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Unpacking how island men and women see equality, and how invested they are in getting it

foto 2021 ritxarThe Formentera Department of Equality has organised sensitivity trainings and a guided discussion in which participants ask questions like how they perceive equality, what preconditions and challenges they think exist to attaining it and how invested they are in the process. The sessions are being led by anthropologist and social worker Ritxi Bacete and are part of Formentera’s Internal Equality Plan.

Twelve municipal employees —six men and six women— gathered today for day-two of training: participants sat for a full-house session where participants were encouraged to pool ideas that had emerged in earlier discussion groups where participants were divided by gender. The sessions gave birth to a parallel discussion group aimed at gathering information on gender equality, in general, and the situation on Formentera, in particular.

Following the same formula, Formentera’s elected officials formed two groups as well and will take part in the sessions this evening.

The goal, said President Alejandra Ferrer, is to find out “how people view gender equality and what they think is standing in our way to achieving it”. Ferrer confided that, though the first reflection centred mainly on equality within local government, “we’re also interested in checking in and getting islanders’ thoughts on equality more broadly”. She added, “True equality will mean incorporating men in this fight too: their involvement is essential to doing away with all forms of violence against women and building a fairer society for all of us”.

Equality chief Vanessa Parellada spoke of the importance of “opening up cracks” in the way people look at equality, themselves and our purported companions in the struggle for gender equality. “Men and women aren’t rivals in this”, she insisted, “and we can start by developing a critical vision of what we are and what surrounds us and aspiring to an ‘oil slick’ effect with the people we’re close to.”

Following the sessions, Ritxi Bacete will work with the FDE to craft proposals including possible measures to apply internally and define policies on equality and future strategies for getting closer to equality on Formentera.

22 June 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Formentera celebrates LGTBIQA+ Pride Day with activities for young and old

cartell 2021 orgull AEarlier today the Formentera Department of Equality and LGTBIQA+ unveiled its activities poster for World LGTBIQA+ Pride Day on Monday 28 June. The tagline? ‘Proud to fight for equality’. “This year’s festivities will offer a panoply of activities with something for everyone from Thursday 24 June to Tuesday 29 June”, said President Alejandra Ferrer, who highlighted hopes that “islanders of all ages can enjoy a programme crafted with visibility and support for LGTBIQA+ communities in mind”.

On Thursday 24 June at 7.30pm, islanders can log on for an online talk that asks why we need LGTBIQA+ pride day if there’s no straight pride day. Alejandro Piña Redondo and participants will reflect on the reasons LGTBIQA+ people need a day to make their struggle visible. To sign up, send an email to igualtat@conselldeformentera.cat .

Family dynamics
Friday 25 June at 7.00pm, the crowd at jardí de ses Eres can take part in a “family dynamics”-inspired event including screening of the interactive documentary Trans* Happy, followed by a discussion for children and parents where young and old are invited to explore diversity in feelings and identities. Next up, Chrysallis will present “Stories with Pride”, a storytime activity with LGTBIQA+-themed children’s stories.

The colours of Pride Day
To add colour to World Pride Day, Formentera’s government is taking to social media to issue a challenge: join in the Pride Day celebration and share photos from hometown sites adorned with the Consell with the LGTBIQA+ flag. With installations in each town on the island, participants are encouraged to be on the lookout and to share submissions on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, tagging the official Consell de Formentera profile and using the hashtag #prideday #proudtofightforequality.

On a related note, on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, 17 May, municipal crews painted a Sant Francesc bench, a pedestrian crosswalk in Sant Ferran and and assorted street furniture across the island with the rainbow flag. The initiative will soon reach its conclusion with the celebration of Pride Day, and before Monday 28 June, pedestrian crossings in la Savina and es Pujols and benches in es Caló and la Mola will get a new coat of paint as well. Grab your camera and snap a picture!

Film and book corner
Finally, on Tuesday 29 June in jardí de ses Eres, Lucía Puezno’s XXY will tell the story of Àlex, an unusual 15 year old who’s hiding a secret. When Àlex was just an infant, her parents left Buenos Aires to live isolated in a wooden shack on the beach, seeking to secure their daughter a happy, protected life free from prejudice until she was old enough to choose for herself which path to follow. Before the film audiences will see Miguel Parra’s Formentera Film Festival winning short (A)NORMAL.

