Netzwerk Chancen advocates for educational equality and as part of their #StoryFriday they published my story: from a non-academic/working-class family from the village to Oxford.
Germany is far off from educational equality and social mobility seems to be rather an exception than the norm. Harvard's Robert Putnam said "Smart poor kids are less likely to graduate from college now than dumb rich kids. That’s not because of the schools, that’s because of all the advantages that are available to rich kids” about the US American society; and Germany does not appear to be too different.
Feminist Foreign Policy portrayed my work and activism in its "The Disruptor Series".
"We conclude with asking Lunz what she envisions for a feminist foreign policy. She cites Margot Wallstrom’s definition of extending gender equality as a matter of peace and security, and adds that a feminist foreign policy needs to be understood as a mechanism to rehabilitate how structures are currently working and to profoundly question how we are looking at things. “We need to start looking at intersections of oppression and who this leaves out.”
Early March I spoke at the United Nations Association of Germany on the occasion of the foundation of the Gender Equality Task Force. My speech focused on feminist foreign policy and how getting politically active is essential in these times of rising populism and extremism. I further shared pieces of advice from my own experience of being a political activist with the audience.
Penelope from StopBildSexism and myself in F-Mag's first issue.
I participated in the historical Women's March on Washington on 21st January 2017. Afterwards I gave Orange by Handelsblatt an interview and shared my experiences and impressions.
"[...] Mit einer One-Woman-Show hätten wir kein Gesetz geändert. Und mit vielen One-Woman-Shows werdet ihr die Medienbranche nicht ändern.
Das scheint auf den ersten Blick selbstverständlich, ist es jedoch leider nicht, wurden wir doch alle in derselben, sexistischen Gesellschaft sozialisiert. In einer Gesellschaft, in der Frauen sich als Konkurrentinnen verstehen sollen. Um Männer, um unsere Karriere. Filme, Serien und Magazine zelebrieren dieses Narrativ. Bitch-Fight. Zicken-Krieg. Na klar: Wenn wir uns untereinander bekämpfen, dann müssen diejenigen, die weiterhin die Macht innehaben, nichts befürchten. Aber da machen wir nicht mit. Für mich hat sich mein Leben wirklich geändert, als ich anfing, andere Frauen nicht als Konkurrentinnen sondern als die starken, schlauen, ambitionierten Changemaker und Gestalterinnen zu sehen, die sie sind. Es gibt wenig, das mich glücklicher macht, als zu sehen, wie andere Frauen Erfolg haben.
Daher meine Botschaft an Euch: Schmiedet Banden, vernetzt Euch, bleibt im Kontakt. [...] Und vergesst nie: Wenn ihr oben seid, dann zieht mindestens zehnmal so viele Frauen nach."
I spoke at AYUDH's 12th annual European Youth Summit "One World, One Home" - in partnership with the UN Inter-Agency-Network on Youth Development and inspired by renowned spiritual and humanitarian leader Amma - about the power of young people to change society and my experiences with gender equality campaigning.
"Lunz’s campaign started with a petition for the removal of the scantily clad, heavily sexualised Bild girl. “It would be ideal if Europe’s biggest paper stopped portraying women as sex objects,” she said. “We have been recording instances of sexism and there are so many examples. Far more than you would want to see.”
She added: “How can we tolerate such sexualised and objectified representations of women when we have massive problems of sexual violence against women? Studies have long proven that media representations of women contribute to higher levels of violence against women.”
"Lunz accused German authorities of perpetuating the idea that victims bear some responsibility for rape, pointing to judge and columnist Thomas Fischer as an example. Last month in the Die Zeit newspaper, Fischer argued that a victim saying "no" isn't enough: "Like any statement in any other context, the 'No' or 'Stop it' can be meant quite seriously, half seriously, or not to be taken seriously," he wrote."
"Activist Kristina Lunz said it was unacceptable that the vast majority of rapes were still going unpunished in Germany.
"Of course it should be 'Yes means Yes'," says Ms Lunz, referring to a 2015 law passed in California that makes the legal standard for sex affirmative verbal consent."
"It's a legal situation Kristina Lunz said is "medieval." She is a young and eloquent internet activist and the co-initiator of the "No Means No" campaign. She herself has friends that have been raped but never pressed charges.
"They assume that there is no point, because they will always be confronted with the question: Why didn't you defend yourself?" she said.
That fact frustrates her, because Germany signed the Istanbul Convention making all non-consensual sexual activity a crime. A principle that is often paraphrased as "no means no." Germany, despite being a signatory, has never ratified the Convention."
"Deshalb kämpfen Frauenrechtlerinnen schon seit Langem für eine Reform des Sexualstrafrechts: denn oft stünden Opfer unter Schock, argumentieren sie, oder wehren sich nicht, weil sie Angst vor Gewalt haben, denken etwa, dass die Gegenwehr alles nur schlimmer machen könnte. Die Gesetzeslage ist "mittelalterlich", sagt etwa Kristina Lunz bestimmt, eine junge, eloquente Internetaktivistin und Mit-Initiatorin der Kampagne "Nein heißt Nein": Sie selbst hat Freundinnen, die vergewaltigt wurden und den Fall nicht angezeigt hätten. Sie zuckt die Schultern: "Sie denken, dass es keinen Zweck hat wegen der Frage: Warum hast du dich nicht gewehrt?"
Das frustriert sie: Denn eigentlich hat Deutschland längt die internationale Istanbuler Konvention unterzeichnet, wonach alle nicht einvernehmlichen Sexualkontakte unter Strafe gestellt werden müssen. Ein Grundsatz, der oft als "Nein heißt Nein" umschrieben wird. Ratifiziert hat Deutschland die Konvention allerdings noch nicht."
