Justice for Memory Machaya!

Reasons for signing

See why other supporters are signing, why this petition is important to them, and share your reason for signing (this will mean a lot to the starter of the petition).

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Albertinah Tiroyaone Matsika
Oct 17, 2021
She was just a *CHILD* for God's sake!!!

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Dawn Sutton
Oct 15, 2021
This has to stop

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Maria Van Geel
Oct 14, 2021

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Jacob Kuligowski
Sep 21, 2021
to end child marriage.

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Asanda P Mhlalisi
Sep 13, 2021
Im signing this petition

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Jahmayka Green
Sep 12, 2021
Memory was a baby herself. I know traditions are most times necessary but the tradition of not allowing little girls to grow into women is one tradition that we must not honour. My heart cries for Memory and her baby. The 2 victims of this crime

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Lauren Trevino
Sep 10, 2021
It is sickening and appalling to know that child marriage is still legal in some countries in the world.

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Anita Kanitz
Sep 8, 2021
Gender equality, women's rights and feminism are not dirty words. It does not mean you hate men and boys, it does not mean you hate sucessful and beautiful women and girls and it does not mean you are a ‘bitch’ or ‘whore’; it means you believe in equality, freedom, human rights and the right to live without fear and oppression.
-Anita Kanitz

"My story starts when I was one week old, when I went through FGM. I have no memory of going through the process, and I didn’t know until the age of 15, when I was forced to get married.
I came to New York City on Christmas Day when I was 15 years old to marry a man whom I had never met. I think getting married at a young age is the most difficult thing any girl can ever go through. When you force a girl to marry, you've given a man a right to rape her every single day.
I managed to leave my husband after two months and went to live with my uncle and aunt in Bronx. I wanted to go back to school. But in my tradition, I was no longer considered a girl because I was married, and I couldn’t convince my aunt to enroll me in school. I went to every school that I knew in the Bronx, asking them to register me. But they wouldn’t, because they couldn’t register a child without a legal guardian. Eventually a school took me in... I worked harder than I’ve ever done in my life and graduated.
After finishing high school, I moved to Atlanta and remarried. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my daughter, that I started to speak out against FGM. I didn’t want my daughter to ever have to go through what I had. I also knew there were millions of girls out there, just like me and my daughter, and no one was speaking for them. If it wasn’t going to me, who else would do that?
I started to speak out, I started to shout… I started, with a blog, where I shared my own experience. Soon after that, I started a support group for other women in my home in Atlanta. By 2014, I had registered my organization and started my change.org petition, asking President Obama to investigate the prevalence of FGM in the United States. Subsequently, the United States Institute of Peace convened the Summit to End FGM for the first time in 2016.
I think there are still a lot of misconceptions about FGM, like it's practiced by ignorant Africans and people over there who are uneducated, uncivilized. FGM is happening in Africa, but also in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and even in places like Colombia and the United States of America and the United Kingdom! FGM is not about religion. It's not about class. It's not about education. I've seen some of the most educated people practice FGM because they believe it's their culture.
In fact, the biggest challenge standing in our way is this idea that FGM is a religious practice. It’s hard to change something that people believe is their religious obligation. We need religious leaders to come out boldly and say that FGM has nothing to do with religion. In Gambia, we organized the first religious leaders’ training in 2015. Before the training, I remember how divided the room was… many of the religious leaders who came from Gambia, Senegal and Mauritania supported FGM. By the end of the training, they issued a fatwa against FGM.
We also need to get resources to the communities directly to do this work; cut out the middle man and trust that women and their communities are more than capable of bringing solutions that are actually going to help us end FGM. We can't import solutions into communities and expect change. Every community is different! The reason why they practise FGM is different!
Right now, we are at a tipping point in the movement to end FGM. Not only do we have survivors who are taking the lead in fighting against FGM, we also have the political will across the African continent, and UN agencies that are doing more than ever before. Because we have created a movement where women are leading the change, I think we have a chance to make 2030 arrive early.”
"Both FGM and child marriage are ultimately forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls, framed by a culture of gender inequality. I underwent FGM as a baby and didn’t realize what that meant until I was 15.

