TW for FGM, violence against women

Nigeria’s President Signs Off On Banning Female Genital Mutilation

A quarter of women aged 15-49 in Africa’s most populous country have undergone the practice, according to United Nations data.

“Nigeria’s outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan this week signed off on a bill that outlaws female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting, a widespread practice in Africa’s most populous country.

Nigerian women’s rights and public health groups have long campaigned against FGM, removes parts or all of a girl’s genitalia, often at a very young age and without the girl’s consultation or consent, saying that it violates human rights. The procedure has also led to severe health problems.

A quarter of Nigerian women aged 15-49 have undergone FGM, according to 2014 UNICEF data. Reasons for FGM vary by country and by practicing group but the ritual is usually seen as marking a girl as ready for marriage. The practice is also intended to control a girl’s or woman’s sexual appetite, according to a separate UNICEF report.

The Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act was passed by Nigeria’s Senate in early May and signed off by Jonathan on Monday, according to local media.Women’s health advocates in Nigeria confirmed the development to BuzzFeed News.

The new law seeks to protect women on a range of fronts. It also sets out punishments for offenses such as throwing a spouse out of their home and traditional rituals that discriminate against widows, according to local media reports this week.

Read the full piece here


colonialism is not a given. We have the tools: our minds and our hearts, our ability to love, and our commitment as people here today who can remember and envision something better. A better relationship built in the wake of violence but not beholden to it. Understanding how we came to be here in this place as settler, ally, immigrant or Indigenous, we can begin to travel down a path together towards truer forms of reconciliation. We can move towards that future together that will see an end to violence in all its forms, against women, against the land, against our own selves. Before we can do that however, we have to look back and remember, take account of our past as we walk together towards that decolonized future.
What the fuck, Australia? Another man killing yet another woman.

What the fuck, Australia? Another day, another woman killed by a man. According to advocacy group Destroy the Joint, as of March 17th, before Masa Vukotic’s death on Tuesday, 22 women had been killed in Australia in the first 11 weeks of 2015. Two every week, and double the average from the past few years. Seriously, what the fuck?

Inevitably, when a woman is killed in our streets, close to home, we talk about women’s safety. Over and over again. Of course safety is important, and must always be a consideration, but where is the discussion about men’s violence and why these deaths are so common? Almost exclusively, when a woman is killed it is by a man. And while killings that are perpetrated by men in our streets in seemingly random attacks grab the attention, overwhelmingly, women are killed by men that they know. They are often a family member or an intimate partner; a man who at some stage has told the woman he has just killed that he loved her.

Why aren’t we talking about this as the national emergency that it most certainly is? Why the hell aren’t we talking about the violence against women epidemic that we currently find ourselves in? Is it because female deaths don’t matter as much as men’s? In 2014, NSW introduced legislation practically overnight following the deaths of two men in Sydney. Sweeping changes were made to liquor laws and sentencing for those found guilty of ‘one punch’ attacks was increased dramatically. Where is the political will, at a national level, to address women’s deaths in the same fashion?

We are in a fortunate position at the moment, particularly in Victoria, where domestic violence is on the public agenda. We have our first minister for the prevention of family violence and there is also a royal commission in to this problem. But still, within all of this, a discussion on men’s violence is largely missing. Today, we’re still talking about why a young woman was walking on her own through a park, or whether it’s safe for a woman to run on her own, or why a woman doesn’t leave a violent relationship. Why aren’t we seriously asking ourselves why men in our community are committing such horrible acts of violence against women?

As a society, we must take responsibility for the culture we have created where to be a man often means to be violent. Where if, as a man, you are disrespected or ignored, you use your masculine power to reassert control and reclaim dominance. Where, if you are viewed to be weak, you are less of a man, and the target of ridicule. We must acknowledge that we all contribute to this in our definitions of manliness and our expectations of men. How many times have you heard someone tell a young boy to ‘man up’, to ‘be a man’, or ‘don’t be a pussy’? Countless times I’m sure. But there is not doubt that every one of these seemingly benign statements contributes to broader culture of violent masculinity.

Every time we hear in the news that a Muslim man has assaulted a woman, or a group of Indian men have raped a girl, we, as the dominant group in Australia point the finger at those cultures as having a problem with women. What’s ignored is that we in Australia also have a culture, and it too is killing women.

