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2/16/2001 - Pro-Choice Women of Congress Launch Effort to Overturn Global Gag Rule

Pro-choice Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate have voiced their support for the Global Democracy Promotion Act of 2001, co-introduced Thursday by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Representatives Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Nancy Johnson (R-CT) that would overturn President Bush’s January 22 reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy, also known as the global gag rule.

The United States already prohibits fund from being used to perform abortions, but the Mexico City policy denies funding to any family planning programs outside the U.S. that provide abortion services, counseling, referrals or activism to change abortion laws, even if the services are paid for by the organization’s own money. “Too often, women in developing nations do not have access to contraceptive or family planning services they need because contraceptives are expensive, supplies are erratic, services are difficult or impossible to obtain, or the quality of care is poor,” said Sen. Snowe. “Yet it is now the policy of the United States not to support these organizations—a policy that is confounding to me because these very organizations reduce the number of abortions through their services.”

While the legislation has 50 co-sponsors in the House, and pro-choice Senators are confident they can garner support in the Senate, anti-choice GOP leaders said even if the bill passes in Congress, Bush would veto it. The Bush administration said Wednesday that the Mexico City policy does not prevent funding for programs that treat women who are ill from botched abortions. Sen. Boxer responded, “Well, isn’t that compassionate.”

LEARN MORE Click here to read women's narratives about barriers or successes in accessing reproductive health and family planning services.

2/12/2001 - Eve Ensler’s Tribute to Afghan Women is a Sold Out Success at Madison Square Garden

V-Day, the gala benefit performance of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, opened to a sold out crowd of 18,000 at Madison Square Gardens Saturday evening. Actors and musicians, including Jane Fonda (who donated $1 million to the event), Glenn Close, Marisa Tomei, Rosie Perez, Claire Danes, and Queen Latifah, performed the Monologues, raising awareness to stop violence against women. As part of the V-day festivities, Oprah Winfrey performed Ensler’s tribute to Afghan women, entitled Under the Burqa.

In 1996, the Taliban, overthrew the government of Afghanistan and unilaterally declared an end to women's basic human rights. Women can now no longer work outside of the home. Girls and women are prohibited from attending school. In addition, women are required to completely cover their bodies with a burqa including a mesh covering over the eyes. Ensler wrote Under the Burqa after visiting Afghanistan 8 months ago. During the evening, thousands of people signed petitions for the Feminist Majority’s Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan. Many in the audience wore burqa swatches as a symbol of remembrance for Afghan women and girls.

Buy a burqa swatch as a symbol of rememberance.

2/9/2001 - Pakistan Rejects Afghan Refugees

Pakistan officials are refusing to allow a new crush of Afghan refugees who have fled their homes in search of a safeguard from the Taliban militia that occupies 95 percent of the country. Over 170,000 Afghan refugees have already crossed the border to Pakistan and live in camps without sufficient shelter, drinking water or food—hundreds die every week from starvation and freezing winter temperatures. The situation in Afghanistan is compounded by the worst drought to hit the country in 30 years and a bitterly cold winter.

In addition to the drought and severe winter conditions, women and girls are fleeing Afghanistan to escape the brutal gender apartheid imposed by the Taliban regime, which strips women of education, employment, and mobility, placing women and girls into a state of virtual house arrest.

Learn more about the situation in Afghanistan and the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid.

Help the women and girls of Afghanistan! Take action today and urge President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell to continue to withhold United Nations recognition of the Taliban militia until the rights of Afghan women and girls are fully and permanently restored, increase humanitarian assistance, and allow more Afghan women and girls into the US as refugees.

2/5/2001 - Bush Criticized for “Faith-Based” Plan, Global Gag Rule

At a retreat for Democratic House members this weekend, George W. Bush faced tough questions about his first executive order, which reinstated the “global gag rule,” and about his new faith-based social services program. Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) accused Bush of using a double standard, reinstating the global gag rule and then allowing religious organizations to perform social services, not religious ones, using government money. The gag rule prohibits family planning programs outside the U.S. who receive US funds from using private, separate monies to counsel abortions, and threatens removal of much-needed funding for a whole range of reproductive and women’s health services. Democratic participants said Bush did not directly answer Pelosi’s questions, and did not provide a “clear” explanation of his reasoning for the faith-based program.

