the world through some dingy old lens that are not necessarily ours, but through which violence and discrimination seem normal to us. The Association for Liberty and Equality of Gender and its partners from the Coalition for Gender Equality project reach out to young people to give a lead towards equality and to change these perceptions by participating in the Gender Equality Festival and by showing that there are Women and Men who deviate from the pattern and interact as equals.

brioseIn order for the participants in the festival to be able to give a lead towards equality, A.L.E.G. volunteers have set out to help them with the Emancipated Muffins, sweet friends with sharp messages that show the world in a dual perspective, feminine and masculine, and help better identify inequalities: “One does not need to be anti-men in order to be pro-women”, “Telling a woman what she cannot do means telling her what she is allowed to do”. The muffins will be present throughout the festival and the people of Sibiu who try them are invited to make donations for A.L.E.G.’s Counselling Centre for the Victims of Violence.
Here are the innovative activities of this year’s festival:

Human Library (Habitus Library, 20 September, at 11)
Carti viiHow long has it been since you last read a book? What about an individual? In the Human Library you may find people acting as books that may be borrowed. Each human book tells a story that could help you see the world with different eyes. Those who want to confront their prejudices about convicts should borrow the book entitled The Story of a Repeat Offender – When Prison is the Punishment, embodied by Mihaela Săsărman from Transcena organisation, who has been working for more than 20 years in the prisons in Romania. If you think that all directors are fat, full of themselves and over 40 years old we recommend you the book by Adrian Tibu, the new director of the “Gong” Theatre for Children and Youth of Sibiu, A Train Station. If you think that victims of violence cannot be helped because they always go back to their abusive partner, borrow The Story of a Survivor – by Eleonora Pokola. There are over 12 books waiting to be read in an informal conversation of approximately 20 minutes. Between books you can enjoy screenings by Camelia Popa, director, also a living book in our library.

Invisible theatre (Bicicleta French Pub, 20 September, at 19.00)
With the support of Tursib S.A. and Mojo By Our Coffee Shop, A.L.E.G. has been recording with a hidden camera since August the reactions of citizens of Sibiu to violent situations played by professional actors, perceived as real-life situations by the audience. The invisible theatre is a form of social theatre in which the audience is not warned in advance that a play is about to start and is not aware of this before the end of the play. Two harassment situations (a girl approached and aggressively addressed by a man and a boy harassed by two girls) have been filmed in Tursib buses. At Mojo a situation of spousal violence has been staged. The people of Sibiu have had very different reactions, from ignorance to involvement in support of the victim. We invite the audience to watch the video recordings together and to discuss them. This activity aims at showing that violence is a public matter that concerns us all.

Films (Habitus Library, 19 September, at 11, 21 September, at 18.00)
Corpul meu îmi aparţine! (I am the master of my body!) is a premiere film, produced by A.L.E.G. under the “I am the master of my body – sexual violence among young people, awareness-raising and counselling centre” project, funded by the EEA grants 2009 – 2014 under the Romanian NGO Fund. In the next 10 months the film will be the focus point of an educational caravan in the schools in Sibiu and Mureş, aiming at teaching teenagers to recognise abusive situations and to get out of such situations or to offer support to someone in need. The film was directed by Camelia Popa and filmed and edited by Ionuţ Vişan.
Happy Happy/Cumplit de fericită from the archives of the Transylvania Film Festival is about the dream of being a happy family and the difference between dream and reality.

Interactive map of urban discrimination (festival tent in Piaţa Mică, 19 September, at 17.00)
Harta micaOur partners from the Coalition for Gender Equality, AnA organisation in Bucharest, ask the people in Sibiu a question: where in Sibiu have you felt discriminated against for being a woman or a man? Passers-by will be able to point out on a huge map of Sibiu the institutions or places where they have experienced discrimination and share their story on pieces of paper that will make up a legend of the map of urban discrimination. At the end, the picture of the map and its legend will be made public and sent to the City Hall and other competent institutions in order to solve some of the issued raised.

For more details on the rest of the activities please go to www.aleg-romania.eu to see the programme of the festival. Local partners of the Gender Equality Festival 2014: Habitus Library, Lipicioşii, Transylvania Film, Bicicleta French Pub, Sibiul Vesel Campaign, Gratuitor, Sibiu 100%, Zile şi Nopţi, Trans Agape, Simpa. In 2015 our project partners will replicate the Sibiu Gender Equality Festival in Bucharest.

This year’s Gender Equality Festival is organised by A.L.E.G. in Sibiu as part of the Coalition for Gender Equality project funded by EEA grants 2009-2014 under the Romanian NGO Fund. Total project value: Eur 74,250. Duration: 18 months. Project promoter: Partnership for Equality Centre, partners: A.L.E.G., Front Association, AnA Society for Feminist Analyses and E-Romnja. For official information on EEA and Norway grants please go to www.eeagrants.org.

Download the program Programul festivalului

Breaking the Silence on Sexual Violence: strengthening NGO capacity to integrate sexual violence on the public agenda

Why this project: The project “Breaking the Silence on Sexual Violence” emerged from the need to have a more structured space to discuss sexual violence and ways to combat it among 9 NGOs promoting gender equality and advocating for ending violence against women. The idea behind of the project is to break through the taboos surrounding sexual violence in order to encourage victims to seek adequate help and report the crimes.

