Twenty-five years and counting! This month Equality Now officially turned 25. Whether you were with us in April 1992 or joined us this week, thank you for partnering with us to create a more just world for women and girls!
Congratulations to Irũngũ Houghton who received the Architectural Association of Kenya's 50th Anniversary Lifetime Achievement Award in March. Irũngũ, who is passionate about transforming individuals, organizations and communities, was recognized for his outstanding contributions towards keeping Kenyan schools safe and empowering communities.
Thank you for supporting gender equality
Our supporters continue to stand up for Equality Now and women's and girls' rights in amazing ways. Whether you have given your time, your voice or a donation, we are humbled by your generosity and activism. This month, we particularly want to thank Italian fashion house Versace for donating their sales proceeds on International Women's Day and Can't Stop the Serenity for their on-going support through their global film screenings.
Have you signed on to help fix global rape laws?
Nearly a billion women and girls will experience rape or sexual abuse over their lifetimes. In March, we released our Global Rape Epidemic report to spark a global conversation and action towards transforming the world's failing rape laws. We will be delivering the accompanying petition to governments attending the June 2017 UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva. Please sign on and spread the word!
You did it!
In March, you helped us pressure the Government of Paraguay to attend a meeting we requested before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to answer for its failures in protecting 'Mainumby', a 12-year-old rape and forced child pregnancy survivor. We're pleased to report that this year, Paraguay showed up! With our partner CLADEM, we pressed officials on their obligation to address the rampant sexual violence against adolescent girls in the country - starting with Mainumby.
Rapists sentenced to 15 years in Brazil
In May 2016, 16-year-old 'Claudia' survived a brutal gang rape that was filmed and circulated on social media. Equality Now and our partners, The Vance Center for Human Rights and CLADEM-Brazil, launched a campaign during the 2016 Brazil Summer Olympics in support of Claudia's quest for justice. We're encouraged to report that two of the rapists have since been sentenced.
In July 2016, 17-year-old Mayar Mohamed Mousa died as yet another victim of female genital mutilation (FGM). Five months later authorities handed down a 'punishment' of just 5,000 Egyptian pounds (a little over 250USD/EUR) and one year suspended sentences for her death. Equality Now and our Egyptian partners have been pushing for an appeal of this outrageous decision, but authorities aren't responding.
International attention helped get some Justice for Soheir, a 13-year-old who also lost her life to medicalized FGM. Will you raise your voice again? Human rights defenders are under attack in Egypt and local NGOs fear that all the recent progress to address FGM in Egypt will be lost. Justice for Mayar!
Reforming rape laws in Bolivia
In 2014, Equality Now partnered with Brisa de Angulo, a sexual violence survivor and founder of a Breeze of Hope, to tackle the extremely high rates of sexual abuse and incest of girls in Bolivia. We're advocating for Bolivia to repeal its harmful laws on rape and consent - particularly "estupro," which imposes lesser penalties for the rape of 14 to 18 year olds. On 18 March, Equality Now, Brisa, and our legal partners Hughes Hubbard & Reed and the Human Rights Advocacy and Litigation Clinic at Rutgers Law School, pushed for legal reform and action in Brisa's own stalled case at a Thematic Hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
March was a big month for our Justice for Girls work. Click on the picture to see our staff and partners in action.