There are four types of FGM; I went through “Type 3”, which is the total removal of the clitoris, and the labia and the vagina are stitched together with only a small hole to urinate and menstruate. I realized that my marriage could not be consummated till I was deinfibrilated.
FGM and child marriage show that women and girls do not control their bodies, choices and lives. And this has serious socio-economic, physical, emotional, sexual and health consequences, including death. We must end these practices and address the gender discrimination and inequality that condone them."
"FGM and child marriage are means of controlling women’s and girl’s bodies, sexualities and futures, and are invested with notions of purity, protection of female purity, desirability as wives, and cloaked in religiosity. Migrant women and girls who are moving because of their circumstances or refugee women and girls whom I have worked with, traumatized and fleeing war-ravaged countries to new countries with new cultures, are more vulnerable. There are additional pressures related to desperate socio-economic conditions, lack of regular legal status, safety and security concerns in alien contexts—all of which increase their vulnerability. Protection from sexual violence, the premium on sexual purity, the need for one less mouth to feed, cash and kind received at marriage, and possibilities of obtaining legitimate legal status by marrying a host country national are concrete factors driving FGM and child marriage among migrant and refugee women and girls.

Moreover, these communities carry their customs and traditions with them when they move to other countries. So FGM and child marriages are still prevalent in migrant communities, even in parts of the world that may not have known them before."
"We must support women and girls, especially survivors, to lead change and be role models. When a survivor speaks to her own people, it touches a chord. Her experience cannot be dismissed as a ‘western intervention to save African people’. I screamed out against FGM and child marriage, wrote blogs, threatened to call law enforcement if I could not leave my husband, established an NGO to combat these practices and petitioned the Obama administration to investigate the profile of FGM in the United States of America. Subsequently, I contributed to the Summit to End FGM in 2016 at the United States Institute of Peace as well as to the legislation banning FGM in Gambia, my birth country. I want young girls to look at me, see that we share much in common and that their future is bigger than they imagine.
Change cannot come from talking to the converted in conference rooms. We must work with religious and traditional leaders, communities of men, boys and parents who think differently. We must listen to and understand their rationale and belief systems respectfully, and ensure that their privacy and dignity is maintained. We must avert judgementalism, use alternate religious interpretations and cite scientific evidence on adverse socio-economic and health impacts of FGM and child marriage. This approach would create an enabling environment for dialogues, and breakthroughs in social norms, mindset and behaviour change.
I want to see the day when no parent makes a decision that will change and limit their daughters’ lives."
-Jaha Dukureh, UN Women Regional Goodwill Ambassador for Africa

Daily and worldwide hate crimes against female babies, childs, girls and women:

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM):
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is defined (and connected with child and forced marriage, child rape, sex slavery, sexual torture and mutilation, underaged forced deadly childbirths, femicide) as the partial or total removal of outer female genital parts for non-medical reasons. UNICEF estimates that currently more than 200 Million women and girls in 30 countries have been genitally mutilated. However, this number can only be understood as a rough estimate, as precise prevalence studies currently still do not exist for many countries. The actual rate could therefore be up to twice as high.

Female Genital Mutilation constitutes a severe violation of human rights. Survivors of FGM often suffer from grave physical and psychological consequences throughout their lives after the procedure.

For a long time, Female Genital Mutilation has been considered a solely African phenomenon. This conception has experienced a fundamental paradigm shift in recent years. Today, it is general knowledge that different forms of FGM are not only practised in 29 African countries, but also in some regions in the Middle East, in Asia and in South America. In addition, the practice is spreading worldwide through migration. As a result, the European Parliament estimates that in EU countries alone 500.000 girls and women have suffered FGM, and another 180.000 are endangered of being cut.

Also in Germany, women and girls are exposed to the risk of being genitally mutilated secretly inside the country, or taken abroad and forced to undergo the procedure.

Sexual Violence:

In the cases of domestic violence and sexual violence, the own home can often be the most dangerous place for women. In fact, most instances of rape and other forms of sexual violence take place not in a dark alley or park, as is often assumed, but in the home. In fact, in the majority of cases, the perpetrator is not a stranger; he is often an ex-partner, a friend, or even a member of the own family.

Sexual violence often stays unreported and unprosecuted: half of those affected by sexual violence never speak with anyone about what they experienced, and only a very small portion of rape crimes are reported at all. Furthermore, the conviction rate of rape-crimes in Germany has fallen sharply in recent years.

