25 November 2009

Take action on Nov. 25: Intl Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly designated November 25th as an annual International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

November 25th was chosen as the date because it marks the anniversary of the brutal assassination in 1960 of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic.

According to the campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women, which was launched in 2008 by the UN, up to 70 percent of women experience physical or sexual violence from men in their lifetime. 70 percent! That is not acceptable!

How you can help:

On the website of Amnesty International USA, there are several actions that you can take with just a few clicks of the mouse to help stop violence against women worldwide:

Urge the Senate to ratify the Treaty for the Rights of Women
Maternal mortality claims the life of one woman every minute - more than half a million women every year. This is a human rights scandal. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is a crucial guarantee of the right to maternal health. The United States is one of only eight countries not to have ratified CEDAW. While Secretary Clinton's State Department supports ratification, the Senate needs to act now. Urge the Senate to ratify CEDAW!

Demand justice for women in Zimbabwe
Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu continue to live under the threat of trial and imprisonment since their arrest on charges of disturbing the peace on October 16, 2008. On that day, hundreds of WOZA members demonstrated in Bulawayo in support of the government declaring a national emergency and distributing food aid to the nation's hungry citizens.

Support re-introduction of the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA)
Urge the Obama Administration to actively support reintroduction and passage by Congress, this fall, of the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA).

Urge President Garcia of Peru to ensure access to maternal health care
Although Peru is a middle-income country, its maternal mortality rate is the second worst in South America. Low-income, rural, and indigenous women are most at risk. Peru has been a focus of the human-right-to-maternal-health community, and President Alan Garcia has promised better equity in maternal health funding. But he has yet to fulfill that promise.

Stand up for the rights of women in South Africa
60 percent of people living with HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa are women. In South Africa, women under 25 are 3-4 times more likely to be infected with the virus and have the highest rate of new infections. Women and girls subjected to violence are at greater risk. Many women lack access to the free health care they are legally entitled to. Ask South Africa to reduce HIV and AIDS and address gender based violence.

>> More info and actions to end violence against women.

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