Donor Direct Action strengthens women’s rights organizations around the world by increasing access to funds, advocacy, and visibility. As partners and donors ourselves, we know the importance of minimum bureaucracy and maximum power and flexibility on the ground.
We will be honoring activist / philanthropist Bonnie Schaefer and Nepal Supreme Court Justice Sapana Pradhan-Malla for their life-saving work for women and girls around the world. And we will be celebrating Robin Morgan, who founded the Sisterhood Is Global Institute with Simone de Beauvoir in 1984. Special guests include Gloria Steinem, Lynn Nottage, Navi Pillay and Sarah Jones.
Early last year 20 year old Siam Lee was taken from a brothel in Durban, South Africa by a 29 year old man. He reportedly held her for over 24 hours, beat her and set her on fire in a field. She died soon afterwards. His trial is due to take place in July.
Women who have managed to survive the sex trade know that the risk of violence from a sex buyer is extremely high.
I founded Embrace Dignity to end commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking here in South Africa. Please give what you can to help us do more to ensure that women like Siam are protected, and that sex buyers, pimps and brothel-owners are held accountable for the devastating harm they cause.
BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of Congo, May 3 2019 (IPS) – To be able to tackle a problem we must first recognize that it exists. When I first spoke at the United Nations Security Council in 2009, I was asked why the issue of sexual violence was even relevant to peace and security. At that time, it was not generally accepted that rape is in fact a weapon of war. Today, that statement is both widely accepted and central to the international community’s understanding of this crucial issue.
The government claims it supports the new Sexual Offenses Act but we have yet to see this happen in practice. Traditional courts are still used to settle disputes, so getting justice continues to be extremely difficult for Somali women and girls.
PRESS RELEASE: US Shamefully Weakens UN Resolution on Sexual Violence in Conflict April 23 2019
At a United Nations Security Council meeting today in New York focused on “Women, Peace and Security: Sexual Violence In Conflict” the United States appeared to side with Russia and China and forced current president of Germany to significantly water down its resolution to help provide better services for survivors of sexual violence in conflict. This failure by the US to recognize the sexual and reproductive health needs of survivors greatly undermines efforts to strengthen the UN’s work to end sexual violence in conflict and protect those victimized by it. It also follows the removal of other language relating to the formation of a UN monitoring body to report instances of sexual violence in conflict.
“There is simply no excuse for continuing to fail those who have already been victimized – as well as those who continue to be at risk of – devastating levels of sexual violence in conflict,” said Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad, Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, who spoke at today’s meeting of the UN Security Council, in a joint statement ahead of the meeting.
“It is unthinkable and bizarre to see the US lining up with Russia and China to block efforts to strengthen the UN’s ability to effectively address rape in conflict and to provide sexual violence survivors with sexual and reproductive health services. This resolution is about the Rohinga girls systematically raped in Myanmar, the Yezidi girls enslaved by ISIS, the Congolese girls who flock to Panzi Hospital seeking medical help and desperately needing comprehensive health services for the sexual violence they have endured.
It’s shocking that the United States turned its back on these girls and jeopardized this urgently-needed Security Council resolution. The United States played such a significant role in the creation of the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict. Now it is lining up with Russia and China to weaken rather than strengthen this life-saving work,” said Jessica Neuwirth, director of The Sisterhood Is Global Institute and former Special Advisor on Sexual Violence to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2010.
The honor bestowed on us by the Norwegian Nobel Committee in late 2018, when we jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize, comes with tremendous responsibility. We believe it is our duty to bring forward the voices of survivors of sexual violence in conflict, their families and communities and advocate for more comprehensive and impactful approaches to prevent and respond to conflict-related sexual violence – particularly to those who have the means to strengthen prevention. This includes the United Nations Security Council as the preeminent institution for maintaining international peace and security.
Donor Direct Action’s official launch, featuring Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, Lynn Nottage and Robin Morgan, took place on March 9th at the Ford Foundation in New York City, hosted by director Jessica Neuwirth, DDA’s steering committee members, and artists Kate Whoriskey and Daniel Breaker.
Thanks to our many generous and enthusiastic supporters, as well as our partners from Afghanistan, Syria, and South Africa, the event was dynamic and inspiring.
Here are some photos from the evening, as well as media coverage highlighting the event. Take a look!
Gloria Steinem – Donor Direct Action Launch Party
Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, Robin Morgan, Jane Fonda, Mouna Ghanem, Najia Karimi, Jessica Neuwirth, Gloria Steinem, Hibaaq Osman
Gloria Steinem has changed the lives of countless women in every corner of the world, as well as in the United States. On the occasion of her 85th birthday we want to salute Gloria and thank her for all she has done to shine the brilliant light that surrounds her on so many women’s rights leaders around the world whose voices might not otherwise be heard.
Gloria Steinem at the 2015 launch of Donor Direct Action
We are honored to have Gloria as one of the co-conveners of Donor Direct Action, a project of the Sisterhood is Global Institute, on whose board she also sits. In honor of her birthday and her tremendous dedication to the advancement of women and girls everywhere, we hope you will make a donation to support women who are saving and changing lives on the front lines of our global movement.
Donor Direct Action believes in getting funds where they are most needed and will have maximum impact. Your donation will make a real difference in ending violence and discrimination and girls and women!