 A recent study of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU “ Violence against women: every day and in every place” shows that 6% of Romanian women have been at some point in their lives victims of sexual aggression.  Unfortunately only a small number of victims receive specialized assistance or report the crime. The difference between what authorities record and what the everyday experience of women when aggression and harassment is a routine event remains covered in silences, prejudice, shame and fear.  It is out of this need that this project steams from and which it aims to address.

Local Partners: Asociația Transcena, Institutul Est European pentru Sănătatea Reproducerii, Asociația Front, Centrul Parteneriat pentru Egalitate, Asociația E-Romnja, Societatea de Analize Feministe AnA, Centrul Filia, Asociația Artemis, Asociația A.L.E.G; collaborator: Sensiblu Foundation

International Partner: Stigamot Iceland

Breaking the Silence on Sexual Violence benefits from the experience of a foreign partner whose collaboration we deem key for the development of the project. The Iceland partner organization Stigamot has been offering specialized counseling for victims of sexual violence and it has been representing victim’s interests for the past 23 years in Reykjavik. Stigamot will take part in two thematic meetings to share its experience concerning services for victims and advocacy campaigns.

 Funding SEE 2009-2014 grants, in the NGO Fund Romania. The total value of the project is 43,409 Euros

Duration: 15th of May 2014 – 15th of May 2015.

 Main objectives:

  • Strenghtening the capacities of the NGO network to integrate a gender perspective on sexual violance in the public agenda
  • Enhancing dialogue with other partners and agreeing common priorities during 7 thematic meetings; the agreeded priorities will be translated in 10 advocacy instruments ( 5 position papers and 5 factsheets); enhancing knowledge of sexual violence through the development of an online resource center.
  • Consolidating advocacy capacities of the network by promoting a common message through 5 local events and a public seminar at national level on sexual violence and priorities.
  • Extending the network with 5 additional organizations which work with beneficieries at risk of sexual victimization.


  • A series of 7 thematic meetings with network members ( July 2014 – April 2015); the last meeting to be followed by a public seminar.
  • An online resource center – to include information on services, examples of good practice, current studies and research as well as the network’s own advocacy documents. The target audience of the online resource center are professionals working with victims or with persons at risk of sexual victimization, decision-makers, mass-media, relevant universities.
  • A series of 5 public local events in Iasi, Târgu-Mureș, Sibiu, Cluj and Bucharest  promoting a common message and a call to action developed by the network.

 Calendar for thematic meetings:

 Meeting 1.   Sexual Violence from a gender perspective: approaches and risk groups- Date:  24 July 2014, Bucharest

 Meeting 2. Media Representations of Sexual Violence: issues and good practices- Date: 22nd August,  Bucharest

 Meeting 3. Good Practices in Providing Services for Victims-  Date: 17-18 September, Sibiu

 Meeting 4. Sexual Violence Against Adults, Sexual Violence Against Minors- Date: 17th of October, Bucharest

Meeting 5.  Agreeing Priorities and a Common Actions, Date: 10th of November, Bucharest

Meeting 6. Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence within Intimate Relationships,  Date:  15th of December, Bucharest

Meeting  7. Drafting a Call to Action on Sexual Violence

The contents of this website section do not necessarily represent the official position of the SEE 2009-2014 grants. The responsibility for the correctness and coherence of the information presented lies wholly with the website initiator.For official information regarding the SEE and Norwegian grants, access www.eeagrants.org. Project financed through the SEE 2009-2014 grants, in the NGO Fund for Romania.

A.L.E.G. Celebrates 10 Years!

On 23 August 2014, A.L.E.G. celebrates 10 years of existance. 10 years since we are breaking down prejudices. Pictures of the people and the ideas that have kept us alive in the Anniversary movie A.L.E.G.  We thank all those who have accompanied us along the way! Stay tuned for 10 more!


Briosele-Emancipate-A.L.E.G.Do you like muffins? How about proactive people who make positive changes in society? During the Gender Equality Festival, muffins will carry messages and spice up actions meant to fight stereotypes about women and men often linked to gender-based violence and discrimination. Our factory already has the cooks but lacks the ingredients. Support the A.L.E.G. muffin factory through donations or products and we will offer you customized muffins, which you can pick up from the festival tent on September 19th. The muffins will help raise funds for the support center for victims of gender based violence in A.L.E.G. offering online, legal and psychological counseling as well as  self-help groups.

Our target: 20 kg. flour, 20 kg sugar, 2 kg cacao powder, 500 g vanilla, 10 kg cream, 10l oil, 100 eggs. The products can be donated in the designated baskets at the entrance of the Habitus Bookshop (Small Square) in Sibiu until September 10th. For money donations: RO61RNCB0227036050490001, opened at BCR Sibiu on the name of the Association of Liberty and Gender Equality, CUI: 16717410.

Event organized within the Project Coalition for Gender Equality, funded through the EEA and Norway Grants 2009 – 2014 grants, within the Romanian NGO Fund.  The content of this material does not necessarily represent the funder’s position.

Istanbul Convention comes into forece today!

1 August 2014- The Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) goes into force, making its recommendations and requirements effective in the 13 countries that have ratified it.

Today is a milestone in the fight to eradicate violence against women, this step represents an important landmark in the history of the Women’s Movement, and a fair retribution to the many efforts of women’s organizations across Europe. http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/standardsetting/convention-violence/convention/Convention%20210%20English.pdf

See the Press release – Istanbul Convention coming into force on 1st August.

 FRA’s report on violence against women http://bit.ly/1ctvLLp – based on a survey of 42,000 women in the 28 EU Member States – reveals the extent of abuse suffered by women from childhood through to old age, at home and at work, in public and online.