Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘Honduras’

What I Learned From Futbol

Watching the fútbol festivities over the past month has taught me much and more about the power of sport – its ability to unite nations toward a common cause, create hope for the future, and celebrate the victories of others as one’s own.

What if these same responses – unity, hope for the future, and celebration of success – also happened each and every time a poor entrepreneur pulled herself out of poverty?

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In Honduras – a player in this summer’s games – FINCA reaches nearly 20,000 individuals, and we consider each success akin to a game-winning goal. For Ana Osorio, that goal was receiving a FINCA loan for her cheese business, allowing her to buy greater quantities of milk at better prices. Initially clearing just US$2 in profit per day, Ana has nearly quadrupled her earnings, allowing her to better provide for herself and her family.

Join FINCA as we celebrate the success of Ana and the over one million other microentrepreneurs in 22 countries who have benefitted from FINCA loans – and show your support today.

Thank you for your generosity.

Sincerely,

Soledad Gompf
Vice President
FINCA

On the Front Lines

She was a 23-year-old physical therapy student who boarded a bus in Delhi last month. Six men locked the door, and savagely raped her. They dumped her naked in the street, and after bravely fighting for her life, she died last weekend.

Across India, people are responding in massive protests to say enough is enough. In India a woman is raped every 22 minutes, and few see justice. Globally, a staggering 7 in 10 women will be physically or sexually abused in their lifetime. This horror in Delhi is the last straw — it’s 2013, and the brutal, venal, global war on women must stop. We can start by drawing the line in India.

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The government is currently accepting public comments. We urgently need both stronger law enforcement and a massive public education program to change the grotesque but common male attitudes that permit violence against women. If 1 million of us join the call for action, we can help make this young woman’s horror the last straw, and the beginning of a new hope:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/end_indias_war_on_women/?bMPbqab&v=20731

The ringleader of the woman’s rapists coldly says she deserved it because she dared to stand up to him. Blaming the victim and other outrageous attitudes are found across society, including in the police who continually fail to investigate rape. Such views repress women and corrupt men everywhere. Massively funded public education campaigns have radically shifted social behaviour on drunk driving and smoking, and can impact the treatment of women. Tackling the root causes of India’s rape epidemic is vital, alongside better laws and faster legal processes.

Advertising in India is relatively cheap, so a significant funding commitment could blanket airwaves in multiple media markets for a sustained period of time. The ads should target male subcultures where conservative misogyny thrives, directly challenging and shaming those attitudes, ideally using messengers like popular sports figures that carry authority with the audience.

We only have days to influence the official Commission set up to find ways to crack down on India’s wave of sexual violence. If we can show real success in shifting attitudes in India, the model can be applied to other countries. The money spent will more than pay for itself by reducing poverty and promoting development, since treatment and empowerment of women has been identified as one of the greatest single drivers of social and economic progress. Click to send a message directly to the Indian government:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/end_indias_war_on_women/?bMPbqab&v=20731

>From opposing the stoning of women in Iran, to supporting the reproductive rights of women in Morocco, Uzbekistan and Honduras, to lobbying for real action to counter the growing ‘rape trade’ in trafficked women and girls, our community has been on the front lines of the fight to end the war on women. This new year begins with new resolve in India.

With hope and determination,

Emma, Ricken, Luis, Meredith, Iain, Ian, Marie, Michelle, Alaphia, Allison and the rest of the Avaaz team

Terror In Honduras

Dear Gabriel,

My name is Dina Meza, and I am a human rights journalist in Honduras.

I have dedicated my life to revealing the corruption and injustice oppressing Hondurans. Today I ask for your help defending the fundamental human right of freedom of expression.

Powerful people in my country wish journalists dead — because we have exposed human rights abuses, and covered issues related to corruption, state abuses and the actions of powerful groups.

Our families are also targeted. My children and I have been followed and photographed by two men not known to me.

Two weeks ago, I received three silent calls to my mobile phone. Earlier, I received a series of frightening text messages:

“We’ll burn your pussy with lime until you scream and the whole squad will enjoy it” — CAM*

“You’ll end up dead like people in the Aguan there’s nothing better than fucking some bitches”

Amnesty International is calling on Honduran officials to investigate these vicious threats against me and to protect my rights and the rights of all journalists in my country. Please take this action immediately.

These are not isolated threats. In 2006, my colleague, lawyer Dionisio Diaz Garcia, was shot and killed while on his way to the Honduran Supreme Court. Those responsible have still not been brought to justice for his murder.

Sometimes you have to kick the hornet’s nest to expose the truth. Our right to do so must be defended. The Honduran State must respect that.

Oppressors may threaten my life, but they will never deter this movement. We are stronger than fear, and we have human rights on our side.

If you believe in freedom of the press, please take this important action with Amnesty today.

In solidarity,

— Dina Meza
Director, Defenders Online
Activist with Committee of the Families of the Detained and Disappeared, and for women’s rights

* CAM is an acronym for Comando Alvarez Martinez, a pseudonym which has been used in threats to human rights activists and journalists in Honduras.

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