Want to know what your favourite anti-Violence Against Women organisations are up to? Then delve into the Twittersphere and find out in real time! Twitter allows us to find out about the latest campaigns, events and news going on in the movement. All you have to do is log on and tune in…
Now, more than ever, it is important for activists fighting Violence Against Women (VAW) to join together in solidarity in fighting gender-based violence. Violence against women and girls is exacerbated by conflict, unequal patriarchal structures, “cultural practices” and a lack of awareness of the real issues many women face on a daily basis.
Twitter is one of the tools of the modern age that allows you to engage, connect and learn more at the click of a button. If you are thinking about joining in with women’s human rights campaigning in these #16days of activism (and beyond!), Twitter is a good place to start. You can read fresh articles, “listen” in on conversations on #vaw, and find out about a myriad of non-profit organisations and activists that are striving to make the world a better place for women and girls.
In this article, we present our 2012 selection 16 anti-VAW activists and non-profits to follow on Twitter! Read their tweets in the morning over breakfast, retweet a comment that you think will have an impact, share an article that has valuable content. Share the positivity and strength of our global online women’s human rights network – tweet by tweet, article by article – and we will get there together.
Written by Angelique Mulholland; Edited by Regina Yau and Crystal Smith
Bianca Jagger is the Founder & Chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation. Bianca Jagger is a former actress and model, once married to the famous Mick Jagger, and now a powerful, outspoken and effective human rights activist. Jagger currently serves as a Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador, Founder and Chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, and Member of the Executive Director’s Leadership Council of Amnesty International USA. Jagger had an epiphany 30 years ago in El Salvador where 40 refugees were nearly executed in front of her. She describes it as a turning point in her life and has been committed to human rights activism ever since. Ending violence against women is a fundamental part of her human rights campaigning and she often tweets about women’s human rights violations of around the world.
Carol Fenton is a committed and passionate human trafficking campaigner, tweeter and blogger. She tweets very regularly and often engages discussions on human trafficking and the problems that surround this very important issue becoming a top priority. The opening of her blog reads: “Human trafficking has no place in our state, our country or our world. Become more aware of this problem to eradicate it in our lifetime.” If you are interested in learning more about human trafficking, tweet Carol and say hi and ask her what you want to find out more about. We’re 100% sure she’ll tweet you back!
Elizabeth Broderick represents Australia in the United Nations every year and has facilitated the attendance of marginalized Australian women as key advocates to address issues such as alcohol abuse and domestic violence. During her term as Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth has focused on violence against women, led a review on the treatment of women in the Australian Defence Force, as well as worked to strengthen laws on gender equality and sexual discrimination. She is a regular tweeter and shares interesting views on women’s human rights in Australia and around the world.
The Western world has felt a global recession and charities in both developed and developing countries have felt the impact. How do NGOs/charities/not-for-profits survive without funding? Cue The Global Fund for Women! The Global Fund for Women is a publicly supported, nonprofit grantmaking foundation that advances women’s human rights by funding women-led organizations worldwide. They provide general operating support grants to organizations working at the local, regional and national levels to enable women and girls to reach their potential and live free of discrimination and violence. As of 11/10/2012, the Global Fund for Women has made a total of 8,992 grants for $103,466,322.21 to 4,596 organizations in 174 countries.
Inspired by the ground breaking, bestselling novel by journalists Nick Kristof and Wu Dunn “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide”, the Half the Sky Movement is on a mission to end violence against women by galvanizing people from across the world to stand up and take responsibility. This international movement believes violence against women is this century’s moral and social fight, the issue of our generation, and that we have reached a tipping point and change is not just likely but essential and inevitable: “From Somaliland to Cambodia to Afghanistan, women’s oppression is being confronted head on and real, meaningful solutions are being fashioned. Change is happening, and it’s happening now.”
Lisa Shannon founded the first national grassroots effort to raise awareness and funds for women in the DR Congo through her project Run for Congo Women. They have sponsored more than a thousand war-affected Congolese women through Women for Women International. These women are raising more than 5000 children. She traveled solo into Eastern Congo’s South Kivu province for five and half weeks in January- February 2007, and again in May 2008. Prior to Lisa’s travels through Congo, was named a “2006 Hero of Running” by Runner’s World Magazine and O, The Oprah Magazine wrote, “Lisa Shannon read our report—and started a movement.” Follow Lisa to get updates on her activism and be inspired to start doing your bit for the cause!
Make Every Woman Count is a women led organisation that is committed to actively promoting the empowerment and rights of every African woman. The organisation focuses on 6 priority areas that are vital to women’s rights and gender equality: Human Rights of Women, Women, Peace and Security, Violence Against Women, Political Participation, Economic Empowerment, HIV/AIDS & Reproductive Health. The blog on their website is full of compelling first hand testimony of violence against women throughout Africa and details what activists are trying to do to change it.
