An innovative collaboration between the Ukrainian government, UNICEF, and the International Women’s Rights Center ‘La Srada’ produced the Red Card campaign to end violence against women. Leveraging the commonly known soccer symbol, the campaign launched during the 2012 Euro Football Cup – reaching thousands of soccer fans across the country.
Campaign posters, outdoor advertisements, and online videos feature well-known Ukrainian athletes and entertainers advocating for an end to violence and increased gender equity. In addition to the broad-based public education campaign, the Ukrainian State Service for Youth and Sports organized a series of “Fair Play” soccer tournaments throughout Ukraine to promote healthy relationships.
Over 10,000 volunteers facilitated workshops and tournaments that took advantage of the popularity of soccer to reach over 40,000 young people with messages about respect and healthy relationships. As the President of the Ukraine State Service for Youth and Sports explains, “To communicate with young people, we have chosen the language of football just because football unites regardless of social, religious, racial, or gender differences.”[more...]
December 4, 2013
For the past 16 years, the Democratic Republic of Congo has been called the most dangerous place in the world for women. But there is a vital movement for women's empowerment underway and today we salute the work of Maman Shujaa.
Maman Shujaa means "Hero Women" in Swahili. Founded by Neema Namadamu, who has earned international acclaim for her inspirational leadership, this group of grassroots women often speak out through WorldPulse, a global media and communication network. From their internet cafe and Media Center in Bukavu, Maman Shujaa share their stories of healing and transformation with the world. The Media Center supports an average of 150 women and girls per week with digital and internet literacy training.
As Neema says, "The Maman Shujaa are traveling the globe daily via the internet and we have come to see ourselves as world citizens. Yes, we are proud to be Congolese, but we also esteem our oneness with the entire world."
To attract international support earlier this year, they posted a Petition for Peace online which gained over 100,000 signatures worldwide and earned an appointment with President Obama's National Security Council. Their request, that the U.S. State Department appoint a Special Envoy to DRC and the Great Lakes Region, was met with the appointment of Sen. Russ Feingold.[more...]