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Our Sisterhood is Our Strength: Our Victories Together

Posted on: Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Keywords: Latin America and Caribbean, Africa, Middle East

Dear MADRE member, 

I'm happy to share with you our annual report, highlighting the victories that you made possible last year. Thanks to you, we’ve kept the momentum going with even more accomplishments this year. Here are just a few! 

Guatemala.jpgIn January, you stood up for women’s health in Guatemala. When we helped our partners organize a health fair for women and families in a poor neighborhood outside of Guatemala City, you were there. They provided vaccinations, pap smears, eye, ear, and throat exams, and other important, preventive health tests. They also distributed pamphlets on sexual and reproductive health, family planning, and reproductive health rights to more than 1,500 women, many of whom have no other source of healthcare.   

In February, you helped strengthen protections for women under Haitian law. Over 200 people attended our workshop in Port-au-Prince, highlighting a new law. If passed, would legalize abortion in limited circumstances, make marital rape a crime, and protect Haiti’s LGBT community from discrimination. 

Also in February, our partners at Taller de Vida in Colombia shared with us these recent drawings made by former child soldiers in their art therapy program, made possible by your support.  Taller de Vida’s newly reopened trauma counseling and rehabilitation center provides care and comfort to more than 6,000 children who have been forced to flee their homes because of armed conflict.   

Haweeja Annual Report.jpgIn March, you shone a light on the lasting impacts of the US war on Iraq, ten years after the invasion. We sent support to families in Haweeja, a small town where children living downstream from a US military munitions dump are now suffering high rates of birth defects and cancers. We requested a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the region’s largest human rights court) to demand justice and accountability from the US government for its abuses in Iraq.   

I also co-authored an op-ed with Yanar Mohammed, director of our sister organization, the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, about the decade of occupation and its impact on women’s rights.

In April, you were with me when I traveled to Jordan. I brought much-needed support to Syrian refugee women and families there and launched a reproductive health and human rights program for Syrian women refugees.

UNPFII Annual Report.JPGIn May, you were a link in the circle of support that brought Indigenous women together to demand their rights. We welcomed our sisters from Nicaragua, Peru and Kenya to the UN, and we educated governments about the need to protect Indigenous rights. 

In June, you celebrated with us as the women of our Palestinian-Israeli sister organization Midwives for Peace announced a milestone. They reported that they recently assisted with 600 births, distributed 100 safe delivery kits to other midwives in the West Bank, and made 36 community visits to local hospitals and villages. 

And in July, you mourned with us at the loss of Roxana Diaz Gomez, a friend and sister whose life was cut short. We are keeping her legacy alive through the Roxana Children’s Fund, to support programs for Indigenous children in Nicaragua. 

None of what we do is possible without you. With many thanks for all you do in support of women's human rights worldwide, I wish you all the best.


Yifat Signature.jpg

Yifat Susskind

Executive Director


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