MADRE, An International Women's Human Rights Org.

MADRE's mission is to advance women's human rights by meeting urgent needs in communities and building lasting solutions to the crises women face. MADRE works towards a world in which all people enjoy the fullest range of individual and collective human rights; in which resources are shared equitably and sustainably; in which women participate effectively in all aspects of society; and in which people have a meaningful say in policies that affect their lives. MADRE's vision is enacted with an understanding of the inter-relationships between the various issues we address and by a commitment to working in partnership with women at the local, regional and international levels who ...
Jan 11, 2013

October Meeting Update

We recently received a message from Midwives for Peace telling us about their most recent meeting. We’d like to share this update with you now.

On October 23, 2012, we met to watch "Freedom for Birth", a film that highlights human rights violations related to childbirth, and calls for the radical reform of childbirth systems around the world. With MADRE’s support, we received permission from the producers of the film to add Arabic subtitles, so that all members of the group could watch and discuss the film, as it relates to our work as midwives.

The film tells the story of Agnes Gereb, a Hungarian midwife who was imprisoned for performing home births in her country. This is particularly relevant as we just received an update from Halla that the Palestinian Ministry of Health has decided to prohibit home births in the West Bank. This will of course influence Halla's ability to continue her work as a home birth midwife, and we pray to hear better news on this issue.
 
The rest of the meeting was spent writing about our personal experiences as members of Midwives for Peace for a chapter in a book being written about different midwifery models worldwide.

Our next meeting is scheduled for January 14, 2013. We look forward to sharing more updates with you after this meeting.

Dec 21, 2012

The Power of Agricultural Cooperatives

October 16 was World Food Day. This year’s focus was on agricultural cooperatives—powerful examples of active, life-changing community engagement.

Worldwide, women and girls are primarily responsible for feeding their families. Women are disproportionately, overwhelmingly impacted by the expanding global crisis of poverty. Climate change exacerbates food insecurity, causing droughts one year and floods the next, and forces people from their homes. These conditions all exacerbate poverty—and again, disproportionately impact women.

MADRE advocates for food sovereignty, meaning that every person has not only the right to food, but the right to choose what food we eat and an understanding of where that food comes from and how it is produced.

Women Farmers Unite, our partners in Sudan whose work to promote food sovereignty allows them to feed their families and support one another through the many challenges they face, are an inspiring example of the power of agricultural cooperatives. By embracing sustainable farming practices, women and their families have the opportunity to support themselves for generations.

Unlike emergency food aid, Women Farmers Unite gives women the tools, resources and technical assistance they need to sustain their families for the long haul. With our Sudanese partner organization Zenab for Women in Development, we provide women farmers with organic seeds and supplies, including plows and a tractor. A special focus on young women helps ensure their generation continues to provide a local, sustainable food supply.

Women gain the resources they need to grow and produce food, alleviating hunger, improving health and nutrition, and fueling local economies. By working together to grow crops, participants build a network of women farmers who share resources and boost their economic status. Elder women transmit skills and lessons to younger women. Many participants are using their increased incomes to pay for their daughters’ educations, breaking the cycle of poverty and increasing the chances for further political, economic and social empowerment.

Dec 18, 2012

Colombia's Children of War Speak Out

While MADRE staff was in Colombia visiting with our sister organization Taller de Vida, we spent time at the center in Usme, talking to children about their experiences with war and their healing through art. Today, we’d like to share some of their thoughts with you:

“We left our home because of the conflict,” says Linda, a thin 16-year-old with a long braid. “But the war has followed us here. The armed groups patrol the neighborhoods and take children to fight. We are careful. It’s especially bad for the girls.”

“For me, this place isn’t a building,” Jessica, 14, a serious girl with sparkling eyes, says of Taller de Vida’s Usme center. “It’s a home.”

“Yes,” says 15-year-old Daniel, “this is where can talk about the threats we face from armed groups and drug traffickers and help each other to do something about them.”

Maria, 14, jumps in “When I am here, I can be happy because this is where we care for our dreams. I want to be an artist when I grow up and paint pictures of peace for children.”

With you support, we are able to provide former child soldiers and children uprooted by war with trauma counseling, art therapy and recreational activities. Thank you for supporting this critical work!

 
   

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