The European Union also criticized Bush’s decision to reinstate the global gag rule, announcing last week that it will “fill in the gaps” created by Bush’s decision. EU Development Commissioner Paul Neilson said last week that EU officials were “angered” by Bush’s executive order, and said that supporting the work of programs like the UN Fund for Population Activities and International Planned Parenthood Federation was paramount.

LEARN MORE Click here to read women's narratives about barriers or successes in accessing reproductive health and family planning services.

1/25/2001 - Amnesty International Condemns Mass Execution By Taliban

Amnesty International reports that Taliban officials issued an order to its forces to kill all men between the ages of 13 and 70 living in the Yakawlang area. “These deeply disturbing reports once again underline the need for action by the international community to ensure protection of the civilian population in Afghanistan,” says Amnesty International. Numerous reports have emerged regarding the Taliban’s latest acts of atrocities committed against the predominately Hazara population in central Afghanistan. Non-governmental organizations calculate that approximately 600 Afghans were killed and dozens more injured by Taliban forces, including humanitarian aid workers and even patients in medical facilities. According to the Afghan Islamic Press, opposition forces in Afghanistan have discovered three mass graves, containing at least 70 bodies including those of “many women and children”, found 28 miles north of Taloqan.

The discovery of mass executions of civilians by the Taliban comes at a time when the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that at least 120,000 Afghan refugees have fled to Pakistan within the past five months. In addition, both UNHCR and the World Food Program (WFP) have issued emergency appeals for more aid to assist with the Afghan refugee crisis. On January 24 the WFP office in Pakistan announced that they were likely to run out of food for Afghan refugees in the next three months unless the agency receives urgent aid. Yusuf Hassan Abdi, spokesman for UNHCR said last week “unless more funds are available we will simply no be able to cope with this refugee crisis.” UNHCR estimates that everyday between 200 to 600 Afghan families arrive in Pakistan seeking safety.

The Feminist Majority’s Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan joins UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Amnesty International in strongly condemning the latest wave of Taliban atrocities. “As each day passes, thousands of Afghan women and children are suffering and dying along the borders of Afghanistan as they seek safe refuge in neighboring countries,” says Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority. “The new US administration must increase humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and continue to refuse official recognition of the Taliban’s brutal gender apartheid regime,” adds Smeal.

1/24/2001 - Global “Gag Rule” Will Increase Deaths; Boxer and Lowey Propose Policy Reversal

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY) yesterday announced their plan to introduce legislation reversing Bush’s policy, and have already garnered the support of several pro-family planning Republican legislators. Tens of thousands of women in developing nations will die each year as a result of George W. Bush’s first executive order reinstating the Reagan/Bush Sr. policy that bars family planning programs outside the U.S. that receive federal aid from using separate, private monies for abortion counseling.

Programs that provide a wide range of resources, including gynecological exams, AIDS prevention and treatment, and contraception, will be forced to lose a large percentage of their operating costs, or to discontinue services formerly paid for by private dollars. With no other option, young women in developing nations will again turn to illegal abortions, too many of them dying as a result of serious infections. “This is going to affect 13, 14, 15 year-old girls in developing nations,” said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “These girls will face death from botched, illegal abortion as well as the brutal treatment inflicted on unmarried, pregnant women in many countries: acid attacks, beatings, and death.”

Take Action:Write a letter to the editor opposing the global gag rule.

LEARN MORE Click here to read women's narratives about barriers or successes in accessing reproductive health and family planning services.

1/22/2001 - Bariya Ibrahim Magazu Receives Inhumane Flogging

On January 19, in oil-rich Nigeria, the most populous country on the continent of Africa, an Islamic Court in the north carried out a “Sharia” sentence of 100 lashes with a cane on 13-year old Bariya Ibrahim Magazu on charges of premarital sex (zina) and making “false” charges against the three men she claimed raped her. The punishment was executed despite an international outcry from women’s and human rights organizations that seemingly had won postponement and reduction of Bariya’s sentence. In September 2000, 13 year-old Bariya Ibrahim Magazu was sentenced by an Islamic Court in the Nigerian state of Zamfara, one of the first states in Nigeria to accept Islamic Sharia law, to a flogging sentence of 180 lashes, via cane. Bariya was brought before the Islamic Court after it was discovered that she was pregnant and unmarried. During the trial, when asked the name of the father of the child, Bariya stated that she was “pressured” into having sex with three middle-aged men from her community. Women’s rights activists visited with the family of Bariya and discovered that these men were likely to be between the ages of 20 and 30 and married. Other unconfirmed reports indicate that Bariya’s own father had debts with each of the three men and therefore arranged for her (Bariya) to have sex with each of the men as a method of repaying the debt. Although the three men were indicated in the case, none were given a blood test to determine paternity.

