Violence

On 22 February 2012, Bettina Cruz was arrested by agents of the Federal Attorney General's office. Her arrest demonstrates the kinds of risk that a woman human rights defender may face but the outcome is proof that you can defend your community’s rights successfully.
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Zimbabwean activist, Prayers Mushava, shares her powerful story of how she became an activist: "The reality of what it means to be a woman became [even] clearer when I met JASS in 2013. I began to see life through a feminist lens and realized that disobedience can be celebrated, especially if it aims to defeat structures that harden women’s lives whilst privileging men."
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María José Alvarado, 19 year-old Miss Honduras, was found dead and buried in an isolated ravine alongside her sister Sofía Trinidad in Northwest Honduras in mid-November. This story shines a spotlight on the severity and frequency of violence against women in Honduras.
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In November, a Kenyan woman was stripped naked by a mob of men at a city bus stop in Nairobi and the brutal attack was caught in graphic detail on video. Her crime? Wearing a miniskirt which was deemed ‘indecent.'
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After being in and out of prison since 2011, land rights activist Eva Bande was granted presidential pardon and released on Dec. 21. “Granting a pardon [does not stop] cases of land conflicts in the region. The farmers are still struggling,” said Eva in a press conference.
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During 16 Days of Activism on December 9, JASS Crossregional Program Director, Carrie Wilson spoke at a White House Rally on behalf of the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict—which JASS is a member of the advisory committee. This rally called on U.S.
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In September, JASS Southeast Asia and JASS Mesoamerica converged in New York with a delegation of indigenous women leaders who have been part of our leadership schools and women human rights defenders strategies in both regions.Their convergence matched another—the UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, the People’s Climate March—bringing together diverse agendas, from activism on climate change to indigenous people’s rights.
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We are so excited to announce that the Mesoamerican Women Human Rights Defenders Initiative—a collaborative effort between JASS Mesoamerica and five partners—received the 2014 Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award on October 14th in Washington DC!
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With both the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples and the Climate Summit underway at the UN, far more important than official declarations will be who is allowed to speak and to be heard. Whose voice matters in this clash of worldviews.
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This issue of Making Change Happen examines the threats, challenges, strategies and aspirations of indigenous and rural women within the greater JASS community. Why this focus? There is plenty of evidence to indicate that indigenous and rural women are facing increasing difficulties throughout the world.
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