Recently, a Chilean women's movement attracted attention. More than 10.000 Women went to Santiago de Chile against sexual, physical and psychological violence by men on the streets. They wore masks and made themselves heard with an insistent chant: “It is not my fault, no matter how I was dressed – you are the rapist.”
The hymn has long since become an international one Feminist phenomenon developed, was sung in Buenos Aires, Paris, New York and Berlin.
In other parts of the world women take to the streets, start campaigns and join forces to fight violence and the discrimination they experience. All over the world women stand up for their rights – and that of all people. Activists sometimes face severe repression, and in some countries they even risk their lives.
Still, they are as tireless as their struggle is essential: global violence against women is alarming. According to the World Health Organization, 35 physical percent of all women experience in their lives and sexual violence. And according to Unicef, twelve million girls worldwide are registered under 18 Years married.
The following four activists from four non-European countries should serve as examples for the many who are tirelessly fighting for their rights.
Mexico: Norma Librada Ledezma
Norma Librada Ledezmas 15 – year-old daughter Paloma disappeared on March 2 2002 in Chihuahua, Mexico. 27 For days, the mother searched desperately for her daughter . The police did not give her any support. At the 29. March 2002 Paloma's body was found. Ledezma is convinced that if the police had investigated earlier and more thoroughly, their daughter could have been saved.
That day, the Mexican founded the organization “Justicia para nuestras hijas”, which means: justice for our daughters. This provides legal advice and support in cases of feminicide (murder of women). The same applies to human trafficking and kidnapping.
Ledezma wants justice for the victims and the families affected. The Mexican has already supported more than 200 investigations into cases of feminicide and kidnapping. The death of her daughter Paloma is not an isolated case in Mexico. According to UN Women, around ten women are killed in Mexico every day.
Ledezma has been able to improve the investigation of feminicides in the country with her work. The Mexican woman has also set up a public prosecutor's office in Chihuahua that specializes in crimes against women as victims. For her commitment, Ledezma has been nominated for the Martin Ennals Human Rights Award, an award for people and organizations who are committed to protecting human rights. The murderer of her daughter Paloma has not yet been found.
India: Malti Tudu
Malti Tudu has a mission: she wants it End child marriage in their homeland, the state of Bihar, India. In the tribe of 22 – is the The number of child marriages is particularly high. 74 percent of women get married under 18 years. Tudu himself was spared from this.
For the young activist, one thing is certain: children should not be allowed to marry. According to Unicef, child marriage violates the rights of girls and boys, with girls being affected five times more often. Minors become addicted at an early age. The married girls have to drop out of school. Teenage mothers also die more often than mature women from complications during pregnancy or childbirth.
Tudu has been fighting child marriage in Bihar for more than two years. The activist has partnered with other women. Together they educate the residents in the surrounding villages and try to prevent as many child marriages as possible. The women also get a lot of headwind in their actions.
But Tudu remains persistent – with success. She has already saved several girls from getting married. In the meantime, she has become a role model for many young women in India. In recent years, more and more women have come together to fight child marriage in India. And there is progress: In the past ten years, the proportion of child marriages in India has gone from 50 percent to 27 percent.
Kenya: Christine Ghati Alfons
Christine Ghati Alfons, a young Kenyan, is fighting for the circumcision of girls to stop. That is not easy. Many in their homeland are still convinced that circumcised women have better chances of marriage and are better integrated into the community.
Officially, genital mutilation has been official in Kenya since 2011 forbidden. Nevertheless, according to the United Nations, one in five women is still between 15 and 49 years in Kenya – the mutilation happens in private clinics or at home.
Had her father not stood up for her then, Alfons would have been circumcised. His involvement broke a taboo in the community – and had consequences. He was killed because he wanted to protect his eight-year-old daughter.
Alfons didn't know anything about her father's courage for a long time. Because all of her friends were circumcised, she wanted that too.
The vehemence with which her mother forbade her surprised her. When they talked about the risk of contracting HIV during circumcision at school, Alfons decided against it. Only then did she learn from the mother why her father died.
“I want to make my father proud,” says Alfons today. She is committed to girls who have no one to stand up for them. The 27 year-old founded the organization “Safe Engage Foundation ”with which she goes to the communities to talk to children, parents and teachers, to convince them of the cruelty.
When genital mutilation occurs, the clitoris and labia become partially or completely away. In particularly severe cases, the entire external genitalia is cut off and sewn back up except for a hole the size of a matchstick. The circumcised women torture themselves throughout their lives with physical and psychological pain. Not only in Africa, but also in Asia and the Middle East.
Worldwide 200 millions of women are circumcised, another three million girls at risk each year.
Saudi Arabia: Manal al Sharif
Manal al Sharif becomes 2011 famous in Saudi Arabia with a shaky cell phone video that she films in an apparently banal activity: she is behind the wheel of a car. At the time, the autocratic monarchy was the last country in the world where women were prohibited from driving a car.
The eight-minute recording shows Sharif, an IT consultant, driving through the streets of the Saudi city of Khobar. She speaks to her friend and co-activist Wajeha al Huwaider, says things like: “We want change in our country” and: “A woman deserves the same rights as every man.” And she is optimistic. “Things will change – God willing.”
A lot has happened since the video went viral. Initially, the Sharif admission jailed for eleven days. The repressive regime accuses her of “inciting public opinion against the state”. When she is released, she leaves the country because of death threats.
But Sharif's video fired the Saudi “Women2Drive” movement. And even after her emigration, the activist remains part of the movement, campaigning for women's rights in Saudi Arabia. 2018 the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – de facto the most powerful man in the country – allows women to drive.
Nevertheless, he continues to take decisive action against critics of the Kingdom. According to Amnesty, some women’s rights activists, such as Loujain al Hathloul, have been detained for several years, relatives report torture.
Sharif now lives in Sydney, has written a book about her experiences and is committed to Women in their country of origin.
“The fight doesn't end once you achieve something. He has to go on so that the right is not revoked, “she said 2017 to the” mirror ” . Manal al Sharif is now considered one of the most important women rights activists in Saudi Arabia.