Esperance Kavira Furaha | SOFEPADI, Democratic Republic of Congo
Esperance is a women’s rights and peace activist from the province of North Kivu, DRC. Alongside Women’s Solidarity for Peace and Integrated Development (SOFEPADI), Esperance works to raise awareness about sexual violence in her country and mobilize survivors to demand justice. In 2009, while traveling by foot from Goma to Walikale, members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) violently assaulted and raped Esperance in a forest. This harrowing experience motivated Esperance to become an outspoken activist against sexual violence.
Hania Moheeb | Journalist, Egypt
Hania Moheeb is a seasoned journalist dedicated to ending rape and impunity for sexual violence in Egypt. Hania is a survivor of politically-motivated sexual assault. In 2013, Hania attended a demonstration in Tahrir Square where a group of men surrounded her and violated her body in a horrific and well-planned attack. Hania survived, and vowed to seek justice for herself and other women experiencing gender violence in Egypt. Despit the risks, Hania continues to challenge her country’s deep-rooted patriarchal attitudes.
Jineth Bedoya Lima | Journalist, Colombia
Jineth Bedoya Lima is an accomplished journalist who has covered the conflict in Colombia for almost two decades. In 2000, paramilitaries kidnapped, tortured and sexually abused Jineth as a result of her efforts to report on the war. In 2009, Jineth decided to go public with her case and created the ‘It Is Not Time To Be Silenced’ Campaign that has since helped dozens of women victims in Colombia. Jineth is also spokeswoman for the OXFAM-led campaign ‘Rape and other violence: Leave my Body out of the War.’
Jody Williams | Nobel Peace Laureate
Jody Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work to ban antipersonnel landmines through the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). She is an outspoken peace activist who struggles to reclaim the real meaning of peace—a concept which goes far beyond the absence of armed conflict and is defined by human security, not national security. Since January of 2006, Jody Williams has worked to achieve her peace work through the Nobel Women’s Initiative, which she chairs. In 2003, Williams was named Distinguished Visiting Professor of Global Justice, in the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston. Her memoir My Name is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl's Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize was published by the University of California in March 2013. Jody worked throughout the 1980s to end US involvement in El Salvador and Nicaragua. In the late 80's, while directing projects for a humanitarian relief organization working in El Salvador, she was sexually assaulted by a member of one of that country's most notorious death squads, whose founder had received training at the School of the Americas at Ft. Benning in Georgia. The assault was a politically motivated act to try to frighten her and her organization into leaving El Salvador. It did not have that effect. Jody continued her Salvador work until early 1992 and the organization for many years longer.
Valentina Rosendo Cantù | Just Associates (JASS), Mexico
Valentina Rosendo Cantú is an indigenous Me’phaa woman activist from the remote region of Guerrero, Mexico. In 2002, members of the military sexually assaulted Valentina while she was washing in a creek. She survived, and began a difficult journey to seek justice—one that continues to the present day. Despite facing incredible barriers, Valentina pursued her case to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights in 2009. In 2010, the Court granted her justice. Valentina continues to speak out against impunity for military crimes against civilians.