The key motives for sexual violence are the exercise of power, control and the humiliation of another person. In the vast majority of cases, victims are girls and women and the offenders are, in most cases, men.
Types of Sexual Violence

Sexual violence is a multifaceted problem, which encompasses all sexual activities, advances or attempts made onto another person against their will, including sexual harassment (e.g. unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favours), and other verbal or physical harassment or assault of a sexual nature. Serious forms of sexual violence include: sexual assault, rape and attempted rape.

In Germany, one in every seven women has experienced serious forms of sexual violence throughout her lifetime (Estimated number of rape every year in Germany: 160,000).

Though the German Criminal Code outlaws sexual violence, the wording of the relevant article (§177) is inadequate, with several and severe gaps in protection, resulting in the majority of crimes going unpunished every year.
Protection Gaps:

Even under circumstances where an offender has demonstrably committed sexual acts against the will of the victim this alone is not considered sufficient action to constitute the criminal offence of rape under current legislation.

In order to constitute a crime, the offender must have indeed exploited the vulnerable position of the victim through either the threat or actual use of physical force against the victim to be considered as rape according to the requirements of an offence.
Nearly all female childs and many male childs, girls and boys, very young women and women affected by sexual abuse, sexual harassment, rape, date and gang rapes and marital rape. That is a sad worldwide reality!

Domestic Violence:

The greatest parts of the female population are exposed to domestic violence depending on the specific region. In Germany, one in four women has experienced physical violence at the hands of her current or former partner at least once during the course of her life.
What is Domestic Violence?
There is no universal definition of domestic violence; however, the term is used most commonly when referring to the violence exercised between two current or former partners. In 90 per cent of the cases the perpetrator is male while women and children are usually the victims. Children tend to be more than mere witnesses to domestic violence: in fact, research has demonstrated a close correlation between domestic violence against women and the abuse of children by the perpetrator.
Intimate partner violence is part of many women’s daily lives. According to a representative study commissioned by the federal government in 2004, as many as 25 per cent of women in Germany have experienced some kind of physical and/or sexual abuse by their current or former partner at some point.

The forms of domestic violence:
Domestic violence includes forms of physical, sexual, and psychological violence. It may range from threats, intimidation, and humiliation to being slapped, beaten up, raped, or killed. Social isolation and economic violence can also be features domestic violence. Domestic violence simply means to exercise power and control over one's partner. In general domestic violence is not an isolated event, but rather the perpetrator makes use of violence against his/her partner systematically and continuously in order to oppress the partner and keep her/him in an inferior position. People affected by domestic violence often suffer from a lack of self-confidence. It is not unusual for them to accept responsibility for the violence they have experienced.

Domestic violence is not a private matter!

Conflicts within a relationship, including violent ones, are often understood as ‘private matters’ by possible witnesses, such as neighbours, colleagues or friends. Thus, they often perceive interference as overly intrusive. Moreover, the control exercised by the violent partner makes it more difficult for the victim to resort to outsiders for help.

In addition, there are very real difficulties and obstacles for a woman to break free of a violent relationship, such as financial dependence on the perpetrator. Also, ending an abusive relationship does not always put an end to the threat of violence. On the contrary, the risk of falling victim to violence by an abusive partner increases especially after a break-up.

The greatest danger for women and girls are the own home worldwide and the murderers, abusers and rapists of them their own partners, husbands, fathers and family members. That is a very sad fact.

Honour Crimes:

Worldwide, women continue to be denied the right to an independent life on the pretext of traditional, often out-dated concepts of honour. However, what are known as “honour killings” and forced marriages are only the most extreme forms of violence in the name of honour.
What is violence in the name of honour?

Violence in the name of honour, also known as honour crimes, is a type of violence used in order to safeguard or regain what is perceived as the family honour. Different expressions of this kind of violence range from emotional blackmail and psychological pressure to physical and sexual violence. Forced Marriages and honour killings also belong to this category.
What does honour or family honour mean?

Honour or family honour has different meanings in different cultures and countries. In strongly patriarchal societies, it is based on what is perceived to be 'correct' conduct for female family members who are regarded as men's property. If a female relative acts against the ruling norms, and if this becomes known to outsiders, then the entire family's honour is damaged, if not destroyed, and with it their social standing.

