When Ines Santizo was a young girl her mother woke her up on the middle of the night and told her to get out of the house: Her stepfather was coming home in a drunk and violent state. Before Ines could escape, her stepfather kicked her in the face and broke her nose. “My mother thought I was going to die, there was so much blood,” Ines said. “I swore right then that I would never allow a man to treat me like that again.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posts Tagged ‘women’s rights’
Here at Oxfam we are following Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s tour of Africa closely. She seems to be tackling some of the tough issues: political violence in Kenya and democratic reforms and government accountability in Angola (which just became the largest oil producer in Africa, with an economic growth rate of 18 percent). Nor is Secretary Clinton is shying away from one of the continent’s worst crises: widespread gender violence in eastern Congo, where 600 civilians have been killed and thousands of others have been raped since January. For those who are following the situation, Marcel Stoessel, Oxfam’s director in the Democratic Republic of Congo, blogged about his first-hand experience in Congo. Colleagues here at Oxfam America shot a short video about gender violence in Congo that includes some striking testimonial from Congolese women.
Tomorrow is the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, so the fact that the conflict in DR Congo is in the news seems fitting. It’s been 60 years since we set out to ensure that civilians would be protected from violence. If you want to know why the Geneva Conventions are still relevant today, think about life in the Congo—especially for women and girls.
We are just hearing some good news this week from our program officer Michael Chimedza in Maputo that Mozambique’s parliament has passed a bill on domestic violence. This is a significant milestone for women in that it now allows police and prosecutors to act directly against perpetrators of domestic violence against women and children as a “public crime” or criminal matter. This is significant: the police no longer have to wait for a victim to file a formal complaint to take action. Read the rest of this entry »
Lilly Ledbetter sued her employer Goodyear 11 years ago because she found out she was not being paid as well as men in the same positions. But the Supreme Court threw out the case because she did not file it within six months of when the discrimination had occurred.
I just saw her on television standing next to President Obama when he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which according to this story in the Washington Post will “[expand] the time frame in which workers can sue for discrimination they have experienced based on gender, race, national origin or religion.” Read the rest of this entry »
Two years ago, I visited a charismatic woman known as Mama Grace in Soweto. She ran a South African community organization that serves meals to children in her cinder-block garage-turned cafeteria. She led us in a prayer before lunch and everyone bowed their heads—except me. I was watching Mama Grace pray. After we all said “Amen,” Mama Grace pointed at me and said “That one was looking at me and not praying!”
Busted. Read the rest of this entry »
When you read about the rate of infection of HIV in South Africa, the numbers are hard to comprehend. It is the country with the most people in the world living with HIV and AIDS: nearly 5.5 million of the country’s total population of 48 million. In some parts of the country one in five is infected. Read the rest of this entry »