These acts of violence, no matter how random or how deliberate, exist within a culture of violence and inequality, where women are largely seen as less valuable and less important. All over the world, research tells us that men’s violence against women is caused by gender inequality; the higher the inequality, the more prevalent and more extreme the violence. Not because of alcohol, not because of mental illness, not because of a ‘bad apple’, but because societies all around the world see women as inferior.

In writing this, I anticipate the usual, ‘but not all men’, or ‘how dare you tarnish us all with the same brush’. If your first thoughts in reading this are along those lines, you are part of the problem. To borrow a phrase someone (apologies, I can’t remember where I saw it), if you’re getting angry about being ‘tarnished’ by this, you’re getting angry about the wrong thing.

Where is your, and where is our collective anger about the women being killed in their homes and in their streets every week? Get over being so sensitive. While of course, the overwhelming majority of men choose not to use violence, men’s violence against women, and also other men, is one of the biggest issues our society faces at the moment. I know that terrorism always scores political points, and should not be ignored, but you only have to look at some basic stats to see that men’s violence is doing the far more damage to our homes, our families, and our communities.

If you are a man who cares about this, speak up about it, and don’t get defensive. We need to shift the focus from what women are doing, to what men are doing, and we need to acknowledge that while this issue effects everyone, it is primarily men who are violent. Understand that these acts of violence don’t exist in a bubble, but within a larger society that often encourages, condones, or excuses violence. This has to stop.

Unfortunately, men will often only listen when other men speak up about this issue. While we as men don’t have all the answers, we definitely can have a lot of influence. We need to harness this power and use it for good, to promote gender equity, to denounce violence, and to challenge traditional notions of masculinity.

To borrow yet another phrase, if you are a man who cares about this problem, and you do have the ear of other men, tell them to listen to women. We need to create a space for women’s voices to be heard, so that young men respect women, will listen to women, and will see them as their equals. Only then will this epidemic of men’s violence against women begin to shift.


On Monday, Alexsandro Palombo launched his new illustrated series, which depicts Disney Princesses as acid attack survivors.

The series features princesses with visually jarring scars, burns and disfigurations.

Palombo kicked off the series with the the hashtag #StopAcidAttack ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8th.

“If we just observe and stand still, then we are all accomplices,” Palombo said. “And [to] be complicit means to take the sides of those cowards, monsters and criminals.”

Read more via Huffington Post 

In these times let us not forget that violence has no place in any religion nor any community. WCCI deeply regrets the attack on innocent schoolchildren in Pakistan and we hope that one day all people, men women and children, can live in a world without violence #wcci #pakistan #prayforpeshawar #faith #stopviolence #endvaw #islam #pray #unity #standup #charity #support #counseling #care #womenshealth #school #religion #mentalhealth #peace #together #middleeast #bahrain #africa

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“This week, we’re shining the #XChange spotlight on one of this year’s “Community Change Award ” Finalists, O Valente não é Violento!

The “Brave is not Violent” initiative aims to combat violence against women and girls, by involving men and boys, stimulating the change of attitudes and behavior. The main goal of the initiative is to develop a curriculum to train secondary education teachers, so that they can have the knowledge and tools to discuss gender stereotypes with their students

Check out more campaign materials and discover other innovative communication tools from organizations across the globe working to end violence against women and children.” http://xchange.futureswithoutviolence.org/ 

#EndVAW  #EndGBV

As seen on the  Futures Without Violence Facebook page

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Why November 25th?

The date was chosen to commemorate the Mirabal sisters, three political activists from the Dominican Republic, who were brutally assassinated on November 25th, 1960 during the Rafael Trujillo (aka El Jefe) dictatorship (1930-1961)

One of the Trujillo’s most heinous traits was his insatiable sexual appetite where he raped “very young” women supplied and procured by many who sought his favors. If women resisted, Trujillo would apply pressure on their families to get his way.

The Mirabal Sisters, along with their respective husbands, spent much of their lives opposing El Jefe’s rule through their group Movement of the Fourteenth of June. However, on 25th Nov, 1960 Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa, were brutally clubbed to death while driving home from visiting their husbands in prison.

