On March 17, the Campaign, MADRE and The Global Fund for Women hosted “What Does Success Look Like on the Ground: Women in Burma, Sudan, Haiti and the DRC are Organizing for Change” at the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York, NY.
MADRE’s executive director Yifat Susskind moderated the panel, which included activists Leonie Wangivirwa (SOFEPADI, DRC), Julia Marip (Women's League of Burma) and Zeinab Blandia (Vision Association, Sudan).
“Often we find ourselves recounting the horrible stories—to the media and the general public—about sexual violence. But it is also important, equally important, to devote the same amount of attention to the solutions,” said Susskind in her opening remarks.
During her presentation, Blandia described her work to empower new human rights defenders; she is mobilizing displaced women from rural areas in Sudan to return home with community-building and rehabilitation skills. Wangivirwa leads a survivor organization that has helped other survivors navigate hospitals and courts, as well as gain leadership and personal finance skills. She's seen a marked increase in access to justice for the women she works with. Marip is working to empower Burmese women to become successful activists through network-building and skills training.
The panel concluded with a discussion on the challenges anti-violence activists are working to overcome, including ongoing threats to peace, barriers to women’s political participation and unsustainable peace agreements.
Tweets from the event: