||Posted: Nov. 27 2012,10:19
Here are some of the women that are being honored by the Nobel Women's Initiative, one each day for the 16 days of Activism to End Gender Violence:
Day 1: Spotlighting Crystal Lameman, Beaver Lake Cree Nation, Canada. Crystal is a Beaver Lake Cree First Nation activist, a Sierra Club Prairie activist and the Peace River tar sands campaigner for the Indigenous Environmental Network in Alberta, Canada – and a mother of two. With infectious dedication and passion, Crystal is committed to restoring Native treaty rights and stopping the expansion of the tar sands.
Day 2: Spotlighting Laura Reyes, Mexico. Laura Reyes is an activist from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico who is deeply committed to justice for her family. Her family has been the target of brutal violence—everything from house burning and harassment to assassinations—for their work defending the rights of their fellow citizens in Ciudad Juárez. It is estimated that drug-cartel violence has killed more than 50,000 Mexicans since 2007—many of them in Ciudad Juárez, a city that borders El Paso, Texas.
Day 3: Spotlighting Susanna Hla Hla Soe, Burma. Susanna is an activist working to improve the lives of ethnic Karen women in Burma. Susanna grew up in a rural community that suffered profoundly from the ethnic conflicts that have defined so much of Burmese history. The values she learned at home in her Baptist household fueled her desire to work for her community. For 12 years, she worked for the international organization. During that time, she had the opportunity to do a Masters degree in NGO leadership in the United States, as well as leadership training programs.
Day 4: Spotlighting Melina Laboucan Massimo, Canada. Melina is an Indigenous and environmental activist from the Lubicon Cree in Northern Alberta. Since 2009 Melina has been working as an oil sands campaigner for Greenpeace Canada. Having grown up in the oil sands region, Melina knows the reality of the oil sands too well. She has seen first-hand the impacts of oil sands development on her Nation’s people, culture, and land. She now spends most of her days traveling inside Canada and around the world to share her family’s stories with a larger audience.
Day 5: Spotlighting Chi Yvonne Leina, Cameroon. Leina is a Cameroonian journalist, women’s rights advocate and the World Pulse correspondent for Cameroon. Leina has worked as a news presenter and reporter for Equinoxe Television, a private TV channel in Cameroon. She is also one of her country’s most compelling advocates for women’s rights. Leina is passionate about ending breast ironing, a practice which involves the pounding of a pubescent girl’s breasts using hard or heated objects to try to make them stop developing or disappear. In Cameroon, studies show that one in four girls undergo such torture.
Day 6: Spotlighting Lubna Masarwa, Palestine. The deep injustice of the situation in Gaza moves Lubna to action. In recent years she has done a great deal of international work to raise awareness of the situation in Gaza. She has also been active in attempting to break the siege in Gaza, and was among the passengers who were attacked on Mavi Marmara ship in May of 2010. Israeli authorities bordered the ship, taking medical and other supplies to Gaza, and killing nine activists and injuring many others. But Lubna is undeterred, and says that activism is “in [her] blood.” Lubna can also often be found escorting international media to East Jerusalem, where she is part of the fight against house demolitions—the razing of Palestinian homes to create space for Israeli settlers. She is also a staunch advocate for providing education for young Palestinian women against racist and unjust laws.
Day 7: Spotlighting Hagit Ofran, Israel. Hagit is the director of the Settlement Watch project, part of the Israeli Peace Now movement. Widely-recognized as Israel’s foremost expert on West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements, Hagit is responsible for monitoring and analyzing Israeli construction and planning of settlements in the West Bank.
Day 8: Spotlighting Rada Boric, Croatia. Rada is a renowned international feminist, professor, and peace activist, who is best known for creating positive change in the lives of women in her native Croatia and around the world. Rada started off helping women survivors of violence during the war in the former Yugoslavia. She was program coordinator of the Center for Women War Victims in Zagreb, a center that was exceptional in allowing all women victims of war to seek refuge and begin healing free from discrimination. During that time, Rada was also actively involved in the Anti-War Campaign of Croatia.
Day 9: Spotlighting Rubina Feroze Bhatti, Pakistan. In 1998, Rubina and a group of her students formed the group Taangh Wasaib, meaning “longing for the fullness of humanity.” Over time, Rubina’s student group grew and began working with women on a variety of issues. As a human rights activist, Rubina has spoken out about honour killings, acid attacks, domestic abuse and wan’ni (the trading of female family members as conflict compensation). Through Taangh Wasaib, she has provided many women with the tools to increase their mobility, while also providing them with opportunities in their own communities.
Click here for additional brief biographies.