One year later, Trujillo himself was successfully assassinated ending his 31 years of tyranny.


Days of Activism at Carleton is here to bring awareness on the events that took place on December 6th, 1989. It exists to support all action to eradicate gender-based violence, support students in need, and to commemorate the lives lost at the Montreal massacre at École Polytechnique in Montreal December 6th, 1989.

(TW: violence, murder, misogyny)

December 6th, 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the massacre and the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. In 1989, fourteen women attending École Polytechnique, an engineering school, were murdered and ten others were injured in the name of “fighting feminism”. They were murdered because they were women. Here’s a news clip from the CBC archives: @[NjQyMTgzOTU5MjA4MTA3Omh0dHBzXGEvL3d3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbS93YXRjaD92PW5ka3cweUs4NXo0Ojo=:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndkw0yK85z4]

These are the names of the women murdered that day:
• Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student
• Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
• Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
• Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
• Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student
• Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student
• Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department
• Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student
• Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
• Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student
• Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student
• Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
• Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student
• Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student

From December 2nd-4th the folks at the Womyn’s Centre will be tabling to provide students with information on “December 6th". Alongside handing out resources, students will have the chance to make their own buttons and white ribbons. Come by the table and tell us what gender justice means to you. 

December 2nd
-Commemorative gathering at the Faculty of Engineering (12:30pm-1:30pm)
There will be special guests and a moderated discussion to talk about the events of that day and where we’ve come since then.

December 4th
- Womyn’s Centre/NSBE Vigil (and Screening) (4:30pm)
We will be meeting at the Womyn’s Centre and will make our way to the Minto/Mackenzie quad for a candle light vigil. After the vigil, there will be a screening of the film “Polytechniqque” at BECAMPS. Refreshments will be provided. 

December 6th
- Annual December 6th Vigil
Every year December 6th the community meet to remember and honour the memory of the 14 women murdered at École Polytechnique in Montreal December 6th, 1989. If folks would like to go as a group, we will be leaving campus around 5pm. Location: Minto Park (Elgin and Gilmour)

**THE EVENTS ARE ALL ACCESSIBLE. For December 4th vigil and screening: ASL interpretation will be available, peer support workers will be present, and CUSA Foot Patrol will be there to help folks get home**

If folks have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Email: womyns_centre@cusaonline
Twitter: https://twitter.com/womyns_centre
FB: https://twitter.com/womyns_centre
Tumblr: http://womynscentrecu.tumblr.com/


Happy (almost)International Women’s Day! We thank you for being part of a generation making the world safer for women and girls. Like many of you, Karalyn rang the bell and stood up for her neighbors facing violence. Watch and share her story today! -Dana

“Violence against women is difficult to talk about, but for those who find it difficult, let us be clear, however uncomfortable it is to talk about, it is degrading and damaging to experience,” London prosecutor Nazir Afzal writes in an Op-Ed for Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Afzal believes we need to change the attitudes of men, redefine masculinity and serve as better role models in order to effect change. “We need to demonstrate that violence is not manly, it has nothing to do with responsible masculinity, it is not the identifying feature of a male grown up,” he says.

Read more via Thomson Reuters 

Third day of the 16 days of activism.

“ Women and Poverty”

According to UN Women, Particular groups of women, including women and girls living in poverty, face multiple forms of discrimination, and face increased risks of violence as a result. Studies show that poor girls are 2.5 times more likely to marry in childhood than those living in the wealthiest quintile.

Women and girls living in poverty are more vulnerable to sexual exploitation, including trafficking. And those who experience domestic or intimate partner violence have fewer options to leave violent relationships, due to their lack of income and resources.

To address such issues, UN Women runs programmes to empower women economically and lift them out of poverty, as well as strengthen social services for survivors and increase awareness of their rights.

16 Days of Activism

“Education and Training of Women.”

The Beijing Declaration states “Education is a human right and an essential tool for achieving the goals of equality, development and peace. Literacy of women is an important key to improving health, nutrition and education in the family and to empowering women to participate in decisionmaking in society. Investing in formal and non-formal education and training for girls and women, with its exceptionally high social and economic return, has proved to be one of the best means of achieving sustainable development and economic growth that is both sustained and sustainable.”