In June, I spoke on behalf of MADRE at a conference in the Dominican Republic amplifying the international call to end violence against women.
The forum, sponsored by the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) in solidarity with the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence, was an effort to bring speakers from different backgrounds to discuss strategies for combating violence against women and the various ways that it manifests, including in armed conflict and post-disaster scenarios.
During my presentation, I highlighted MADRE’s work addressing post-disaster incidents of sexual violence in Haiti. Our partnership with KOFAVIV, a grassroots organization established by rape survivors in Port-au-Prince, is an example that sexual violence in conflict and post-disaster situations is often anticipated, and thus can and should be protected against.
KOFAVIV provides the women they serve with access to medical attention, counseling and human rights training. While MADRE’s support in providing capacity assistance, technical and legal advice demonstrates the need for the international community to pay attention when women’s lives are threatened and to demand accountability.
As MADRE continues our decades-long work supporting women NGOs and their struggle to claim autonomy in all its facets, we ask that you stand with us and support us. Now is the #TimeToAct.
Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan is a human rights attorney who practices both litigation and international human rights work, including the domestic implementation of human rights norms. She has worked on gender and racial justice issues, including access to reproductive health, sexual violence and violence against women in conflict zones.