The case of Bariya Ibrahim Magazu is yet another example of the constant violations against the human rights of women based on claims of following so-called cultural traditions and practice. The Feminist Majority Foundation condemns the flogging of Bariya Ibrahim Magazu. “Let the record speak the truth, this brutal flogging is an act right off the pages of the Dark Ages,” says Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “Even at the start of the new millennium marking the world’s passage of another one thousand years, some in this world still believe that women do not hold inalienable human rights which are indeed the rights of women since the beginning of time,” exclaimed Smeal.

Officials in the northern Nigerian state of Zamfara claimed that the 13-year old “immediately after the punishment thanked Allah for having the punishment.” The Deputy Governor of Zamfara, Mahmoud Shinkafi reported that, “she walked home and when she got to her village she was very happy. The disgrace in public is what deters people. She will never be disgraced again...she has her whole dignity.”

1/22/2001 - UN Secretary Deplores Taliban Mass Murder Of Civilians

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Kofi Annan has expressed his deep concerns after hearing of “reports that civilians were deliberately targeted and killed during recent fighting in the Yakawlang area of Hazarajat in central Afghanistan.” The United Nations has said that 100 people were killed and one UN Afghan staff person missing after Taliban forces recaptured Yakawlang. However other non-governmental organizations report that some 600 people have been executed at the hands of Taliban forces. Reportedly, Taliban soldiers also looted the area healthcare facilities and murdered of hospital patients and staff. Yakawlang is located in Hazarajat, the home of the ethnic minority group the Hazaras. In a statement released by the UN, Secretary-General Annan called this "only the latest tragedy to befall the Hazaras," a largely Shi'ite ethnic group that has traditionally been the most disadvantaged in Afghanistan.

1/18/2001 - Boxer Raises Issue of Afghan Women at Powell Hearing

At Wednesday's Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on Secretary of State-Designate Colin Powell, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) asked Powell whether he would continue to make the restoration of the human rights of Afghan women and girls a policy priority. Powell condemned the Taliban's treatment of women and girls as "atrocious, bordering on barbaric" and pledged to make the issue a priority. In the confirmation hearing, Boxer also raised the issues of the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and global women's health.

1/17/2001 - No Rights for Women in Kuwait, Court Says

Kuwait’s Constitutional Court, the highest court in the nation, dismissed a case seeking to grant women the right to vote and to run for office. Judge Abdullah Issa, president of the Constitutional Court, stated that women’s “rights are denied” under the current law until the legislature amends it.

1/16/2001 - Women’s Alliance for Peace Makes Appeal for Help for Afghanistan

The Women’s Alliance for Peace and Human Rights in Afghanistan (WAPHA) has made an international appeal for help and humanitarian aid for Afghan refugees who have fled the brutal Taliban regime and the region’s worst drought. According to reports from the UN and the World Food Program, the drought in Afghanistan has left one million people starving and suffering from severe malnutrition. Nearly half a million Afghan refugees are displaced within Afghanistan and another 70,000 refugees, primarily women and girls, who have fled to the border of Pakistan face unclean drinking water, starvation, no shelter, and are afflicted with disease and hypothermia. According to WAPHA, there are reports that Afghan women, children and men are reduced to eating grass and that many have died. The World Food Program made an urgent appeal for $4.9 million in emergency assistance to help feed Afghan refugees. Despite the severity of the crisis, the international donors have not yet responded to the plea.

Women and girls are fleeing Afghanistan to escape the brutal gender apartheid imposed by the Taliban regime, which strips women of education, employment, and mobility. Learn more about the human rights violations committed by the Taliban, as well as the Feminist Majority Foundation’s efforts to stop gender apartheid in Afghanistan.

What you can do:

Join the Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid
Call upon the US Government to release Emergency Funds to help the women and girls of Afghanistan
Urge the US Government and United Nations to work to restore women’s rights in Afghanistan
Learn more about how to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan

1/12/2001 - Nigerian Girl Scheduled to Be Flogged Jan. 27: Take Action!

