Organización de Mujeres Salvadoreñas (ORMUSA)

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DDA partners with ORMUSA to support women and children in El Salvador.

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Article: Teenage girls most at risk amid rising sexual violence in El Salvador

Article: Teenage girls most at risk amid rising sexual violence in El Salvador

Study reveals 31% increase in sexual attacks since 2017, with many related to gang culture.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT (SPANISH, PDF)

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Happy 85th Birthday to Gloria Steinem!

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

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!

Yours sincerely,

Jessica Neuwirth
Director

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Dior Celebrates Sisterhood Is Global Institute!

On the occasion of International Women’s Day today I want to congratulate my friend and mentor, Robin Morgan, founder (together with Simone de Beauvoir) and President of the Sisterhood Is Global Institute. Robin’s writing and activism were celebrated in Paris recently, when Christian Dior turned her book titles “Sisterhood Is Global” and “Sisterhood Is Powerful” into public messaging as part of its 2019 Autumn/Winter collection.

Girls at the Galkayo Center
Sisterhood is Global t-shirts at Dior fashion show in Paris

It’s heartening that Dior has affirmed the feminist ideas that fuel the work of Donor Direct Action, a major project of the Sisterhood Is Global Institute that is supporting grassroots women leaders on the front lines who are fighting gender-based violence, female genital mutilation, sex trafficking, forced marriage, economic injustice, and so many other forms of violence and discrimination.

Please join us and make a donation. Help get funds where they are most needed and have the greatest impact!

We hope you will also join us on Facebook Live at 1.15pm on March 13th to hear from some of our partners – inspiring activists from around the world who are coming to the United Nations for this year’s Commission on the Status of Women.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Yours sincerely,

Jessica Neuwirth
Director

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Dior Honors Robin Morgan and Global Sisterhood

Dior Honors Robin Morgan and Global Sisterhood

CONTACT: Brendan Wynne or Jessica Neuwirth, media@donordirectaction.org, Tel: 212-848-9404

PARIS, FRANCE – The Sisterhood Is Global Institute and its latest project Donor Direct Action congratulate SIG founder, Robin Morgan whose literary works and activism were celebrated in Paris on Tuesday February 26th by the legendary House of Dior. Maria Grazia Chiuri––Dior’s first female Creative Director in its 73-year history––was inspired by Morgan, and said, “The simple fact of choosing one’s clothes becomes a political semaphore.” Silkscreened t-shirts pay homage to the literary works of Morgan, the American feminist poet, with elements from her iconic books Sisterhood is Powerful (1970), Sisterhood is Global (1984) and Sisterhood is Forever (2003).”

Morgan is the prize-winning author of 23 books. In 1984 she and the late Simone de Beauvoir, together with women from 80 countries, co-founded The Sisterhood is Global Institute, the first international feminist think-tank. The Institute’s latest project is Donor Direct Action, a crowd-funding platform that supports women’s groups around the world.

“I’m so pleased that Maria Grazia’s decision to infuse fashion with these strong feminist messages will highlight The Institute’s ongoing work for the freedom, safety, and empowerment of all women. It’s time every person of conscience wore feminism on their sleeve!”—Robin Morgan, co-founder and president of The Sisterhood Is Global Institute.

“It’s heartening that Dior’s first female director affirms the feminist ideas that fuel our work, which supports grassroots activist women on the front lines, fighting violence, FGM, child and forced marriage, economic injustice, and sexist laws.” – Jessica Neuwirth, Donor Direct Action, a project of The Sisterhood Is Global Institute.

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The rape and murder of Aisha, a 12 year-old girl

I woke up last Monday to hear the tragic news that 12 year-old Aisha Elias Adan was raped and murdered in a nearby village in my state of Galkayo in Puntland, Somalia. She had been missing since the previous day. Her body was dumped in front of her family’s home.

Aisha’s genitals were severely injured and stuffed with plastic bags, making it more difficult for DNA evidence to be gathered.

Due in part to its shocking nature the police is taking the case seriously and has arrested four suspects.

Aisha Elias Adan

Aisha Elias Adan

We worked hard to get Puntland’s Sexual Offences Bill passed over two years ago, but it is rarely used. In fact, this is the first reported case of rape and murder, even though we know it happens regularly.

I set up the Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development in 1999 to protect and educate girls in Somalia. Please give what you can afford to help us continue this urgent work, which can save lives and helps to ensure a better future for all our girls.

Yours sincerely,

Hawa Aden Mohamed
Executive Director, The Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development

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Gang rape and murder of 12-year-old girl sparks outrage in Somalia

NAIROBI, Feb 28 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The gang rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl in Somalia has sparked outrage, demonstrations and calls for authorities to use a landmark 2016 law to secure justice, in a country where violence against women is rarely punished.

Read the full article

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Afghan women urgently need your support

As the United States makes plans to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan in the coming months, Afghan women and children continue to be at extreme risk of violence in their communities as well as in their homes.

Zulikha was regularly raped by her alcoholic father in rural Afghanistan. Instead of helping to protect her, her husband made the abuse she endured worse. He beat her too and insisted that she obey her violent father.

After some time Zulikha managed to escape and get help from Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan (HAWCA). HAWCA is demanding that both men be imprisoned and that Zulikha be given a divorce.