At the root of this lies the control over female sexuality. Sex is only tolerated within marriage. In some cases, a rumour or suspicion spread about a girl being seen with an unknown boy or man may be enough to damage the family honour. Rape can also lead to the loss of family honour.

It is the men's task to guard the family’s honour and therefore to control the female family members' conduct. Should they fail in this, the only option to regain the family's honour is to kill the girl or woman responsible for the loss of honour (killing in the name of honour = '‘honour killing'’).
What does honour based violence have to do with religion?

In several known cases of honour-based violence, the perpetrators have justified their actions with their religious beliefs. According to some religious beliefs, sexuality is only allowed within marriage. Extra-marital sex can damage family honour, which the men will try to mend using violence. However, any form of violence is an abuse of human rights and can never be legitimised.
What's the situation in Germany and Europe?

There is no doubt that honour crimes take place in Europe. In most cases, they affect girls and women from families with migrant backgrounds. On the one hand, these women experience a lot of pressure to conform to the patriarchal gender roles within the families. On the other hand, they want to live an equal and independent life.

There are no exact numbers on the extent of honour crimes in Europe. However, in 2008 the UK became the first country to publish a census on honour crimes (pdf-file). A survey by Dr. Khanum (pdf-file), for instance, shows that at least 3,000 young women in the UK are victims of forced marriage each year.

The first nationwide survey regarding cases of forced marriage in Germany was published in November 2011: On behalf of the Ministry for family, seniors, women and youth, a scientific survey by the Lawaetz Foundation was realised in cooperation with TERRE DES FEMMES and Torsten Schaak (office for socio-political counselling), which was accompanied by an advisory committee. Nationwide, 1445 helpdesks were interviewed on their experiences with cases of forced marriage. 830 of them replied and stated that there were all in all 3,443 cases of forced marriage in 2008 alone – 93% of them concerning women or girls. A close third of the affected people were underage, while 40% were between 18 and 21 years old.

Trafficking in Women and Prostitution and paid rape in sadistic pornography:

Human trafficking, prostitution, porngraphy are paid paid rapes and mass rapes and misogyny at it's best!

Social harm from exposure to pornography
Women reduced to sex objects!

On-face ejaculation and anal sex are increasingly popular among men, following trends in porn.[ MacKinnon and Dworkin defined pornography as "the graphic sexually explicit subordination of women through pictures or words".

The effects produced by those who view pornography are mixed and still widely debated. Generally, research has been focused around the effects of voluntary viewing of pornography. There have also been studies analyzing the inadvertent exposure to explicit sexual content, including: viewing naked photographs of people, people engaging in sexual acts, accidental web searches, or opening online links to pornographic material. It has been found that most exposure to pornography online is unsolicited and by accident. 42% of those who view online pornography are ages ranging between 10 and 17; 66% have experienced inadvertent exposure.

Jae Woong Shim of Sookmyung Women's University along with Bryant M. Paul of Indiana University published a controlled study looking at such inadvertent exposure to pornography in regards to the feeling of anonymity titled "The Role of Anonymity in the Effects of Inadvertent Exposure to Online Pornography Among Young Adult Males." The study consisted of 84 male students, ages 18 and older, volunteering from a large American university in the Midwest. After completing an arbitrary survey, they were shown a 10-second pop-up clip consisting either of sexual or nonsexual content. Half of the subjects exposed to either clip believed they were viewing the content nonanonymously. The other half believed they were anonymous, and they were not being monitored. They were then asked if they would rather view hardcore pornography, softcore pornography, or nonsexual material. The hardcore pornography depicted women as sexual objects, and male-superiority. The softcore pornography was less graphic. The nonsexual material was a video of a professor's lecture unrelated to sexual content.

After being exposed to the inadvertent pop-up clip, researchers noted which of the three above content choices the subjects selected. Researchers then measured the participants’ sexist attitudes towards women using a questionnaire asking the agreeability of statements to women gaining more control over men. The higher the score, the higher the subjects are thought to hold sexist views. Those who believed they were anonymous were less likely to be conscious of their monitoring compared to the nonanonymous group. It turns out, those who were exposed to sexual content and believed they were anonymous, were the most likely to choose the hardcore pornography that depicts the most objectification of women. The next highest choice for the hardcore pornography was the group exposed to nonsexual material, yet believed to be anonymous. These two groups were the most likely to hold hostile sexist attitudes towards women after the 10 second inadvertent exposure to sexual content compared to before the study.
This indicates negative opinions towards women. It is concluded that being exposed to sexual content, even when it is unwanted, leads men to develop harsher sexist attitudes towards women. The greater intrigue for men to view hardcore and unusual pornography was greater when they believed to be doing so anonymously. This is most likely tied to the theory of deindividuation. The theory states that a person detaches his or her self from personal responsibility and awareness as an individual, and is more likely to act differently than when their behaviors are socially attached to his or her character. "When individuals perceive that no one knows what they are viewing, they are likely to experience reduced self-awareness, which, in turn, leads to being less considerate toward others". This implies that these men would be less likely to view the pornography which harshly objectifies women if they know others would be aware if they do so, due to the perceived social consequences.

Since the feeling of anonymity disregard social norms, there is a higher chance of pursuing more extreme stimuli. This study does not prove that the men willing to watch the hardcore pornography and hold more sexist views are more likely to act out these desires and beliefs toward women. Valerie Webber in her article "Shades of Gay: Performance of Girl-on-Girl Pornography and mobile authenticities" differentiates the sex depicted in porn and personal, private sexual encounters. At first, she argues that performing sex produces normative ideas about what makes sex authentic. These normative beliefs then transfer into personal experiences where people feel an obligation to perform sex as they have viewed it in pornography.

Webber discovered that there is no true authenticity surrounding sex. Sex through the lens of pornography is still legitimate, yet most performers exaggerate the act in a sadistic way to make it more rousing and intimate to the audience.

Many serial rapists, serial killers, gang rapist, sexual murderers were porn addicts like the famous serial killer Ted Bundy. Pornography is the new witch hunt and can end worldwide in sexual femicide!

The german organization TERRE DES FEMMES has worked on the issue of trafficking in women since the beginning of the organisation. We aim to support vulnerable women, who are taken advantage of and exploited by criminals. Trafficking in women involves women that are either forced into prostitution or into labour exploitation. Trafficking in women is a form of gender-based violence and is a serious human rights violation. Victims are exploited by criminal networks due to their economic difficulties and the lack of alternative migration paths. However, trafficking in women not only involves migrant women but also German citizens: they represent about 20% of the victims in Germany.

At an international and national level there is no valid and reliable data regarding human trafficking. The only available data on human trafficking in Germany is provided by the German Federal Criminal Police (Bundeskriminalamt). These statistics only count successfully completed police proceedings, and just the cases where the prosecutor decides to prosecute for human trafficking. In 2017, the German federal criminal police office counted 489 victims of human trafficking for sexual exploitation. 99% of those are girls and women. This is a small part of the actual number of victims in Germany, but the real number remains unknown.

The organization TERRE DES FEMMES in Germany fights for a world without prostitution. Nobody knows how many women in Germany are involved in prostitution, there are simply no reliable estimates of the number of prostitutes. Yet, the high demand for commercial sex makes prostitution and the sex trade a big business in Germany. For exmaple TERRE DES FEMMES works towards the introduction of the sex purchase ban in Germany. This legislative model criminalizes sex buyers instead of the prostitutes. This radical change in perspective is necessary for reducing prostitution and improving gender equality.

The department of Terres des Femmes“Trafficking in Women and Prostitution” raises public awareness of these issues and pushes for legislative changes through advocacy work. The organization cooperate with a large network of other women’s rights organizations in Germany, Europe and beyond. The goal is to emphasize both the human rights violations that happen and their negative impact on gender equality.

