MOBILIZING HOPE: 16 Days of Activism


By: 
Adelaide Mazwarira

Current Moment

In the wake of the US elections, like many of you, we are mourning and fearful of the implications that this has for people in the US and beyond. While it’s easy to feel defeated, there is hope in this moment. This is what we need to hold on to and remember.

In this spirit, for this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, we are introducing you to 16 women who inspire us and give us hope in a world reeling with crises, but also with many big and small changes taking shape. These women are at the forefront – leading and organizing to address some of the most pressing human rights, economic and environmental problems of our time.

These are diverse women activists from across the regions we work – young, rural, indigenous, community organizers, LBTI – who are leading entire communities against the impacts of illegal dams or mining projects, HIV-positive women from Malawi who are fighting for quality healthcare, and young women in Zimbabwe who are using creative arts to challenge taboos about women’s bodies in their efforts to fight violence against women.

They are crossing the line to speak up and stand up to defend their rights and dignity, and solve problems for their families, their communities, and one another. Together with our partners, we are supporting their bold leadership and innovative organizing strategies that are slowly building a better world, one day at a time.

Meet 16 Women Crossing the Line

Day 1: Bai Ali Indayla, Philippines

As the space to speak out continues to shrink, how do we keep going? For Bai, it’s the collective struggle she has with her community that keeps her strong. Read more: https://goo.gl/j7jejQ

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Day 2: Miriam Miranda, Honduras

The fight to protect resources (land, water, forests etc.) and the right to be consulted about how we use these resources, is indeed a fight for life itself. We stand in solidarity with #StandingRock where indigenous peoples are fighting similar struggles + experiencing massive backlash as a result. Learn more about Miriam here: https://goo.gl/GxOusz

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Day 3: Melania Chiponda, Zimbabwe

For Melania, land represents much more than a source of livelihood! Learn why here: https://goo.gl/8qICWy #DefendHer

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Day 4: Bai Bibyaon Ligkayan Bigkay, Philippines

Bai fights to protect not only her ancestral mountain land, but her Lumad culture and people as well. Together with her tribe, they have defended their land from logging and mining companies who have the support of the military. Learn more about Bai here: https://goo.gl/NDNMr2. #DefendHer Photo credit: https://goo.gl/DPUUz

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Day 5: Laura & Bertha Zúniga Cáceres

Today on International Women Human Rights Defenders Day (Nov. 29), we honor women human rights defenders like the late Berta Cáceres, who fight for human rights everywhere. Meet her activist daughters, who are leading the charge for #JusticeForBerta and the protection of the Lenca indigenous people's sacred river in Honduras. Learn more here: https://goo.gl/j0D8Nh #WHRDDay2016 #WomenCrossLines

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Day 6: Tiwonge Gondwe

Tiwonge, who, along with 1000s of women in the Our Bodies Our Lives campaign in Malawi, fights for better health care for those living with HIV. Read her story and find out why justice relies on collective power here: https://goo.gl/kLF2mE. #WomenCrossLines #OurBodiesOurLives

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Day 7: Ana Sandoval, Guatemala

Ana leads her organization, La Puya, in protecting their environment and resources against a gold mining mega project in Guatemala. Read more about Ana's story here: https://goo.gl/zrMzgB #DefendHer #WomenCrossLines #LaPuyaResist

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Day 8: Magda Kafiar & Vivi Marantika, Indonesia 

Magda and Vivi from FAMM-Indonesia are see organizing indigenous women as critical to both protecting the environment and sustaining lives. Read more about Magda here: https://goo.gl/qRMAui #DefendHer. Read more about Vivi here: https://goo.gl/B8e8V7

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Day 9: Lolita Chavez Ixcaquic, Guatemala 

Meet Lolita Chavez Ixcaquic, an indigenous K'iche' woman defending lands, resources and territory in Guatemala. Read more about how Lolita stands up to violence against women here: https://goo.gl/vHztNGJASS Mesoamérica#WomenCrossLines #CruzandoLaLinea

Day 10: May Sabe Phyu, Myanmar 

Meet May Sabe Phyu, an activist who fights for peace and gender equality in Myanmar and an advocate for people forced to flee their homes due to conflict. She and her family have faced criminal charges and harassment for her advocacy. Learn more about May here: https://goo.gl/56pq4MJass Southeast Asia #WomenCrossLines

Day 11: Miriam Munthali, Malawi

Meet Miriam Munthali of the Our Bodies Our Lives campaign in Malawi, who fights for better health care for those living with HIV. Read more about Our Bodies Our Lives here: https://goo.gl/ET8iqH#WomenCrossLines #OurBodiesOurLives

Day 13: Miriam Pixtún Monroy, Guatemala

Meet Miriam Pixtún Monroy! Building + Sustaining diverse alliances is a critical component of CHANGE! #WomenCrossLines

 

Day 14: Veronica Banda, Malawi

Meet Veronica Banda, a pastor from Malawi who works with the Our Bodies Our Lives campaign advocating for people living with HIV. Read more about how Veronica challenges sexuality in the church here: https://goo.gl/M02k7c.

Day 15: Channsitha Mark, Cambodia

Meet Channsitha Mark, an activist working with garment workers to demand their rights through the Workers Information Center in Cambodia. Jass Southeast Asia #WomenCrossLines

 

Day 16: Rudo Chigudu, Zimbabwe

Today, on #InternationalHumanRightsDay, we wrap up the 16 Days of Activism, honoring 16 activists leading their communities in organizing for their rights. Meet Rudo Chigudu, a performance artist in Zimbabwe challenging sexual violence and taboos around women's bodies.