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International Women's Day supporters pack central Sant Francesc plaza

Dia internacional dona 1Some 400 answered the call for a 12-noon assembly at Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució in observance of International Women's Day.

The day got started an hour earlier as gender equality campaigners mounted stands around the plaza offering information and messages of advocacy. At approximately 12 noon, islanders began to congregate before the entrance of the administration's head office. An atmosphere of festive solidarity permeated the square amidst the feminist call to halt business as usual. It was an effort to draw attention to demands of funding and resources for the Spanish central government's pact on gender violence. More broadly, attendees added their voices to the call for a society free of violence against women, for respect for sexual diversity, the right to make decisions about their own bodies, the full decriminalisation of abortion, and the right to an education free of hetero-patriarchal values.

At the heart of the general strike was the demand for equal assessment of domestic and care work, not to mention answers on issues like job insecurity, retirement benefits under attack and regulating domestic work.

Observance of strike
The offices of the Council saw 100% participation in the call to stop working for two hours. Four-point-seven per cent of administration staff observed the day-long strike.

Other International Women's Day activities
At 5.00pm, the Sant Ferran library will welcome Maritza Caballero as she presents island youngsters with Cuentos para valientes, a storytelling session about equality.

Then, at 7.30pm in the Office of Culture's hall of ceremonies (Sala d'Actes), supporters of gender equality are invited to attend a screening of the documentary Excluídas del Paraiso. A discussion will follow.

Formentera celebrates International Women's Day

foto presentacio dia dona 2018Social welfare secretary Vanessa Parellada sat down this morning with one of the administration's equality specialists, Azuzena Carrasco, and Espai Dones chairwoman Dolores Fernández Tamargo to unveil the activities programme for next Thursday, March 8, International Women's Day. A multifarious spread of activities —with each one, at the centre, women— began last Thursday on the Dia de les Illes Balears (Day of the Balearic Islands). Celebrations will conclude April 16.

The programme continues this Monday at 8.00pm with the opening of an exhibition by Maria Arjona. The title, “Dones amb massa coses al cap”, translates roughly as “Women with too much on their mind”, and is on display until next Saturday, April 17.

International Women's Day
Next Thurday a whole series of activities and events are lined up to celebrate International Women's Day. To start, there will be informational stand from 11.00am in plaça de la Constitució in Sant Francesc. After that, the day's programme kicks off with a 12-noon rendezvous in the square ahead of a 12.15pm reading of the day's manifesto. High turnout is expected, not least because unions have called a strike to combat discrimination of women, in all of its forms—professional, economic, social. The Formentera Council will participate as well.

At 5.00p.m. in the Sant Ferran library, Maritza Caballero will be on hand to lead a family-friendly storytelling session, “Cuentos para valientes” focussing on equality.

Organisers are also planning a 7.30pm screening of “Excluidas del Paraiso” with discussion to follow in the Office of Culture's Sala d'Actes.

Other activities
Expect a dose of cinema, too. On Friday the 9th and Sunday the 11th, a Spanish-language version of Hidden Figures (Figuras Ocultas, in Castilian) will be shown in the island's cinema.

At 4.30pm on Friday the 16th, organisers are teeing up an initiation to batucada drum gatherings, and Saturday the 17th will holds an International Women's Day tradition, the sopar de germanor (“supper for sisterhood”).

Seven p.m. on Monday the 19th, Victòria Alemany will lead a workshop entitled Mindfulness for Wellbeing in the Sala d'Actes and, Thursday the 22nd, island youth meeting point, the Casal de Joves, will host a storytelling session with Encarna de las Heras.

At noon on Sunday the 25th, Formentera's dependent care centre will be the site of the tenth Homenatge a la Dona major (“Tribute to the elderly woman of Formentera”).

Celebrations come to an official close on Monday, April 16, at 8.00pm in the Marià Villangómez library. There, writer Núria Varela, who holds a masters in policymaking on equality between women and men, will talk about gender equality and her latest book “Feminismo para principiantes”.

Signups open for course on integration

Curs dintegracio i reforc 2017Next Friday, March 2, will mark the close of enrolment for the CiF Office of Social Welfare's course on social and cultural integration. The twice-weekly lessons, set to run March 6-28, will take place in the large classroom of the Formentera adult learning centre and will consist of 20 hours of instruction.

Course content
The classes are mainly geared towards immigrants, particularly those wishing to renew their residence permit, prepare for the CCSE citizenship test or demonstrate integration during the early phases of their stay in Spain.

Topics covered will include Spain's constitutional values, human rights and civil liberties, the Balearic Statute of Autonomy, the European Union and gender equality, among others. Aimed at familiarising students with the various subjects and helping them obtain the associated accreditation.

Council and la Mola seniors group sign partnership

Foto conveni centre majorsFormentera's Office of Social Welfare reports that administration officials met today with representatives of the senior-citizens group in la Mola to sign a new pact for 2018. The agreement, which sets out the details of the Council's lease of la Mola's administrative and cultural complex la Casa del Poble to the Associació de Majors del Pilar, involves how the space is used and the activities there funded.

Under the agreement, the €30,000 the seniors' group receives from the Council will fund the Casa del Poble's maintenance and services along with costs of promoting and managing activities for local groups and the nearby community in 2018.

The Associació de Majors hasn't just got deep roots in la Mola, it is a not-for-profit group which, since its founding, has played a de facto role as driver of cultural and social events promoting community in the neighbourhood. The Council began officially entrusting the group with those functions in 2016.

Included in the agreement are a space for the Associació's own use as well as a multipurpose hall where local associations can congregate, hold conferences, talks, small-scale concerts and other activities.

Members of the Associació will have keys to the Casa del Poble's computer lab and Council office. Though not included in the lease agreement, the Associació can facilitate their access and use to the Casa del Poble's visitors.

Describing the atmosphere at the Casa del Poble as “enriching for all involved”, Council president Jaume Ferrer highlighted the Associació's role in recent years “driving a vibrant social and cultural atmosphere in la Mola”and “putting the Casa del Poble on the map in terms of local programming and turning it into a meeting place for diverse segments of the population”.

Administration and coordination at the Casa del Poble are the remit of the Formentera Island Council. These are overseen by the appropriate department in line with the associated regulation.

Seniors’ university returns to Formentera

Foto flyer UOM 2018Formentera's Office of Social Welfare announces that tomorrow will mark the start of the Universitat Oberta per a Majors (“Open University for the Aged”) 2018 academic year. An initiative of the Universitat de les Illes Balears, the UOM is coordinated jointly by the Council, Fundació la Caixa and El Corte Inglés.

The seven-part lecture series will play out across Formentera's social centres for the elderly (three each in Sant Francesc and Sant Ferran and one in la Mola) and will focus on a range of topics chosen by the clubs themselves.

The Council backs activities that encourage learning and active lifestyles as a path to wellness and independence.

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apneef 2018