Books about femicide:

"Terrorizing Women: Feminicide in the Americas" by Rosa-Linda Fregoso (Editor), Cynthia Bejarano:

“Terrorizing Women is a timely and essential read for people concerned about gender violence in intersection with multiple forms of injustice. Scholars, activists, legal experts and relatives of women murdered or disappeared expose feminicide as a complexly-layered social problem that demands urgent action. Insightful conceptual introductions by editors Rosa-Linda Fregoso and Cynthia Bejarano, and by feminist activist/academic/politician Marcela Lagarde y de los Ríos, are followed by useful analyses and concrete suggestions aimed at stopping feminicide and advancing justice.” - Barbara Sutton, International Feminist Journal of Politics

“Fregoso and Bejarano seek to introduce a human rights framework to our understanding of misogynistic murders. . . . The book makes the point that feminicide must be analysed within local and global networks of complicity. . . . The great value I see in this book is that it extends the conversation about femicide/feminicide beyond Mexico and into the rest of the Americas.” - Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Times Higher Education Supplement

“[T]he range of Latin American and trans-border authors and disciplinary
perspectives . . . combine to convey a sense of informed and urgent feminist debate. If one insight can be distilled from the case studies and scholarly analyses, it comes from Julia Huamanahui. As her brother-in-law rapes her he gloats: ‘Even if you scream, no one will hear you’. Years later, abandoning hope of legal recourse for her pregnant sister’s brutal murder, for which the husband is the only suspect, Julia concludes: ‘I think that for a person who is poor, there is no justice’. This book offers some possible alternatives to such lonely terror.” - Deborah Eade, Gender and Development

“The writing here is . . . often urgent and disturbing. It always conveys the message that export-led economic development strategies and neoliberal restructuring plans, privatized police and justice systems, and the cultural and practical legacies from civil war and military dictatorship produce gendered perpetrators, victims, and cultures of impunity. Recommended.” - L. D. Brush, Choice

“. . . Terrorizing Women is a vivid account of the complex interrelations between multiple factors that permit and encourage feminicide. By showing the enormity and deep roots of the problem of violence against women in Latin America, Terrorizing Women also allows readers to understand why feminicide has continued virtually unchecked for decades.” - Laura Jennings, Social Forces

“Anyone who is interested in gaining a deeper understanding of gendered violence and the phenomenon of feminicide in Latin America must read Rosa-Linda Fregoso and Cynthia Bejarano’s Terrorizing Women. The book’s powerful contribution is to bring together the diverse voices of scholars, human rights lawyers, and activists, whose analyses help us better understand the structural and legal norms which give rise to the escalating violence against, and murders of, women.”—Karen Musalo, founding director, Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, Hastings College of the Law

“The concerted emergence of feminicidio finally traces the deep hollow of an absent international crime and a silent human rights violation. Now, fundamental inquiries must surface. Should the Genocide Convention be re-drafted to suppress, pursue, and punish feminicidio? Isn’t a peace that is only defined by the cessation of armed conflict one that can tolerate feminicidio? Isn’t securing transitional justice a perpetual ‘State’ for females? The authors’ piercingly astute observations disintegrate illusory historical, geographical, political, and sexual frontiers that confine us and assign us ‘partial human rights status.’ Yes, we rise to your siren.”—Patricia Sellers, former legal advisor for gender-related crimes, Office of the Prosecutor, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

“This one-of-a-kind book presents a collaborative hemispheric conversation among feminists responding to a crisis of overwhelming importance. It is a call to action from the field, a provocation for a new kind of knowledge and a new kind of activism. It is a book about history that will itself make history.”—George Lipsitz, author of American Studies in a Moment of Danger
“. . . Terrorizing Women is a vivid account of the complex interrelations between multiple factors that permit and encourage feminicide. By showing the enormity and deep roots of the problem of violence against women in Latin America, Terrorizing Women also allows readers to understand why feminicide has continued virtually unchecked for decades.”
(Laura Jennings Social Forces)

“Terrorizing Women is a timely and essential read for people concerned about gender violence in intersection with multiple forms of injustice. Scholars, activists, legal experts and relatives of women murdered or disappeared expose feminicide as a complexly-layered social problem that demands urgent action. Insightful conceptual introductions by editors Rosa-Linda Fregoso and Cynthia Bejarano, and by feminist activist/academic/politician Marcela Lagarde y de los Ríos, are followed by useful analyses and concrete suggestions aimed at stopping feminicide and advancing justice.”
(Barbara Sutton International Feminist Journal of Politics)