Thirteen-year-old Bariya Ibrahim Magazu was charged with having pre-marital sex and making “false” accusations against the three middle-aged men whom she testifies pressured her into sex. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Magazu’s own father had debts with each of the three men and therefore arranged for her to have sex with them as a method of repayment. In court, Magazu was never given the opportunity to face the three men that “pressured” her into having sex, and the corroborating testimony of several witnesses was not admitted into the court. Judge Idris Usman Gusau sentenced Magazu to 100 lashes with a cane for engaging in pre-marital sex, and an additional 80 lashes for making so-called false claims against the three men – in essence, a death sentence. “No human can survive 180 lashes using a cane,” says Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “These are very sad times when the world enters the year 2001 and women are still forced to live under draconian laws.”

URGENT: Take Action to Stop the Flogging

1/3/2001 - 10,000 Plus Afghan Women And Children At Risk Of Death On Tajikistan Border

More than 10,000 Afghan women and children who have fled fighting inside Afghanistan and the Taliban’s military advancements, which now control almost 95% of the country, are in makeshift camps along the Pyandi River in the midst of winter. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) expressed grave concern over increasingly poor conditions for the refugees citing “diarrhea, dysentery, and other illness” due to poor shelter, lack of access to clean water, and security for their safety. UNHCR has appealed to Tajikistan to allow fleeing Afghans to seek refuge in the country since the mass displacement of thousands following the Taliban’s capture of Taloqan. More than 100,000 ethnic minorities were reported to have fled Taloqan because of fears of ethnic cleansing by the extremist regime. In September 2000, the same month of the capture of Taloqan, Tajikistan officially closed its borders to Afghanistan and in turn sealed a dismal fate for thousands of refugee women and children.

1/3/2001 - Women Gain Equal Status In German Military

In a remarkable, yet long overdue, social policy change the German military has opened all divisions of its military to women. Until this change, women were only allowed to serve the military in medical staff positions and musical units, totaling approximately 4,460 positions available to them in Germanys’ 320,000-member armed forces. The elimination of gender discriminatory policies in job recruitment within the German military was forced by the European Court of Justice ruling “that a provision of the German constitution restricting the military role of women violated European Union rules on sexual discrimination.” Although the European Court of Justice represents the highest judicial body of the European Union its ruling has done little to change imbedded patriarchal beliefs of women’s role in society especially armed services. A leading German news magazine, Der Spiegel, featured “What to do when women cry?” as a headline of an article discussing the impact of the length of women’s hair and the wearing of jewelry while in uniform on women’s performance and capability in all military divisions.

12/21/2000 - Afghanistan Among “Worst of Worst” Countries on Human Rights

Afghanistan was rated among the 11 worst countries in terms of democracy and human rights according to a new report by the non-partisan, moderate Freedom House. Afghanistan was listed among the 11 worst nations “in which citizens are denied a broad range of the most basic freedoms,” along with Burma, Saudi Arabia, and Turkmentistan. The report analyzes a number of factors to measure freedom around the world, including autonomy in terms of “gender equality, choice of marriage partners, and size of family” as well as “self-determination, self-government, autonomy, [and] participation” for “cultural, ethnic, religious, and other minority groups.” The report rates the Middle East as the region with the fewest “free” nations. In addition, eight of the worst 11 nations were Islamic-controlled countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, and Turkmenistan.

To urge President Clinton to release Emergency Funds to Afghanistan, please visit our action center.

12/20/2000 - UN Imposes Harsh Sanctions on Taliban

The United Nations Security Council has issued an arms embargo and tightened other sanctions against the Taliban, an extremist militia that now controls 95 percent of Afghanistan. The resolution, backed by the United States and Russia, passed by a vote of 13-0 with China and Malaysia abstaining, and bars all countries from supply arms or other military aid to the Taliban. Currently, only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates recognize the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan, and Pakistan is suspected to be a leading military supplier for the extremist regime. The resolution also tightens the existing air embargo on the Taliban, freezes Taliban assets overseas, and banned the sale of acetic anhydride, a chemical used to make heroin from poppies, to Afghanistan. Heroin production is one of the main financial sustainers of the Taliban. The UN imposed the measures largely because of the Taliban’s harboring Osama bin Laden, the terrorist suspected of several recent bombings at US embassies.

While some in the international community are concerned that the sanctions will worsen the situation for ordinary Afghans, and will further complicate humanitarian assistance to the region, the sanctions themselves do allow imports of food, medicine, and other much needed supplies. In addition, humanitarian personnel are unaffected by the travel embargo and other measures. Afghanistan, which has the largest refugee population in the world, faces severe drought this winter, and is suffering the results of a decades-long civil war, as well as the draconian edicts of the Taliban, which bar women from education, work, and mobility.

