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Mutilation, Strangling & Queens - 8 Things You Need To Know About 2013's Struggle To End The Oppression Of Women

What 2013 brought to the fight for women's rights around the world, and a look at the most fearless, shocking, and important moments in the struggle against honor violence. Be informed - because Culture is No Excuse for Abuse!

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We are Malala

The modest yet fierce schoolgirl-turned-warrior may not have seized the Nobel Prize this year, but she succeeded in winning the hearts and minds of anyone and everyone who takes the slightest interest in the rights of women, the education of children, and the harsh reality of extremist cruelty around the world. Her sweet smile, bright eyes and gifted tongue have us convinced that her award-winning book and trunk full of international awards are only the beginning of what Malala will achieve.
The Nation / Via nation.com.pk

The modest yet fierce schoolgirl-turned-warrior may not have seized the Nobel Prize this year, but she succeeded in winning the hearts and minds of anyone and everyone who takes the slightest interest in the rights of women, the education of children, and the harsh reality of extremist cruelty around the world. Her sweet smile, bright eyes and gifted tongue have us convinced that her award-winning book and trunk full of international awards are only the beginning of what Malala will achieve.

Long Live the Queens - Justice Out of Africa

Africa continues to be a turbulent continent, but progress is underway to protect women and girls. Africa’s most powerful women are uniting to put an end to harmful practices such as FGM and child marriage. In September, over 40 African queens, queen mothers, princesses and female leaders converged to condemn the subjugation of women and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation rituals, and to insist that women be given freedom and the ability to take charge of their own futures. There is hope for Africa.

Africa continues to be a turbulent continent, but progress is underway to protect women and girls. Africa’s most powerful women are uniting to put an end to harmful practices such as FGM and child marriage. In September, over 40 African queens, queen mothers, princesses and female leaders converged to condemn the subjugation of women and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation rituals, and to insist that women be given freedom and the ability to take charge of their own futures. There is hope for Africa.

Child Marriage on the Run at the UN

The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution dedicated to ending forced child marriage. The resolution came following an international uproar over the death of an 8 year old Yemeni girl from internal injuries suffered during the forced consummation of her forced marriage to an older man. Over 100 countries co-sponsored the resolution that was adopted on September 27. The historic proposal calls child marriage a human rights violation and calls for the elimination of child, early and forced marriage to be made part of the development agenda after 2015. Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Honduras, and Yemen – countries with high rates of child marriage – signed on. Yet many South Asian countries, including India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan did not. Considering that almost half of all child marriages occur in South Asia, more progress needs to be made before the harmful practice is blighted out – yet the momentousness of this resolution cannot be ignored. Child marriage is on the run.
National Geographic / Via ngm.nationalgeographic.com

The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution dedicated to ending forced child marriage. The resolution came following an international uproar over the death of an 8 year old Yemeni girl from internal injuries suffered during the forced consummation of her forced marriage to an older man.

Over 100 countries co-sponsored the resolution that was adopted on September 27. The historic proposal calls child marriage a human rights violation and calls for the elimination of child, early and forced marriage to be made part of the development agenda after 2015. Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Honduras, and Yemen – countries with high rates of child marriage – signed on. Yet many South Asian countries, including India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan did not. Considering that almost half of all child marriages occur in South Asia, more progress needs to be made before the harmful practice is blighted out – yet the momentousness of this resolution cannot be ignored. Child marriage is on the run.

Leyla Cries at the Mall

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) threatens the health, dignity and general well-being of millions of girls and women. It is the act of cutting, sewing, or extracting various parts of the female genitalia. A practice singularly aimed at curbing the sexual desire of girls and women and marking them as “pure”, it is one of the most widespread methods used to subjugate girls and women in the name of honor.Anti-FGM activist Leyla Hussein took a clipboard to a local UK mall to see if those unfamiliar with the practice would support it as a cultural ritual. She had to abandon the experiment just minutes after beginning once she realized that many people would indeed support the practice, especially in the name of “culture.” She was devastated with the results and stopped the experiment, instead retreating to a quiet place to cry.Though the initial results were devastating, Leyla’s courage has brought international attention to the problem of FGM – next year, she may not have to shed any tears.
Daily Mail / Via dailymail.co.uk

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) threatens the health, dignity and general well-being of millions of girls and women. It is the act of cutting, sewing, or extracting various parts of the female genitalia. A practice singularly aimed at curbing the sexual desire of girls and women and marking them as “pure”, it is one of the most widespread methods used to subjugate girls and women in the name of honor.