And, at Marià Villangomez library in Sant Francesc, a corner will be created for books on LGTBIQA+ themes on loan from Chrysallis. This programme also has support from sa Clau de s’Armari.

21 June 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Special negotiating body tapped to draft administration’s internal equality plan

The Formentera Department of Equality is pleased to announce that earlier today a special negotiating committee was tasked with drafting a plan to incorporate equality into the Consell’s organisational framework and foment employee training and awareness to integrate the gender perspective into municipal operations, plans and policies.

The commission will convene on three occasions and be formed by Councillor Vanessa Parellada and staffer Sofia Vergara from the FDE (the plan’s backing entity) as well as Councillor Paula Ferrer and staffer Vicent Ribas from the local administration’s human resources division, which will also play a key role in creation of the plan. Spokespeople from trade union groups will also be present to represent staff.

Stocktaking and action plan
The second gathering will feature a review of the current situation and the reality of gender equality within the Consell today. “This will give us a sense of our most pressing needs, which will help us identify priorities and measures to bake into the document”, asserted Councillor Parellada.

On the agenda as commission members convene for their third meeting will be presentation of the plan itself, which, as Parellada pointed out, will seek to “ensure compliance with the principles of equal opportunity and non-discrimination”. “The better our initial diagnosis, the better our shot at real equality in local government”, concluded Parellada.

Plans to draft the Internal Plan for Equality were first included Formentera’s 2019-2022 Equality Plan, as well as Balearic legislation on equality, and will be piloted by the consultancy group Coop4equality Projects for Social Innovation.

8 June 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Formentera adds voice to war on LGBTI-phobia

foto 2021 LGTB AThis 17 May, the Consell de Formentera is pleased to announce several initiatives in celebration of International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Formentera premiere Alejandra Ferrer, deputy premiere Ana Juan and equality and LGTBIQ+ chief Vanessa Parellada gave a press conference in the Sant Francesc plaza in a show of local government’s support for the community with a freshly painted rainbow-coloured bench.

A pedestrian crossing in Sant Ferran has also been painted in the colours of the LGTBIQ+ flag. President Ferrer pointed to ongoing discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, and said the newly painted benches and crosswalks were about making a statement: “As a government and as a people, Formentera supports the LGTBIQ+ community”. And she asked islanders to show “respect for diversity — it makes us richer”.

Similar actions will be performed in urban centres across Formentera, said Ferrer, who added that she hoped the visibility would ensure “our show of support rings out loud”.

Building awareness
On Thursday 20 May, local government will take to social media to share a video featuring LGTBIQ+ islanders in dramatized scenes of real-life discrimination. Councillor Parellada took the opportunity to thank the hometown volunteer actors for participating in the educational video and “putting the cause first”.

The Consell de Formentera will mark International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia with an official proclamation at local government’s May plenary assembly.

17 May 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Formentera echoes support for ‘WeDemandTransEquality’ hashtag

foto 2021 exigim trans AEarlier today Consell de Formentera equality and LGBTIQ+ chief Vanessa Parellada attended a gathering to mark the trans flag’s arrival at regional parliament. The flag is currently travelling across the autonomous regions of Spain as part of #ExigimosLaIgualdadTrans (‘WeDemandTransEquality’). The Spanish Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Trans and Bisexuals (FELGTB), Triangle Foundation and Chrysallis initiative enjoys support in the Balearics from local and regional groups like Bens Amics and Sa Clau de s’Armari. Senior regional government officials joined members of the LGTBIQ+ community for the event and flag signing.

A trans flag has similarly been hung from the Casa Consistorial in a show of support by Formentera’s government. The Consell de Formentera joined the campaign when it launched last April. Councillor Parellada underscored the local administration’s historic support for awareness around sexual and gender diversity.

From April to June, the flag’s cross-country march will be punctuated by receptions and rallies aimed at building visibility and mobilising for trans equality before the law.

#ExigimosLaIgualdadTran highlights the need for nationwide recognition of rights like the right to determine one’s gender without being subjected to requirements of third-party endorsement. With popular support, and the backing of regional and local authorities, organisers hope to overcome the impasse around talks for national legislation to guarantee legal equality for trans people.

6 May 2021
Communications Department
Council of Formentera

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