Our world is changing. We’re building communities and sparking revolutions. And we’re doing all of it in the name of zero violence against women and girls. Let’s celebrate a few of our favorite victories.
1. Tunisia enshrines gender equality in constitution
The good news: Tunisia takes a step in the right direction by establishing equality between the sexes and forbidding discrimination. The not-so-good news: wording is not strong or detailed enough.
2. Rapists no longer off the hook in Morocco
Thanks to strong pressure from our grantee partner Association Démocratique des Femmes du Maroc and the women’s rights movement in Morocco, its parliament unanimously repealed an article in the penal code that allowed a rapist to escape prosecution if he married his victim.
3. Former Guatemalan president tried for rape as a weapon of genocide
Guatemala became the first country to try and sentence its own ruler for war crimes, thanks in part to ten courageous women survivors who testified about atrocities committed against them, including rape. When reading the guilty verdict, the judge credited the testimony of grantee partner, Women's Link Worldwide, for demonstrating how sexual violence and rape was used as a weapon of genocide. Even though Guatemala’s Constitutional Court may overturn the decision and grant former President Efraín Ríos Montt amnesty, the trial was a major step for survivors seeking justice.
4. UN adopts first resolution protecting women’s human rights defenders
As violence against women’s human rights defenders is on the rise, the new UN resolution gives recommendations on how activists can do their work safely, without fear of intimidation and violence. In the face of conservative opposition, passing this resolution came at the expense of critical language. We have yet to see if this resolution makes an impact, but it’s a start.
5. Love = human right
It was a big year for marriage equality. The United States ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and countries like Uruguay, Brazil, France and England passed marriage equality bills. As LGBT communities all over the world still face horrific violence, cementing equality in the law is an important step in the right direction.