12/13/2000 - Two Girls Win Unprecedented FGM Ban In Kenyan Court

In an unprecedented move, a court order was issued banning the genital mutilation of two teenage girls in one of Kenya’s Rift Province. The courts’ ruling placed an injunction based on the girls “non-consent” that prohibits their father from allowing them to undergo the painful procedure or female genital mutilation (FGM). In another historic step, the court’s magistrate ordered the father to continue to provide financial support to the girls. Ordinarily, in communities where FGM is practiced women that do not undergo the cutting and or removal of their clitoris are shunned.

The practice of female genital mutilation is practiced and celebrated as a girl’s rights of passage in more than 28 countries in Africa, including Syria and Saudi Arabia. It has become increasingly evident among emigrant populations living in Europe and the United States. United Nations statistics estimate that 130 million women in the world have been forced to undergo FGM, and that 2 million more are at risk each year. FGM varies in form, although all are equally severe and harmful to women’s health, ranging from:
clitoridectomy, the removal of prepuce (skin covering the clitoris) and/or the removal of the clitoris;
excision, the removal of the prepuce and clitoris and/or the partial or complete removal of the labia; to
infibulation, the partial or complete removal of external genitalia and stitching or narrowing of the vaginal opening. This procedure leaves only a tiny opening, about the size of a pinpoint in some cases, making it extremely painful to urinate and menstruate.

12/13/2000 - Brazil Leads In Trafficking Of Women In South America

According to United Nations and the Helesnki Federation of Human Rights,some 75,000 Brazilian women have been forced and coerced into sexual trafficking and slavery in the European Union. The UN ranks Brazil as the largest contributor to the sex trade in South America. The trafficking of persons, in particular sex trafficking, is the “third most profitable activity for organized crime” with billion dollar profits made each year at the expense of more than 4 million girls and women who are coerced, bought and sold into marriage, prostitution and slavery.

Women living in Brazil not only face the ever-present threat of abduction and coercion into the global sex trade, but also poor prenatal care. The American Congress on Perinatology in Rio de Janeiro report that at least 6,000 women die annually due to pregnancy related complications. Although 91% of women who live in Rio’s urban areas report that they received prenatal care, 50% of whom never received a pelvic examination and 10% of pregnant women did not have their blood pressure checked.

12/11/2000 - Victory For Women In UK: Morning-After Pill Available Without Prescription

In January 2001, the morning-after pill will be available without a prescription for women ages 16 and up at local pharmacies throughout the United Kingdom. The pills' availability is in part due to major governmental plans to halve teenage pregnancy rates by the year 2010. The laws governing the distribution of the pill requires a pharmacist to be present before dispensing the drug. The morning-after pill is a form of emergency contraception, a dosage of 4 pills taken in pairs 12 hours a part, which can be used to prevent pregnancy when taken within 72 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse. Yet this visible victory for women’s reproductive rights is without heavy criticism from anti-abortionists and other opponents. In a statement released by the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, the church condemned the government’s actions on lessening restrictions to the pills’ availability, citing that “to allow teenagers to buy this morning-after pill so freely and without a doctor’s supervision is misguided and potentially wrong.”

LEARN MORE Click here to read women's narratives about barriers or successes in accessing reproductive health and family planning services.

12/11/2000 - Historic “Comfort Women’s” Trial Underway In Tokyo

For the first time in history, claims of forced servitude and rape made by more than 200,000 women during World War II in Japan are heard before a symbolic court lead by Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, former president of International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Women from North and South Korea, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines and East Timor gathered in Tokyo to demand an official apology and compensation from the Japanese government for its system of using “comfort women” to serve the Japanese Imperial Army. “Comfort Women” survivors told stories during the tribunal of being abducted as early as age 15, beaten, harassed and forced to have sexual intercourse with up to 20 men a day. Testimonies from the survivors included reports that many women were left without any money, no transportation home and ostracized from their communities after Japan’s defeat in World War II. Today, there are approximately 1,988 survivors of the comfort system with 90 percent of whom suffering from physical and psychological damage.

The last stage of the Tokyo Tribunal ends today with a public hearing involving testimonies from 14 women in areas, including Afghanistan, Mexico and Sierra Leone, where recent war crimes were committed against women.

