Catapult partnered with six powerful women’s funds, supporting six critical feminist issues. And FRIDA was one of them! We were featured at The Women’s Forum Global Meeting 2015, along with other women’s rights funds and organizations. Show your support and act now. Help us in ending gender based violence. Follow this link to know more: http://bit.ly/1L416SE
FRIDA’s campaign seeks to end gender based violence. We believe that if we end violence against young women and girls TODAY, we can achieve a better TOMORROW. There is simply no excuse for violence. It should never be the reason for a young woman to feel afraid to walk on the streets. It shouldn’t be the reason a girl stops going to school, and it shouldn’t contribute a culture of impunity. Across the world, young women and girls are saying ‘no more excuses’ and taking matters in their own hands. Here are three powerful and compelling stories of resilience that we’ve known closely:
In India, rape and sexual harassment of women are increasingly becoming common occurrences that often go unreported resulting in low conviction rates remain low. Tired of the deafening silence and wanting to protect their peers, Red Brigade is a group born out of survivors of sexual violence who train young women and girls in martial arts for self-defense. They also help organize street patrols to shame harassers and start public dialogue on this epidemic. Their bravery and boldness has won them international fame, yet the group remains without basic funds to secure a safe space for their activities and are under constant threat of backlash. They were awarded their first FRIDA grant in 2014, and have used the funds to organize more self-defense workshops, public actions, and purchase a small piece of land where they hope to build a training academy. A major outcome of their work this year was the installation of CCTV cameras in different areas of the city to thwart perpetrators of violence.
Meanwhile in Malawi, Amina Size was 15 years old when she was forced to marry and stop going to school. The Foundation for Civic Education and Social Empowerment (FOCESE) helped Amina to divorce her husband and successfully re-enroll at school. Founded in 2013, FOCESE is run by other young women who were forced to marry at a young age, drop out of school, and have children all before the age of 18. With a FRIDA grant, the group has helped 25 teen mothers get back to school, providing them funds for their school uniforms, books, and pens. At the same time, FOCESE has been working with community leaders, parents, and other girls to delay marriage and ensure girls can continue to go to school even if they are married or have become mothers. Seeing young women advocate for themselves about their rights is already changing negative stereotypes and practices within one generation.
And finally, a group of young women activists in Lebanon are confronting gender discrimination in the media and how it perpetuates cultures of violence by casting women as sexualized objects. Naming themselves, Fe-Male, they are “filling a gap” in the women’s human rights community by pioneering new forms of media activism through radio, public street art, and social media to raise women human rights issues. A recent graffiti project named “Sell your products not your body“ attracted widespread attention due to its placement on one of the busiest streets of Beirut. The group feels their regular media actions help to spark healthy debate about the negative images of women and how it contributes to a culture of violence against women.
These three stories represent just a few of the many different solutions young women and girls are proposing to end violence. FRIDA believes in the power of young feminist activists to mobilize their communities to provide much needed programs to young women and girls who experience or are threatened by violence, while addressing the negative attitudes and practices that are at the root of perpetuating cultures of violence. By providing young women leaders with funds and other resources, we can ensure their ideas are not lost, but instead strengthened and scaled up, so that we can achieve a new world, one based on equality and joy, and free from violence.
A person’s gender should never become an excuse for inflicting violence. Follow our updates on Facebook #SayNoMoreViolence Click here to donate for our crowdfunding campaign to end gender based violence