Anti-FGM activist Leyla Hussein took a clipboard to a local UK mall to see if those unfamiliar with the practice would support it as a cultural ritual. She had to abandon the experiment just minutes after beginning once she realized that many people would indeed support the practice, especially in the name of “culture.” She was devastated with the results and stopped the experiment, instead retreating to a quiet place to cry.

Though the initial results were devastating, Leyla’s courage has brought international attention to the problem of FGM – next year, she may not have to shed any tears.

'International Violence Against Women Act' Rises Again

The International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) is a piece of legislation aimed at supporting economic and education opportunities, intervention services and healthcare programs, and training for US and foreign military and police in order to protect and respond to women in foreign countries threatened by violence. Brought to Capitol Hill in February 2010, it did not even leave committee. This November, IVAWA was reintroduced and is gaining traction. Let’s hope this year, IVAWA goes all the way.
Via openthemagazine.com

The International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) is a piece of legislation aimed at supporting economic and education opportunities, intervention services and healthcare programs, and training for US and foreign military and police in order to protect and respond to women in foreign countries threatened by violence. Brought to Capitol Hill in February 2010, it did not even leave committee. This November, IVAWA was reintroduced and is gaining traction.

Let’s hope this year, IVAWA goes all the way.

Honor Killing Meets the 'Ultimate Woman Warrior'

Standing up to real threats of violence in order to speak truth and earn freedom for women can be intimidating. But one UK woman who refused to back down in her fight to bring her sister-in-law’s killer to justice was dubbed the “Ultimate Women’s Warrior of the Year”, winning the edgy award for being the first British person ever to testify in open court in a case of honor killing. Though she lived through hell for years and put her life at risk, she now lives in peace with her children.
Daily Mail / Via dailymail.co.uk

Standing up to real threats of violence in order to speak truth and earn freedom for women can be intimidating. But one UK woman who refused to back down in her fight to bring her sister-in-law’s killer to justice was dubbed the “Ultimate Women’s Warrior of the Year”, winning the edgy award for being the first British person ever to testify in open court in a case of honor killing. Though she lived through hell for years and put her life at risk, she now lives in peace with her children.

Female Genital Mutilation Faces the Knife in the US

Heralding in the new year of 2013, US President Obama passed the Transport for Female Genital Mutilation Act, an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.Though anti FGM laws do exist in America, this act strengthens the existing federal FGM ban by making it illegal to knowingly transport a girl out of the United States to be subjected to the procedure. The amendment specifically targets “vacation cutting”, by which parents of girls living in the United States take their daughters abroad for FGM procedures during breaks in the academic year.Those found guilty under the new legislation will be sentenced to up to five years imprisonment.
The Guardian / Via theguardian.com

Heralding in the new year of 2013, US President Obama passed the Transport for Female Genital Mutilation Act, an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.

Though anti FGM laws do exist in America, this act strengthens the existing federal FGM ban by making it illegal to knowingly transport a girl out of the United States to be subjected to the procedure. The amendment specifically targets “vacation cutting”, by which parents of girls living in the United States take their daughters abroad for FGM procedures during breaks in the academic year.

Those found guilty under the new legislation will be sentenced to up to five years imprisonment.

Women's Rights Enjoy Good Karma with British Royals

Jasvinder Sanghera, who escaped her own forced marriage at the tender age of 15, received the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) award at Buckingham palace this December. The award came in recognition of her unwavering work protecting UK girls from victimization through honor-based violence or unwanted marriages by their families. Her organization, Karma Nirvana, has been the catalyst for tremendous change: they were instrumental in criminalizing forced marriage and they field thousands of anonymous phone calls through their national hotline. In their new campaign, they encourage girls at risk of being transported across borders to “put a spoon in your knickers” as a last resort.
Via derbytelegraph.co.uk

Jasvinder Sanghera, who escaped her own forced marriage at the tender age of 15, received the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) award at Buckingham palace this December. The award came in recognition of her unwavering work protecting UK girls from victimization through honor-based violence or unwanted marriages by their families.

Her organization, Karma Nirvana, has been the catalyst for tremendous change: they were instrumental in criminalizing forced marriage and they field thousands of anonymous phone calls through their national hotline. In their new campaign, they encourage girls at risk of being transported across borders to “put a spoon in your knickers” as a last resort.

Happy 2014 to Women Worldwide!

As always, the fight for women's rights is filled with elation and heartbreak. This year was a year of inspiration as we watched young heroines inspire the world, royalty break the cycle of violence, and activists take to the streets and the fields to rewrite the script on women's rights. And yet, it was a year of suffering and despair for millions of women for whom change has not yet come.

We are starting to see fissures and the elements needed for serious change. You can make all the difference in the lives of your sisters around the world. Here's to success and happiness for all women in 2014!

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