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Top 10 Wins for Women’s Movements

As millions rose up last year demanding justice, women were on the front lines and behind the headlines pushing to advance human rights.

Global Fund for Women celebrates International Women’s Day with ten victories won by our grantee partners in 2011. From securing bodily rights to delivering justice to rape survivors, women are indeed ushering in peace and justice for all.

1 UN Recognizes Human Rights of LGBTI People


Last June, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community won a major milestone in a long struggle for equality and justice. In a 23 to 19 vote, the UN Human Rights Council adopted the first everresolution to explicitly recognize and protect the human rights of LGBTI people, affirming LGBTI rights are indeed human rights. More »

2  A Feminist Women’s Court for Peace and Justice


After a decade of planning, seven women’s groups from five Balkan countries officially launched the Women’s Court Initiative for the former Yugoslavia. This groundbreaking effort aims to seek justice for thousands of women survivors of violence, many of whom have cases still unresolved from the region’s wars 20 years ago.

3  Uruguay on the Cusp of Legalizing Abortion

On December 28, 2011, Uruguay took a giant step towards reproductive justice when its Senate voted to decriminalize abortion in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. A similar bill was passed in 2008, but was vetoed by the former president. This time, President Jose Mujica says he will sign the bill into law.

4 Gender Equality Cemented into Moroccan Constitution

On July 1, after months of massive protests in major Moroccan cities, 98.49 percent of Moroccans voted in favor of Constitutional reforms to strengthen Moroccan democracy, including cementing into law women’s equality to men.


5  Justice Served in the Congo

 In a watershed ruling, last February a military court in the Democratic Republic of Congosentenced Colonel Kibibi Mutware, three officers, and five soldiers to 20 years in prison for a mass rape of some 60 women, along with men and children, in Fizi on New Year’s Day 2011.



6  Sri Lankan Women Workers Fight Back

In May 2011, over 40,000 garment workers, mostly women, walked out of their factories in the Katunayake Free Trade Zone (FTZ) to protest a wage-cutting pension bill introduced by the Sri Lankan Parliament in order to obtain a $2.6 billion IMF loan.



7  Egyptian Court Bans Virginity Testsspace

Egyptian women won a significant victory last December when a civilian court ordered the army to stop conducting virginity tests on women prisoners.


8 Breaking the Silence on Rape in Pakistan

In Pakistan, where rape cases are largely unreported and sensationalized by the media, a courageous survivor of rape, Mukhtaran Mai, and a women’s rights organization are sparking a national debate on how media and society talk about rape. While the media’s reporting is important, photos of the survivor are sometimes published, and stories often leave out critical information about the rapist and the crime.


9 Women’s Human Rights Central to Peace

In 2011, the Nobel Committee awarded their Peace Prize to two Liberian women—peace activist Leymah Gbowee and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf—and Yemeni pro-democracy activist, Tawakkul Karman, all of whom are connected with Global Fund grantee partners.



10 European Women Win Domestic Violence Treaty


After decades of advocacy by women’s groups, the Council of Europe adopted the groundbreaking Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence.




Pressure European leaders to ratify the treaty that criminalizes violence against women.

 Sign the petition »


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