Take Action to STOP VIOLENCE Against Women December 07, 2004 9:22 PM
A message from Susan Sarandon: I want to let you know a new Web site weíve created about our special campaign to fund Amnesty Internationalís global Stop Violence Against Women Campaign.
As you read this, somewhere a woman is being beaten Ė or worse Ė in police custody. In Darfur, a child is crying out in a refugee camp for her lost mother. In Asia, a young woman is being sold into sexual slavery by uncaring relatives.
What You Can Do
Amnesty International has set a goal to raise $500,000 between now and December 31st to fund its Stop Violence Against Women Campaign. Please support our lifesaving work.
Violence against women is a global epidemic. Itís the most brutal manifestation of the worldwide inequality of women and girls. And itís one of the most inexcusable human rights violations of our time.
Please help me and Amnesty International change that. Amnesty International USA has set a goal to raise $500,000 between now and December 31st to fund its work to stop violence against women.
In a minute, Iíll be asking for your financial participation, but right now, all I ask is a few moments of your time. Please visit our special Web site at women.amnestyusa.org. On this site, you can view a short video about our campaign. Read our case for giving. Join with our leadership committee.
Please visit the site today to better understand the campaign and what we plan to accomplish in the coming year.
In the U.S., a woman is raped every 6 minutes; a woman is battered every 15 seconds. In North Africa, 6,000 women are genitally mutilated each day. This year, more than 15,000 women will be sold into sexual slavery in China. 200 women in Bangladesh will be horribly disfigured when their spurned husbands or suitors burn them with acid. More than 7,000 women in India will be murdered by their families and in-laws in disputes over dowries.
We have seen rape and brutalization of women and girls as an instrument of war and terror - in Kosovo, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and most recently, in the Darfur region of Sudan.
I know you care, so I won't bury you with statistics.
Instead I offer you an opportunity to help forge the solution. Your tax-deductible gift today to Amnesty International will give our campaign the momentum it needs to succeed over the course of 2005. The next year is a critical one for women's rights and the movement to end violence against women and girls. Please donate now using our secure and convenient Web page.
Your gift today will inspire others to follow suit. Support will lead to more support and needed public attention for this global crisis. One thing we know -- the bright light of public scrutiny goes far toward changing hearts, minds and laws.
Amnesty International has long been a leader in the fight for global equality for women.
Our plan of action for 2005 is simple:
-- Demand that governments abolish discriminatory laws and practices that perpetrate violence against women.
-- Aggressively research and act on individual cases of violence against women worldwide and against specific patterns of such abuse.
-- Highlight and protect women in war and conflict. Darfur is only the latest horrific example of women being terrorized as an instrument of war.
-- Win U.S. ratification of Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (or CEDAW). Considered by many to be a "global bill of rights" for the world's women and girls, the treaty has been in force since 1977, but without U.S. participation.
-- Protect women human rights defenders. Champions like Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi and Kenya's Wangari Mathai deserve our fullest support - and protection.
-- Shine the light of justice on violence against women as a human rights issue. In many countries, including the United States, violence against women goes unpunished, or unrecognized.
Read more details of our ambitious plans in the case for giving.
America's role abroad has never been more precarious and uncertain than it is today. Fighting violence and upholding the rights of women should be a no-brainer in this day and age. As we witness the appointment of only the second woman Secretary of State in our nation's history, certainly this is one issue that is ripe for leadership by soon-to-be Secretary Condoleezza Rice and her colleagues at the United Nations. .
Amnesty International will focus its worldwide energies on stopping violence against women in 2005. Reports and actions from around the world will give this issue unprecedented visibility. In short, this may be our best chance to make great strides on protecting the rights of women for years to come.
So I ask you to do three things today:
1 - Visit our special Web page at women.amnestyusa.org. Watch the short video, and read the case for giving.
2 - Let your friends know about the site, and about the worldwide epidemic of violence against women.
3 - Finally, please - make a generous leadership gift to our $500,000 action fund to win U.S. leadership in the UN and elsewhere.
I think you'll agree that few organizations are better situated than Amnesty International to lead the fight to stop violence against women. For more than forty years we've led the fight for against some of the most serious human rights violations worldwide.
Amnesty sought from the beginning to document the unique ways in which women struggle for their rights and, working with governments and the United Nations, to craft a comprehensive solution.
The next year is critical, and with your help, will be a watershed for the global campaign to stop violence against women. Please help today.
P.S. If those of us who already understand and care about the rights of women do not act now, who will join us?
Amnesty International USA, 5 Penn Plaza, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10001
(212) 807-8400 | http://women.amnestyusa.org
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