"Mayada, Daughter of Iraq": One Woman's Survival Under Saddam Hussein by Jean Sasson ;
A member of one of the most distinguished and honored families in Iraq, Mayada grew up surrounded by wealth and royalty. But when Saddam Hussein’s regime took power, she was thrown into cell 52 in the infamous Baladiyat prison with seventeen other nameless, faceless women from all walks of life. To ease their suffering, these “shadow women” passed each day by sharing their life stories. Now, through Jean Sasson, Mayada is finally able to tell her story—and theirs—to the world.
When author Sasson (Esther's Child; Princess Sultana's Circle; etc.) was assigned Mayada Al-Askari as a translator on a 1998 trip to Baghdad, she had no idea she would form a lasting friendship with this fluent English-speaker and member of a prominent Iraqi family. When Sasson returned to the United States, the two women wrote letters and telephoned each other weekly until, in 1999, Mayada was arrested by Saddam Hussein's secret police for allegedly printing anti-regime pamphlets in her Baghdad print shop and imprisoned for nearly a month in Iraq's brutal Baladiyat Prison. Sasson's candid, straightforward account of Mayada's time among the 17 "shadow women" crammed into Cell 52 gives readers a glimpse of the cruelty and hardship endured by generations of Iraqis. Mayada stares down this ugliness as soon as she's yanked from her meticulously run shop into the prison's interrogation room: "She saw chairs with bindings, tables stacked high with various instruments of torture.... But the most frightening pieces of... equipment were the various hooks that dangled from the ceiling. When Mayada glanced to the floor beneath those hooks, she saw splashes of fresh blood, which she supposed were left over from the torture sessions she had heard during the night." Sasson's graceful handling of such stomach-turning material, including an overview of Iraq's political and social turmoil, is a tribute to her friend, who escaped to Jordan with her children soon after her release from prison. Although Mayada's story has a happy ending, the unclear fates of her cell mates serve as a painful reminder of how many innocent lives were cut short by Hussein's regime.

"If I Live to Tell" by Akeela Hayder Green (Author), Minkoff Jr, Michael (Author) :
Abused women rarely tell their own stories. Many of them don’t survive their ordeals and those who do are often either too afraid or too ashamed to speak. If I Live to Tell is unique in that respect. It’s a real, first-person look at the world from the perspective of a woman who has endured tragedy, heartbreak, abuse and betrayal at almost every point in her life.

Set on three continents, If I Live to Tell is a rare glimpse into the world and heart of the largely invisible victimized woman. Following one woman’s struggle to discover purpose and identity, If I Live to Tell shows how tragedy can become triumph and how pain can turn to purpose. This is a true story like you’ve never heard before.Akeela Hayder Green has gone through it all -- abused and abandoned by her English mother and Iraqi father, forced into an arranged Muslim marriage, betrayed and broken by all the people who ever promised to love and protect her. Yet she survived it all and lived to tell her story...

"Radhika's Story: Surviving Human Trafficking" by Joanna Lumley and Sharon Hendry:
–An incredible story of triumph over evil in the modern world. –A moving account of what a mother’s love for her child can achieve even when the odds are stacked against them both.

–A horrifying first-hand account of a survivor of human trafficking in the 21st-century.

–A portrayal of the illegal and sordid underworld of trafficking in human organs. Radhika’s Story.

A seemingly innocent sip of Coca-Cola, drunk by a starving and desperately thirsty 16-year-old girl led to the first of Radhika Phuyal’s human trafficking experiences. Drugged, Radhika woke up hours later, in great pain, only to discover that her kidney had been removed and sold to the highest bidder. Radhika was married by force but tried to make the best of her situation. She had a much-loved son, but Rohan’s birth signified the next harrowing episode in Radhika’s life – she was trafficked again.

Living in India, separated from her son and forced to have sex with up to 25 men a day, Radhika refused to accept her lot. Desperate to be reunited with her child, she fought against the odds, finding the strength to escape her horrific life and rescue her son and finally find sanctuary in a refuge set up to help survivors of trafficking. Journalist Sharon Hendry tells Radhika’s horrifying but incredibly inspiring story. She also highlights the pervasive nature of human trafficking in the 21st century.

Proceeds from the book will go to Maiti, the charity that helped Radhika and which continues to help survivors of trafficking.

Thanks for adding your voice.

Ngqabutho Mnkandla
Sep 5, 2021
The person responsible for making her pregnant must serve a life sentence in Prison.

Thanks for adding your voice.

sandy mcleish
Sep 3, 2021
Justice for all