Monday 20 November 2017 > français
Under a golden ceiling full of painted naked women, the prize for standing up for secularity – the torso of bare breasted French national symbol Marianne – was given by and to mostly men, and then finally; the great International Secularity Prize 2017 goes to Inna Shevchenko, leader of Femen International; and we balanced up the stage with women.
Secularity and Feminism is always interconnected as patriarchy’s father is religion; religions of male masters, preachers and lords who deny women equal rights and freedom to decide over our own bodies.
She was born in Ukraine where she grew up and studied journalism in Taras Shevchenko National University in Kiev and worked as a press-officer of Kiev’s city mayor. She joined FEMEN in 2009.
In 2011 she and 2 other FEMEN members have been brutally tortured in Belarus by KGB after FEMEN’s topless protest in support of political prisoners in Belarus, Minsk.
In 2013 she was granted political asylum in France. Inna fled Ukraine right after her famous demonstration against union between church and state when she cut-down with a chainsaw a 7-metre high Christian cross that was located in the centre of Kiev illegally. The demonstration initiated big debates. Main Russian TV channel reported a false information that the cross was a memorial for victims of stalinism. After that, Shevchenko has became a target for death threats and the former Ukrainian president Yankovich called for her arrest.
In France she initiated a transformation of Ukrainian FEMEN group into an International movement. Inna is curating the work of dozen of FEMEN branches from Paris where she established a training base for feminists activists.
Speech by Inna Shevchenko upon receiving France’s 2017 Secularism Award with standing ovation!
More info - Femen Official Blog
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