Interview and article focusing on my activism as part of a larger story on sexualised violence and the 'No means No' paradigm.
The panel on "Can media help to prevent violence against women and girls" was organised on behalf of Gender@international Bonn by Deutsche Gesellschaft für international Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Deutsche Welle, State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia and UN Women National Committee Germany e.V.
Christine Brendel, Regional Manager of the programme 'Fighting Violence against Women in Latin America' (GIZ)
Vincent-Immanuel Herr, Writer and Activist
Rasha El-Ibiary, Assistant Professor for Political Mass Media at the Future University in Egypt
Kristina Lunz, Campaigner and Founder of StopBildSexism
Read the press release here.
Panel discussion on "Ending Sexualised Violence - The Role of Non-State Actors"
Alice Irving: Alice has studied both in social work and law, and is now completing her DPhil in the field of criminal law theory, with a particular interest in grooming laws that target would-be child sex offenders. She also lectures in criminal law at Lady Margaret Hall. Herself a survivor of rape in Oxford, she helped to found the Oxford University Student Union 'It Happens Here' campaign and has been involved in anti-sexual violence advocacy for a number of years.
Dr Peace Medie: Peace is a Research Fellow in the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD) at the University of Ghana and an Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellow. Her book project, “Translating Global Norms into Local Action: The Campaign against Gender-Based Violence in Africa” examines how international organizations and the women’s movement have influenced states’ implementation of norms against gender-based violence in Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire.
Qurat ul ain Fatima: Quratulain is an unconventional policy practitioner who served in Pakistan Airforce before becoming an active civil servant with the government of Pakistan. She has passionately worked with non state actors on issues of domestic and sexual violence in Pakistan. She will speak about the Hudood Ordinance and struggle that led to women protection bill in Pakistan.
Tenesha Myrie: Tenesha is an Attorney-at-Law from Jamaica. She works on gender-based violence and access to justice in the Caribbean. She has served as consultant to UN Women and provides voluntary legal support to local civil society groups and global research advocacy projects.
Kristina Lunz: Kristina will be speaking on the current revision of the rape law in Germany. Kristina is a graduate of the Oxford Department of International Development and is currently working at the Blavatnik School of Government. She is advising UN Women Germany on the campaign ‘No Means No’ on changing the German rape law and co-author of the campaign ‘Ausnahmslos (‘No excuses)’ – Against sexualised violence and racism’ which she and her team initiated in the aftermath of the sexual attacks in Cologne.
"While Germany may be far behind California and much of the rest of the English-speaking world on rape law, Lunz feels that campaigners have to proceed one step at a time.
“Of course it should be ‘yes means yes’,” she said.
But given how hard a battle it may be to get ‘no means no’ onto the books - and the inadequacy of the current law - Lunz and others don’t want to let the perfect be the enemy of the good."
Interview on our campaign 'Against sexualised violence and racism. Anytime. Anywhere. Ausnahmslos', and the instrumentalisation of women's rights to incite against refugees and foreigners, as it happened in the aftermath of the attacks on women in Cologne and other cities on New Year's Eve.
"Vor Kurzem belästigten mich Männer im Zug nach London auf das Übelste. Als ich sie beim Zugpersonal meldete, wurde mir geraten, ich solle mich in ein anderes Abteil setzen." Die Logik hinter den Frauenabteilen sei ähnlich: "Anstelle die Täter zu bestrafen, wird implizit toleriert, dass Männer Frauen nunmal belästigen würden; um das zu verhindern, müssen Frauen weggesetzt werden. Das sendet ein fatales Zeichen! Was, wenn Frauen sich nicht in das ‘Frauenabteil’ setzen- sind sie dann selbst Schuld, wenn ihnen Gewalt angetan wird?
Wir brauchen keine Frauenabteile, sondern das Gefühl von Sicherheit, egal wo wir uns bewegen.
Lunz fordert ein hartes Vorgehen gegen sexualisierte Gewalt und eine grundlegende Reform des Sexualstrafrechts."
A panel discussion on sexualised violence and racism at Munich town hall on the 14th March 2016.
I was invited to speak on a panel on 'women's rights and religion' at the European Parliament, which was organised by the European Parliament Platform for Secularism in Politics and attended by MEPs, other politicians and NGO representatives in Brussels. I spoke aboutthe 'Ausnahmslos' and 'StopBildSexism' campaigns and the wider context in which the Cologne attacks took place, meaning our intrinsically sexist society. Symptoms of such sexist society include media sexism and our German law on sexualised violence that protects (potential) perpetrators better than (potential) victims, and in which feminism is exploited by racists for their xenophobic agenda from time to time.
On the panel with:
Daniela Bankier, Head of Unit Equality, European Commission; Lorena Sosa, Human Rights Lawyer; Niels Spierings, Assistant Professor in Islam, Middle East, Gender, Sexuality at Radboud University Nijmegen; Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA)
Sookee and I are portrayed in the section 'strong women' where we are interviewed about our activism for gender equality and women's rights.
Interview with Deutsche Welle about #ausnahmslos and hate speech on the internet.
Video-interview with the Dutch news show 'Nieuwsuur' on whether the background of the perpetrators of the Cologne attacks is relevant.
Interview with De Volkskrant on the exploitation of feminism for racist agendas after the sexualised attacks in Cologne.
Interview with Der Tagesspiegel on the events in Cologne, racism, sexism and our campaign #ausnahmslos.
Article about me and my campaign StopBildSexism in the first issue of Libertine.
My interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung on my campaign 'StopBildSexism' and the implications of media sexism.
More to come!