Lucy Mashua is the President of Mashua Voice for the Voiceless. A survivor of FGM herself, Mashua has dedicated her life to raising awareness and ending what she has coined “The silent genocide.” Via her blogspot, Mashua reports on what is happening on the ground in African villages where young girls are subjected to female genital mutilation and where many bleed to death. Mashua also reports on her website how many girls go to alternative rites of passage, and then a few weeks later are subjected to FGM. Mashua wants permanent solutions to FGM; not temporary ones that are for show. Mashua comments: “I Am a SURVIVOR who chose to fight a good fight. 2stop this crime against women! I will not stop until FGM is history,This Blog is dedicated 2see the END FGM & VAW.”
The mission of Million Women Rise? To end male violence against women. Million Women Rise (MWR) is a UK based charity that believes that male violence against women and children is a global pandemic. MWR is a collective of women who work autonomously as volunteers, without any corporate sponsorship or formal funding to promote real change. Million Women Rise relies on the support of donations to keep their voice independent and is aiming to raise £18,000 by March 2013. Their website has a list of demands that work around the three Ps – prevention, provision, protection.
80% of the people trafficked worldwide are women and girls and the nonprofit Not For Sale fights human trafficking and modern-day slavery around the world. Through international work on the ground and in mainstream supply chains, they work on eradicating the root causes of slavery while engaging and equipping the movement for freedom. Part of their work includes creating tools that engage with multiple influencers including government, business and grassroots support. They also work on social enterprise projects to benefit enslaved and vulnerable communities. Follow them to get ideas about how to get involved with stopping this type of VAW.
Campaign on women and peacebuilding to urge the UK to honour commitments made to women in conflict . You can’t build peace leaving half the people out. There couldn’t be a more important time for this campaign. Women are adversely affected in times of conflict and we only have to look at the rape epidemic in The Congo, the precariously dangerous situation for women in Afghanistan and the adverse affect the war in Syria has had on women to see just how important No women, no peace is. The campaign is led by Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS UK). They are a network of peace, human rights and development organisations.They are also excellent tweeters and brilliant bloggers! Check out their campaign for #16 days of activism for the women of Afghanistan.
AHA Foundation protects women in the West from oppression justified by religion/culture by fighting honor violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation. Their website states: “In response to ongoing abuses of women’s rights, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and her supporters established the AHA Foundation in 2007 to help protect and defend the rights of women in the West from oppression justified by religion. and culture.” The AHA Foundation was set up by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali born- Dutch politician who has been openly critical of cultural and religious practices which adversely affect the human rights of women and girls. The AHA Foundation has a zero tolerance policy on acceptance of crimes against women in the name of culture or religion and base their work on the four Is: Investigate, Inform, Influence, Intervene. Based in the USA, The AHA Foundation has met with some criticism of extremists and consequently carries out their work with dignity and courage. Give them a like and a follow!
UN Women is the United Nations’ entity for gender equality and women’s empowerment. It was established to accelerate progress on meeting the needs of women & girls worldwide and unites all of the UN’s previous projects and offices dealing with women’s issues into one centralised agency. They run the ongoing Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence Against Women campaign and are constantly pushing for change in all member countries worldwide. Follow them for daily updates on the UN’s various anti-VAW projects and programmes.
“In no country in the world do women enjoy the same rights or opportunities as men. Every day women and girls face discrimination, poverty and violence just because they are female.” Womankind Worldwide is an international women’s human rights charity working to help women transform their lives in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The charity partners with grassroots women’s rights organisations who are challenging many forms of oppression against women in all parts of society. Womankind facilitates change by delivering funding, expertise, contacts, and publicity and by working with women’s organisations on the ground to increase their impact and bring about greater change for women in their communities.
Women for Women International works with socially excluded women in eight countries—Bosnia & Herzgovnia, Iraq, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kosovo, Rwanda, Afghanistan—where war and conflict have devastated lives and communities. Each woman has her own story—some of loved ones murdered, and others left scarred with physical and emotional trauma. Many have endured a struggle for survival. Women are enrolled for their one-year programme where they learn job skills and receive business training so they can earn a living. By helping these women gain their independence and regain their confidence, they are able to rebuild their families, their communities and ultimately their nations.
We Talk Women’s mission is: “…to engage citizens in a conversation that will break the silence that most often surrounds women’s rights injustices and sexual, physical, emotional violence.” An organisation based in Canada, We Talk Women aspires provides a platform for discussing human trafficking, Female Genital Mutilation, forced disappearances and other injustices women around the world face every day. The website is written by the founders—Leigh and Kavita—with a personal and initmate tone. Their personal blogs raise issues that we’re sure many women’s human rights campaigners experience. Their tweets are varied, informative and they have contributed positively to the women’s human rights cause in the Twittersphere this year: give them a follow!
Searching for an affordable gift that is both empowering and uplifting for someone in need of that extra encouragement and good vibes this Christmas? Check out our “16 For 16” digital EP featuring 5 songs aimed at lifting the spirits and empowering survivors of Violence Against Women worldwide via all major online music stores including iTunes, Amazon, Google Music, Spotify and many more. Prices range from US$4.95 to US$6.45 depending on region and retailer and 100% of the proceeds go towards keeping The Pixel Project’s programmes and projects running. Just click on the buttons below to be taken to the EP’s download page in your preferred online music store: