Tag Archives: Human rights

Update on corrective rape — Note from Ndumi

Join the global outcry against “corrective rape” in South Africa 

Sign the Petition

Several weeks ago, survivors of “corrective rape” — a heinous practice in South Africa where lesbians are raped under the guise of “curing” them — started a petition on Change.org to ask the Minister of Justice to declare corrective rape a hate crime.

It has since become the largest-ever petition on Change.org, and the Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Justice has repeatedly contacted us to complain that they are overwhelmed with the messages coming from every part of South Africa and every corner of the globe. But the minister still refuses to meet with the activists who started the campaign — Ndumi Funda and the women of the non-profit Lulekisizwe.

Ndumi asked us to pass the note below along to Change.org members. Take a look, then please add your name to their petition to keep up the pressure:



To Change.org members, editors and most of all to all of you who signed our petition,

We are GOBSMACKED at the response that our petition has received. Our fight against corrective-rape has been going on for so long, under the most harrowing of circumstances, with only a few volunteers to help, and it just seemed that nobody was listening, nobody cared, and our sisters were getting raped, beaten up and murdered without anyone doing anything about it.

In absolute frustration, we decided to write a petition. This was a first for us, and never in our wildest dreams did we imagine that we would get this kind of a response. We did jokingly say that we wanted to crash the Ministry of Justice’s servers, but we thought that our petition would get a thousand or so signatures if we were lucky. More than 65,000 signatures later, and the senior Ministry officials we targeted are apparently having major difficulty accessing their e-mail because of all the e-mails your signatures are generating! WOOOHOOOO! Well done & thank you!

If you haven’t already signed the ‘Corrective Rape‘ petition, please sign and share it with your friends:


Unfortunately, despite this becoming the most popular petition of ALL TIME on Change.org, and clearly getting the attention of the minister, Lulekisizwe has still not heard a word from the Justice Department! We need a meeting with the Minister of Justice so we can discuss how ‘corrective rape’ victims are treated, the lack of police response, how long the court cases take, why so many of the dockets get ‘lost’ and why the rapists get out on such low bail. Please keep the pressure up!

Thanks to a donation from an ethical cosmetics company in the UK called Lush, we were able to get another, more secure place to stay and use as a safe-house for the victims, but the rapes and assaults are continuing. We are worn out and things are far from easy, especially at this time of the year when stress levels are very high.

The one thing that is giving us hope is all of you showing love and caring by signing and sharing the petition. We are thrilled, excited and very, very humbled by the support that every one of you have shown, and all we can say is thank you and please, please don’t stop. Ask your friends to sign our petition:


Bless you all and have a great Festive Season,
Ndumi Funda & the Lulekisizwe team


Child slavery — the numbers

Demand that governments protect and uphold the basic rights of all children. 

Sign the Petition

The numbers around child slavery and exploitation are simply staggering, and there aren’t enough people fighting back.

More than 150 million children younger than 14 years-old are child laborers — one in six children in the world. Those children do hazardous work in mines or on farms, often handling chemicals and pesticides or working near dangerous machinery. Others toil as domestic servants in homes or workshops.

Another 300,000 children under 18 are child soldiers used as combatants, messengers, porters, cooks, or sexual servants in some 30 conflicts worldwide. They are most often forcibly recruited or abducted, or feel so helpless and overwhelmed by poverty they are driven to join the fight.

Girls are particularly vulnerable. Some as young as 13 are trafficked as “mail-order brides.” Nearly 90% of domestic workers trafficked in West and Central Africa are girls.

It’s an epidemic that isn’t getting enough attention from governments worldwide — and Change.org members can help change that.

Click here to take a stand now against child slavery and exploitation and demand that governments protect and uphold the basic rights of all children.

Once you add your name, will you forward this email to friends and family? We can fight this, but only if people know how bad the situation really is.

Thank you for taking action,

The Change.org Team

P.S. You can learn a lot more about what Change.org members are doing to fight human trafficking of all kinds at http://humantrafficking.change.org.


Women’s Progress in Peril – Help Us Now



National Women's Law Center

If the final days of the 111th Congress are any clue, you and I have our work cut out for us in 2011.

Earlier this month, 58 Senators voted to bring an important bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act, to the floor of the Senate for a full debate and vote. This measure would help close the continuing and shameful disparity between men’s and women’s wages.

But in highly polarized Washington, 58 votes are not enough. Needing 60, this critical reform died without ever receiving a vote on the merits.

We have fought too long and too hard for women and families to let injustices like this stand.

Please make an urgent contribution to the Center’s year-end campaign — every dollar you donate will be matched dollar for dollar by our Board of Directors, up to a total of $60,000.

It’s a sign of the times that our Board has issued this challenge.

For more than 38 years, the National Women’s Law Center has led the way for women and families — in the classroom, in the workplace and in society as a whole. Our team of experts, lawyers and advocates is a formidable force for women in America today. The coming year will be a tough one, but frankly we’ve been here before — and prevailed. And with your help, we can prevail again.

Here is a glimpse of some of the major challenges that we will take on in 2011, marshalling all of our experience, savvy and skill:


  1. Advocate for an economic recovery plan that puts job creation and economy-boosting investments before deficit reduction in the short term. The recession has hit women hard and millions of women, many of them single mothers, are among the long-term unemployed. We will press for jobs and job supports, such as child care, that will help both these women and the economy.

    At the same time, we will advocate for a long-term fiscal plan that protects programs vital to women and their families. We will press for additional revenues from a fair and responsible tax system and fight efforts to balance the budget on the backs of Social Security and Medicare, which have helped millions of women escape poverty and achieve some measure of economic and health security.

  2. Protect health reforms that help women and families. The Center played a lead role in efforts to stop insurers from charging women higher premiums than men. And we shined a bright spotlight on the trauma of women being denied coverage by insurance companies that consider Cesareans and domestic violence to be “preexisting conditions.” Those were critical advances, and we won’t allow the country to go backwards.
  3. Win confirmation of dozens of judges, who are superbly qualified and who await Senate confirmation to serve on the federal bench.
  4. Catch up with the community of nations by ratifying the landmark international human rights treaty for women, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women — CEDAW — ratified by all but the United States, Sudan, Somalia, Iran and three Island countries in the Pacific. Our nation’s presence on this list is simply shameful.

We’re up against what will certainly be one of the most challenging sessions of Congress in recent years, with many more Members hostile to core rights and programs critical to women’s lives. But if we’ve learned one thing in our 38 years, it’s this — that victories are possible even in the toughest of times.

Your support will never make a bigger difference. And between now and December 31st, the Board will match your gift dollar for dollar, up to a total of $60,000.

Please give generously. For women and families everywhere, you have our deepest thanks.




Nancy Duff Campbell Nancy Duff Campbell
National Women’s Law Center
Marcia Greenberger Marcia Greenberger
National Women’s Law Center

Stop this extreme anti-choice bill

Tell Congress to stop restricting the reproductive rights of low-income women.

Sign the Petition

A woman shouldn’t lose her ability to decide if it’s a good time to bring a child into the world just because she is poor – but it’s been happening in the United States for decades.

Unless we speak out, the law that makes this injustice possible could become permanent.

For the past 34 years, the Hyde Amendment has made it extremely difficult for poor and low-income women on Medicaid to finance abortion services and severely limited their right to reproductive healthcare. It has been used to ban the federal government from spending money on abortion with very few exceptions.

The result? More than a million American women have been denied the ability to make their own decisions about bringing a child into the world in the context of their own circumstances and those of their families.

And now, a bill called the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” is picking up steam in Congress with over 170 co-sponsors. It goes to a new extreme, and seeks to make Hyde permanent while making it even harder for women to find abortion coverage in the private sector.

This is a direct assault on the fundamental rights of poor women and their families. Please write your Members of Congress and tell them to oppose the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.”

The Hyde Amendment imposes severe financial hardship on poor women. The struggle to raise funds forces many women to delay obtaining services and have later abortions. They might have to forgo basic necessities for their families, or may be forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term.

Reproductive rights include a woman’s right to make fundamental decisions about her life and family, to access the reproductive health services necessary to protect her health, and to decide whether and when to have children. By restricting access to abortion, the Hyde Amendment violates these fundamental human rights for poor and low-income women in the United States.

Please urge your elected officials in Washington to stand up for the rights of poor and low-income women and reject the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” We cannot let the Hyde Amendment’s restrictions become permanent law.

Thanks for taking action,

– The Change.org Team

Save the girls …

Nearly three million young girls are at risk of female genital cutting this year. Stop this human rights abuse now.

Sign the Petition

Across parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia, the following scene is replayed over and over: A girl, often between 4 and 12 years old, is held down by three or four women while all or part of her external and internal genitalia is cut off.

Complications from this brutal procedure can include severe hemorrhaging, infection, long-term difficulties with intercourse and childbirth, and even death.

Female genital cutting (FGC) reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

Urge Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to do all she can to encourage the governments of the countries where this practice takes place to put a stop to it >

More than 100 million women and girls worldwide are affected by different forms of cutting. Infibulation is the most severe form, where some or all of the external genitalia are cut, leaving only a very small opening for urination and menstruation.

The practice of female genital cutting is hard to talk about. But ignoring it only guarantees more suffering, and leadership from the United States would go a long way in urging the countries where FGC occurs to end this human rights abuse.

Nearly three million young girls are at risk of female genital cutting this year alone. Please take action and help save these girls from a lifetime of pain and suffering >

Thank you for taking action,

The Change.org Team