22
Mrz
2005

Women and Human Rights - Victims and Heroes

As we enter the second year of our global campaign to Stop Violence Against Women, we thought March - Women's History Month - was an important time to remind ourselves that women are not always the victims of human rights abuse - often they are the heroes.

This month on our website, we spotlight the all-important work of four extraordinary women who have made a difference. Two of them are among the twelve women who have received the Nobel Peace Prize. One woman, Mexico's Digna Ochoa gave her life for her cause. And another will receive Amnesty International USA's highest award next month. All have sacrificed much for the rights and well-being of others.

READ ABOUT THESE WOMEN:
//takeaction.amnestyusa.org/ctt.asp?u=677776&l=12394

On every continent, women are rising up to end the abuse, torture and neglect that has long plagued their communities. Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi aroused an entire nation against decades of corruption and abuse. "It is not power that corrupts," she has said, "but fear."

Women are often uniquely able to appeal to everyday people and to engage them in collective struggle. Aung San Suu Kyi has written, "It is the cumulative effect of [ordinary people's] sustained effort and steady endurance which will change a nation where reason and conscience are warped by fear into one where legal rules exist to promote humanity's desire for harmony and justice while restraining less desirable, destructive traits in human nature."

Wangari Maathai has converted the seemingly mundane and domestic act of planting trees into a continent-wide movement aimed at empowering women and reshaping society's relationship with the natural environment. Says Maathai: "When you start working with the environment seriously, the whole arena comes: human rights, women's rights, environmental rights, children's rights, you know, everybody's rights. Once you start making these linkages, you can no longer do just tree-planting."


Bill Schulz
Amnesty International USA

P.S. GOOD NEWS! Last week's release of prisoner of conscience Rebiya Kadeer demonstrates that no government is immune to the persistent pressure applied by dedicated human rights activists worldwide.

READ MORE:
//takeaction.amnestyusa.org/ctt.asp?u=677776&l=12403
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