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Fighting for equality should not equal death - Justice for Salwa is Justice for All

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Image of Salwa Bugaighis

 

Salwa Bugaighis has a long history of Human Rights Advocacy in Libya

It’s been nine months since human rights lawyer Salwa Bugaighis, a revolutionary leader for equal rights and political participation for women, and a key player in Libya's 2011 revolution, was assassinated. Salwa devoted her life to advocating for democracy and was brutally murdered shortly after publically casting her vote in Libya’s national election. To date, Libyan authorities have not investigated Salwa’s murder or identified the perpetrators. The ongoing terror against human rights defenders, particularly women, continues with impunity.

Salwa is not the only one. She represents the millions of women and human rights activists striving to promote equality and women’s rights, who are being threatened, harassed, brutally attacked or murdered, in increasingly lawless environments. Condemning the escalating violence on activists, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stated, “[t]he climate of fear created by such attacks, coupled with the total impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators, threatens to silence the few independent voices emerging from within the country.”

We cannot tolerate this ongoing violence and lack of justice. In recognition of the millions of victims of violence who are silenced and do not get the justice they deserve, Equality Now, Karama and the Libyan Women's Platform for Peace need your help.

Please support the Justice for Salwa is Justice for All campaign, which puts pressure on international bodies and regional governments to hold perpetrators of violence against women in the Arab region to account. It also raises awareness of the ongoing struggles women face -- the threat of rape, physical and sexual abuse, trafficking, “honor killings”, ongoing exclusion from civil and political life and peacemaking processes, female genital mutilation, trafficking and death.

This year is a landmark year for women’s rights and gender equality. We celebrate 20 years since the creation of the Beijing Platform for Action, one of the most progressive plans to advance women's rights and achieve gender equality, and 15 years since UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which calls for women’s participation in civil and political life, was passed. This year the UN will also negotiate the new post-2015 development agenda that will define the next 15 years. Karama, the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace, and Equality Now firmly stand behind the numerous calls for women and civil society’s active and full participation in promoting democracy and influencing legal reforms. However, without security for these activists, calls for women’s participation, inclusion and equality are empty. Security and justice for violence against women and girls must be at the center of the international agenda. It is imperative that we act now.