Thursday, August 20, 2009

V-Day: Update from Eve in Kenya, On Hillary Clinton's Visit to the DRC

  V-Day V-Mail

Update from Eve in Kenya, on Hillary Clinton's Visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo

I have just returned from Nairobi with members of our V-team (Cecile Lipworth, Managing Director - Campaigns & Development; Purva Panday, Director - Programs and Development; and Rada Boric, Croatia Director), V-Board (Carole Black, Katherine McFate, and Pat Mitchell), photographer Paula Allen, and supporter Beth Karpfinger.

I want you to know that this has been a week of miracles. Our time in Kenya revealed that our work is bearing fruit, huge delicious successful fruit. Agnes Pareyio (Founder of the V-Day Safe House) has become a major leader and we are pleased to announce that she has just been appointed V-Day's Kenya Director. She has helped to reduce FGM and child marriage in communities in Massailand significantly, and we can now see a future where it will end. Under her care, the V-Day Safe Houses have become places for girls who run for often long distances in order not to be cut, refuse child marriage (which is tantamount to slavery), go to school. At the new Safe House (which is utterly beautiful, several buildings on gorgeous property) there is a well for water with a windmill. It now provides water for the surrounding community and in a time of drought you can imagine how much this has made the community appreciate Agnes and embrace her ending FGM...

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While all this was happening Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to Eastern Congo, propelled there by our campaign and the many groups and individuals joined in this effort. She met with our activists: Christine Schuler-Deschryver, Director of V-Day Congo, Esther Noto, V-Day Activist from Goma, Dr. Mukwege, Founder of Panzi Hospital and Godfather of the V-Men's movement and Chou Chou Namegabe Nabintu, President of the South Kivu's Association of Women Journalists (AFEM), her radio media group that V-Day is funding, who brilliantly and passionately put forward strategies and plans of actions that we have worked on for years. For maybe the first time in history a U.S. Secretary of State made the systematic raping of women the reason to visit a country. Clinton's trip to Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) signaled to the world that what happens to women actually matters. She listened to rape survivors, on the ground activists, and will hopefully be moved to action...

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READ the Los Angeles Times article - "Hillary Clinton's stop in Congo strikes a chord in Africa" >

As Elections in Afghanistan Take Place Thurday, Karzai Sells Women Out for Votes

President Karzai sold women in Afghanistan for the votes of the Fundamentalists. The Shia Personal Status Law, signed by Karazi in late July, takes Afghan women back to where they were before the U.S. so graciously decided to "save" them. This law contains provisions where a woman can only leave the house with her husband's permission if she has a "reasonable legal reason." Husbands have the right to starve their wives if their sexual demands are not met. If people in the United States were serious about "liberating" the women of Afghanistan as a reason to go to war, now might be the time to have their backs. Rather than blowing up more Afghans, we might instead provide women resources and protection for fighting for their rights. That would be money well spent.

Support our sisters in Afghanistan -

DONATE to Malaia Joya
Malalai Joya needs your support to carry on her humanitarian projects for Afghan women and to maintain her security costs.

DONATE to RAWA (Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan)

READ Rachel Read's Op-Ed in the Washingon Post - "For Afghan Women, Rights Again at Risk"

READ Eve's Latest Huffington Post piece "The Terminator is Back" on the California Governor Schwarzenegger's Domestic Violence Budget Cuts -

Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this.

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Posted by,

Jerin Alam

National NOW Young Feminist Task Force

NOW – NYS Young Feminist Task Force Chair

National Organization for Women (NOW)

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