12/11/2000 - Leadership Alliances Organize to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan

The Brandeis University Leadership Alliance organized a presentation on the Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan to a group of over one hundred high school students. Inspired by the presentation, many of the students are now participating in the Back-to-School program and working with Brandeis to establish a Mentoring Program. Good work!
Congratulations to the Leadership Alliances at SUNY Stonybrook, University of North Texas, St. Mary's College (MD) and Goucher for organizing successful fundraisers for the Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan. The FMLA at the U of N. Texas hosted a benefit concert, raising over 900 dollars for the campaign and the Leadership Alliance at SUNY Stonybrook also raised over nine hundred dollars, selling Afghan crafts and swatches!
Stonybrook and Nrandeis are two of over 240 Action Teams participating in the campaign's "Adopt-a-School" Project to provide resources and educational opportunities to Afghan women and girls. As women and girls return to schools throughout the United States, Afghan women and girls continue to be barred from education. The Feminist Majority Foundation's Back to School Campaign supports Afghan girls' schools, recruit scholarships for Afghan women at U.S. colleges and universities, and petition for increased humanitarian aid to Afghan women's organizations.
Get involved in the Back-to-School Campaign!

12/11/2000 - Leadership Alliances Take Part in Global Campaign to End Violence Against Women

Many Leadership Alliances joined in the "16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GENDER VIOLENCE," a campaign of the Global Campaign for Women's Human Rights. The "16 Days" was coordinated by the Center for Women's Global Leadership at Rutgers University nine years ago and highlights four significant dates: International Day Against Violence Against Women (November 25th), World AIDS Day (December 1st), the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, when a man stormed into the University of Montreal's engineering school and killed 14 young women in a hate-filled rampage (December 6th), and International Day of Human Rights (December 10th).

The Leadership Alliances at the University of Rochester organized many events during the 16 Days of Activism, including fundraisers and visibility actions. The Leadership Alliance at East Stroudsburg held a Candlelight Vigil and garnered support from over 18 radio stations that agreed to help make the public aware of the violence against women by playing specific pro-women songs during the 16 days of activism.
Interested in participating in a global campaign to end violence against women? To participate in the V-Day "Stop Rape" Contest to End Violence Against Women, visit

12/11/2000 - Celebrate Roe!

January 22nd marks the 28th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States. To recognize the importance of this historic case, the Choices Campaign and Feminist Majority Leadership Alliances will be celebrating the anniversary nationwide! Join thousands of students and community activists around the country as we honor the importance of abortion rights in our fight for equality.
Contact a member of the Campus Team at or toll-free at 866-444-3652 to request a Roe v. Wade action kit and watch for FMF's Roe v. Wade Day website coming soon!

12/7/2000 - Gender Crimes Remembered In Montreal Massacre

On December 6th, women across Canada gathered to mark the eleven-year anniversary of a mass shooting that killed fourteen female engineering students. The person behind the gun on December 6, 1989 at École Polytechnique in Montreal that marked Canada’s worst mass shooting in history, was Marc Lepine, who authorities charge targeted the engineering students solely because of their gender.

According to findings released by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (CCJS), 64% of women reported feeling somewhat or very worried while waiting for or using public transportation alone after dark; 51% of all Canadian women have been victims of at least one act of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16; and women account for 85% of all reported sexual-assault crimes.

Women’s rights organizations across the globe have organized major campaigns to stop violence against women and raise awareness about the numbers of women assaulted, harassed and murdered everyday simply because of their gender. The Status of Women Canada has organized to urge elected officials to pass tougher laws that will bring to justice perpetrators of gender crimes and sexual assault. December 6th was declared the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women by the Canadian parliament in lieu of the Montreal Massacre.

12/7/2000 - Aung San Suu Kyi Receives U.S. Medal of Freedom

Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy who won the 1990 free elections in Burma (Myanmar), was honored by U.S President Bill Clinton with the highest civilian award, the Medal of Freedom. Due to more than six years of house imprisonment by the Myanmar military, Suu Kyi was unable to receive the award in person, instead her son accepted her award on her behalf in Washington. Suu Kyi is the first Southeast Asian woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, yet from 1989 to 1995 and since September 2000 she has lived under house arrest. President Clinton saluted Suu Kyi’s bravery, commenting that “she has seen her supporters beaten, tortured and killed, yet she has never responded to violence and hatred in kind.”