Girls at the Galkayo Center

Girls getting educated at HAWCA’s shelter, Afghanistan.

Shazia, another Afghan woman, didn’t manage to escape. She was murdered by her abusive husband, who threw her body in the gutter. He claimed it was an “honor killing”. In fact he had gambled away her jewelry and tried to conceal his mistake. In this case HAWCA secured a 20 year prison sentence for the culprit – ensuring justice in memory of Shazia.

Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a woman. HAWCA is doing everything it can to change this. Please support them in their ground-breaking work, which victims of violence so desperately need.

Your gift could make the difference between safety and fear – even life and death – for Afghan women and girls.

Yours sincerely,

Jessica Neuwirth
Director

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Support women who are stopping FGM on the front lines

Last year our partners in Sierra Leone and Somalia worked on getting international attention to the deaths of several young girls caused by female genital mutilation (FGM), an extreme form of subjugation, which has affected over 200 million women and girls around the world. In each case the government indicated it was going to act, but little has happened since.

Although both countries have extremely high levels of prevalence at 88% and 98% respectively, neither has banned FGM, making it almost impossible for victims to get justice. 

Girls at the Galkayo Center

Marie Kamara’s remains being taken for postmortem in Sierra Leone, Dec 2018

Front line groups including The Galkayo Center in Somalia, Amazonian Initiative Movement in Sierra Leone, Tasaru Ntomonok Initiative in Kenya and Voix de Femmes in Burkina Faso have made great progress, but with up to 5 million girls at risk each year they know that there is still a mountain to climb.

Just last week a British court found a woman guilty of committing female genital mutilation on her 3-year-old daughter, the first conviction under the UK law banning FGM was passed in 1985. That law was championed by Efua Dorkenoo, in whose memory we have established the Fund to End FGM.

This International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM please give what you can to our grassroots Efua Dorkenoo Fund To End FGM. We want as much funding as possible to get to the front lines, where it is urgently needed every single day of the year.

Yours sincerely,

Jessica Neuwirth
Director

Support Efua Dorkenoo Fund to End FGM

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Gloria Steinem Equality Fund To End Sex Trafficking

According to the United Nations an estimated $30 Billion in profits is generated by the human trafficking industry. 80% of those trafficked end up in the commercial sex trade, but extremely low funding levels greatly hinder the many front line activists, who work towards ending sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.

Alongside countless sex trade survivors and grassroots women’s groups Donor Direct Action supports the Equality model of sex trade policy (also known as the Swedish or Nordic model). Spearheaded by Sweden in 1999 this approach decriminalizes and supports those sold for sex, while maintaining criminal penalties on pimps, brothel-owners and sex buyers.

Norway and Iceland followed suit about ten years ago, and over the past few years Canada, Northern Ireland, France, the Republic of Ireland and Israel adopted a similar approach. This policy perspective is founded on the principle of gender equality. It is therefore no coincidence that many of the countries that have enacted it are also those very same countries which appear at the top of international rankings for levels of gender equality.

Despite growing evidence for the success of the Equality model – and increasing knowledge that legalizing or decriminalizing the entire sex trade is a failed experiment – funding for promoting this approach remains extremely scarce. Simultaneously, large funding streams have been directed towards decriminalizing the entire sex trade, which would be devastating for those (mainly) women and girls who find themselves trapped within it.

Partnering with the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), SPACE International and others, Donor Direct Action has recently launched the Gloria Steinem Equality Fund to End Sex Trafficking (the Equality Fund).

Seed funding for this critical initiative has already been generously provided by NoVo Foundation, Ford Foundation, as well as a host of engaged individual donors including Bonnie and Marla Schaefer and Abigail Disney.

In an effort to redress the urgent funding imbalance, which excludes front line groups supporting the Equality model, the Equality Fund will re-grant to these groups exclusively and work towards supporting a sex trade survivor led movement to abolish the system of prostitution, which fuels sex trafficking around the world.

Donor Direct Action does not accept unsolicited proposals for funding. Current grantees are the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), SPACE International, Embrace Dignity (South Africa), Marta (Latvia), Apne Aap India, Moonchi (South Korea), Stigamot (Iceland), AMADAH (Argentina), Movimiento El Pozo (Peru), Stop Demand (New Zealand), Solwodi (Germany) and Maiti Nepal.

 

Make a contribution to the Gloria Steinem Equality Fund To End Sex Trafficking.

10 yr old girl dies in Sierra Leone after FGM

Ten year old Marie Kamara died yesterday after undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a secret society initiation ceremony in the Tonkololi District of central Sierra Leone. 

Girls at the Galkayo Center

Marie Kamara’s remains being taken for postmortem yesterday

The chief Sowei (society leader) was arrested, but there is still no national ban on this extreme subjugation of girls in a country where almost 90% have been affected. Unlike in other countries, there is a lack of governmental condemnation in Sierra Leone.

Local activist Rugiatu Turay from Amazonian Initiative Movement is leading efforts to ensure that Marie can get justice, but also that FGM is banned, so no more girls have to endure this harmful – in this case fatal – violation of their human rights.

In memory of Marie Kamala please support Amazonian Initiative Movement and other front line groups in their critical work to end FGM.

Yours sincerely,

Jessica Neuwirth
Director

You can read more about this case on Reuters

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