Tuesday, March 08, 2005

To honor international women's day…

violence against women
take action against violence against women.

Amnesty International provides many opportunities for immediate communication with abusive authorities who threaten womens' lives.

Mexico: Lydia Cacho Ribeiro and Other Human Rights Defenders Under Threat
Lydia Cacho Ribeiro, president of the Women's Assistance Center (CIAM), and staff at three CIAM shelters around Mexico, have received multiple death threats as a result of their work to protect the rights of women and girls. The threats are reportedly from men whose wives and/or children found refuge from domestic violence at the shelter and want them to return home.

Iraq: Disappearance of Huda Hafez Ahmad al-'Azawi's, Businesswoman
At 4 a.m. on February 17, US soldiers and members of the Iraqi National Guard forced their way into the house of Huda Hafez Ahmad al-'Azawi, a businesswoman in Baghdad. They handcuffed and blindfolded her, and beat, handcuffed and blindfolded her two daughters, Nura aged 15 and Sarah aged 20. Her whereabouts are unknown and Amnesty International is concerned for her safety.

Kosovo: Rights of Trafficked Girls
Since the July 1999 deployment of an international peacekeeping force to Kosovo and the establishment of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission (UNMIK), Kosovo has become a major destination country for women and girls trafficked into forced prostitution. It has been estimated that many hundreds of women and girls have been trafficked, including some as young as 12 years old.

From birth to death, in times of peace as well as war, women face discrimination and violence at the hands of the state, the community and the family. Every year, millions of women are raped by partners, relatives, friends and strangers, by employers and colleagues, security officials and soldiers. Women are the overwhelming majority of victims from violence inflicted in the home. During armed conflicts, violence against women is often used as a weapon of war, in order to dehumanize the women themselves, or to persecute the community to which they belong.

However, violence against women is never normal, legal or acceptable and should never be tolerated or justified. It's time to recognize that violence against women is a global human rights scandal that affects us all. You can help by clicking on the alerts above.

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