formerly known as
Womens Liberation Front


Welcome to, formerly known as.Womens Liberation Front.  A website that hopes to draw and keeps your attention for  both the global 21th. century 3rd. feminist revolutution as well and a selection of special feminist artists and writers.

This online magazine will be published evey month and started February 1st. 2019. Thank you for your time and interest.

Gino d'Artali
dept investigative journalist
and radical feminist











                                                                                                            CRYFREEDOM 2019/2020

<I am both father and mother to my daughters. I am the man and woman of my household. I need to go out to care for my family. Where do I get a mahram from?>
Translation mahram:
The general principle to keep in mind is that a Mahram is the one you cannot legally marry.
Gino d'Artali
APRIL 2022
23 APRIL - 9 MARCH 2022

MAR 2022
26 Mar - 3 Feb 2022

FEB 2022
21 Feb - 31 Jan 2022


Click here for an overview of 2021








International media about atrocities
against women worldwide.

APRIL 2022
29 - 18 APR 2022

MAR 2022
25 - 15 Mar 2022
15 Mar - 3  Mar 2022

FEB 2022:
25 - 18 Feb 2022

16 - 1 Feb 2022

   JAN 2022:
27-18 Jan 2022
17-10 Jan 2022
07 jan 2022-29 Dec 2021












When one hurts or kills a women
one hurts or kills hummanity and is an antrocitie.
Gino d'Artali
and: My mother (1931-1997) always said to me <Mi figlio, non esistono notizie <vecchie> perche puoi imparare qualcosa da qualsiasi notizia.> Translated: <My son, there is no such thing as so called 'old' news because you can learn something from any news.>
Gianna d'Artali

The Guardian
29 Apr 2022
By Daniel Boffey
<<Dutch football pundit’s sexual abuse story on live TV sparks national outcry.
The Netherlands has been forced again to face questions about attitudes to sexual violence towards women after one of the country’s most famous football pundits appeared to admit live on air to assaulting an unconscious woman with a candle 50 years ago.
Dutch prosecutors opened an investigation after Johan Derksen, 73, made the comments on Tuesday on the talkshow Today Inside, to the amusement of presenter Wilfred Genee and fellow pundit René van der Gijp. The former player, who is one of the Netherlands’ most famous TV personalities, sought to backtrack on his statement the following day, claiming the candle had only been placed close to the unnamed woman’s legs. But he has refused to apologise for the remarks, saying only that he had been unclear and had told the story of a drunken night five decades ago <in the wrong tone>. In response to the outcry, Derksen added: <There is no room for a Johan Derksen in the Netherlands.> A spokesperson for the Dutch prosectors’ office said the chief prosecutor in the northern Netherlands service had opened an inquiry. <This research is aimed at establishing the truth of possible criminal behaviour that was discussed in that programme>, they said. <We also call on those involved to tell their story, as far as possible. It is clear that this is highly unacceptable behaviour that transgresses boundaries. In addition, the way in which it is talked about in the TV programme is also particularly hurtful. This can deeply affect victims of sexual offences even after a long time.> The case comes fast on the back of claims of widespread sexual abuse on the Dutch version of The Voice, which has raised questions about attitudes to sexual exploitation and violence towards women in the country. Two out of three women in the Netherlands reported that they were harassed on Dutch streets in 2021, according to figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics.>>
Read more here:

Al Jazeera
28 Apr 2022
By Chika Uniwge
<<The Nigerian entrepreneur who runs ‘an Amazon for blood’
Temie Giwa-Tubosun’s business uses data and technology to get urgent blood supplies to hospitals and to save lives.
Temie Giwa-Tubosun had an epiphany 13 years ago when she met an expectant mother who was about to lose her baby. Giwa-Tubosun was working as a 22-year-old intern with a health services organisation in northern Nigeria, doing surveys of rural people seeking care. The family of the mother-to-be thought she would die in a complicated labour because the baby was upside down in a twisted breech position. This wasn’t an unrealistic fear, in a country where one in 22 women perish in pregnancy, during birth, while undergoing abortions, or afterwards. As it turned out, the woman got surgery and survived. But her baby didn’t, and that death shook Giwa-Tubosun deeply. She didn’t leave her hotel room for four days and barely ate. <I thought it was so unjust that women could die in childbirth,> she recalls. <That got me hooked on maternal healthcare.> That incident, as well as the difficult birth of her own son later on, got her thinking about blood. Giwa-Tubosun had been contemplating a career that was health related in some way, and she knew that postpartum haemorrhaging was the leading cause of maternal mortality in Nigeria, which records nearly eight times the global number of 211 deaths per 100,000 live births. That is partly because decent healthcare in Nigeria is elusive to all but the rich; the World Health Organization (WHO) consistently ranks it among the worst globally. In 2010, Giwa-Tubosun won a fellowship at the WHO in Geneva. She went on to work on various health projects, including in Uganda and in Minnesota in the United States. In 2012, she made the leap and founded an NGO known as the One Percent Project, whose raison d’etre was to educate Nigerians on blood donations and distribute them better throughout the country. This led to the creation four years later of LifeBank, a distribution business that uses data and technology to get urgent blood supplies to hospitals. It serves as a bridge between donors and clinics.
Giwa-Tubosun’s work has earned her praise across the globe including from the World Economic Forum, and she has spoken on influential platforms – such as the TedxEustonSalon – about her vision for tackling blood shortage on the African continent. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said after meeting her in 2016 that <If she actually pulls it off, then she’d show a model that will impact not just Lagos, not just Nigeria, but countries all around the world.> Giwa-Tubosun is pulling it off rather well. Working with over 150 accredited blood banks and 142 employees, LifeBank serves over 600 hospitals across Nigeria and has recently expanded into Kenya, according to Giwa-Tubosun. She says she has distributed enough blood to save more than 100,000 lives. This social entrepreneurship is all the more significant considering that female executives are few and far between in Nigeria – to which Giwa-Tubosun simply says, <We get to save lives and we get to rescue people.>
Bikes, trikes and drones.>>
Read more here:

The Guardian
28 Apr 2022
By Sam Levine in Memphis
<<'I’m like Rocky’: my day with Pamela Moses after her charges were dropped. After prosecutors dropped criminal charges against Moses for trying to register to vote, I met her in person – and learned what’s next now that her case is over. Hello, and Happy Thursday,
I’ve been closely following the criminal case against Pamela Moses, who was sentenced to six years in prison for trying to register to vote, for the last few months. But on Monday I met her in person for the first time. We were meeting just days after prosecutors announced they were dropping criminal charges against her, cancelling a scheduled court appearance where she was set to find out if they would retry her case. Even so, Moses insisted that she take me to visit the hulking criminal courthouse in downtown Memphis, a building simply known by its address, 201 Poplar.
We went through security and walked downstairs into one of the courthouse’s main waiting areas, where electronic screens on the wall showed defendant names and where they stood on court dockets for the day. It was mostly empty, but on a normal day, Moses said, it’s crowded with Black people waiting to get their cases heard. She walked past a line of people waiting at a clerk’s office and asked a teller if a judge she knew was still around – he wasn’t.
We took the elevator up to the seventh floor, which houses the courtroom where Moses’ case took place. When the doors opened, a sheriff’s deputy beamed, gave her a hug, and congratulated her on beating the case. <This man tried to kill me the first time he met me,> Moses said, laughing. She would later tell me he was one of the officers who took her into custody when the bail in her voting case was abruptly revoked in December. Now, she said, they were cool with each other. Back downstairs we ran into Kenneth Brashier, a lawyer Moses has known for a long time. He was beaming too and congratulated her. <Usually you have a cigar when you take a victory lap,> he told her. Moses said she’d take a victory lap once she changed Tennessee’s law around felon disenfranchisement. It was raining, so Moses and I spent the rest of the day driving around Memphis in her car. Waiting to pick up her son Taj from school, we talked about the case of Crystal Mason, the Texas woman appealing a five-year prison sentence for casting a provisional ballot while ineligible in 2016. Moses was stunned to learn Mason’s vote wasn’t even counted. She walked me through several of the criminal and other legal cases she’s been involved in, rattling off an encyclopedic knowledge of judges, lawyers, and other county officials. She’s outspoken and embraces her reputation as a bit of a troublemaker. <I’m like Rocky Balboa,> she said at one point with a laugh. When I asked her what would come next for her now that the voting case was over, she didn’t miss a beat. <I’m working on getting a man of out of prison who’s been there for 25 years,> she said. In her yard, she still has a sign up from her long shot 2019 mayoral campaign. It was that effort that prompted election officials to start investigating her voting eligibility.>>
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The Guardian
27 Apr 2022
Shannon McGuigan
Freelance journalist from West Wales
<<The basic Tory instinct to silence and demean working class women. The sexist and classist MoS article on Angela Rayner tells us nothing about the deputy Labour leader, but a lot about those governing our country. On April 23, one of Britain’s most-read newspapers, The Mail on Sunday (MoS), published a sexist and classist attack on Angela Rayner, the deputy leader of the Labour Party. The article, headlined <Tories accuse Angela Rayner of Basic Instinct ploy to distract Boris>, claimed that Rayner provocatively crosses and uncrosses her legs in the House of Commons to put Prime Minister Boris Johnson <off his stride>. The Conservative MPs anonymously quoted in the article claimed that Rayner used such a tactic because she could not compete with Johnson’s <Oxford Union debating training> with her <comprehensive school> education. The article, illustrated with a photo of Sharon Stone in a scene from the 1992 neo-noir thriller Basic Instinct, also described the exchanges between Rayner and Johnson at the Commons as <flirty>. Shortly after the article’s publication, Rayner condemned its <desperate, perverted smears> in a series of tweets. <The potted biography is given – my comprehensive education, my experience as a care worker, my family, my class, my background,> she wrote, <the implication is clear>. She went on to argue that the article shows the PM and his cheerleaders <clearly have a big problem with women in public life>. Rayner’s Labour Party colleagues and countless public figures criticised the <baseless> article. As other media organisations picked up the story and it became clear British public opinion was with Rayner, Conservatives also moved to distance themselves from it. Eventually, Johnson came forward to declare on Twitter that as much as he disagrees with Rayner on <almost every political issue> he respects her as a parliamentarian, and <deplores the misogyny directed at her anonymously>. But Johnson’s words did little to calm tensions – and not only because his Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries shared the same tweet just 15 minutes later, demonstrating that the prime minister’s statement was nothing but a hollow public relations exercise. Indeed, carefully crafted words copy and pasted onto the Twitter timelines of prominent politicians cannot repair the damage done by the sexist and classist rhetoric pushed by a prominent national newspaper, nor can they change the misogynistic mindsets of the Conservative MPs quoted in the story.
After all, the MoS story about Rayner’s legs was not an anomaly but a natural consequence of the systemic misogyny and classism of the Conservative Party and the media organisations that are friendly to it. Over the years, countless Conservative MPs, journalists and commentators have openly and proudly demonstrated their sexism and classism, publicly making disparaging remarks about women and the working class. MP Jacob Rees Mogg, for example, once suggested those who lost their lives in the Grenfell tragedy lacked <common sense> and on another occasion claimed that women who terminate a pregnancy after rape were committing a <second wrong>.>>
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Al Jazeera
25 Apr 2022
By Menna El Nady
<<‘You Can’: A way out for abused wives in Upper Egypt
Up to 86 percent of married Egyptian women face spousal abuse, particularly in Upper Egypt. ‘You Can’ aims to help them.
Engy Raafat, a Coptic Christian mother of three in Upper Egypt’s city of Assiut, says that when it comes to abusive marriages, she has experienced and survived it all. So after she finally broke free in 2016, she was determined to help other mistreated wives. <I was slapped at any time; lived under threatening glares, even in front of my family, these were followed by physical assaults and reprimands,> the 39-year-old told Al Jazeera. <There was unending emotional manipulation. I stuck around because I believed it was best for my kids to live as a family… until my own blood covered my face a week after my mother passed away. That’s when I made the difficult decision to break free.> It was not an easy step to take. The Coptic Church permits divorce in very limited cases.
According to a 2021 report by the Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue, an Egyptian NGO, up to 86 percent of married Egyptian women face spousal abuse. Yet, many decide not to seek divorce due to the legal, societal, financial and emotional perils many divorced women suffer as a result of a discriminatory legal system and society. Mistreatment of women, especially wives, is even more accepted in Upper Egypt, said Noura Mohamed, manager of a unit aimed at combating violence against women at the Centre for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA). <There, beating wives is deemed the husband’s right, often resulting in permanent injuries,> she said. Upper Egypt is home to a quarter of Egypt’s 103 million people and roughly 50 percent of its poor, making job opportunities scarce. Many divorced women, particularly mothers, struggle to support themselves as their families shun them because of their stigmatised <divorcee> status. In 2016, Raafat sought to change this. She founded You Can, an initiative that assists abused wives legally, financially and mentally to stand up against mis-treatment. Legal and societal discrimination. According to Raafat, You Can is the first organisation to offer such support in the Upper Egypt regions of Assiut, al-Minya, Sohag, Beni Souef and Luxor. Although these districts are home to a significant Coptic population, she said that roughly 65 percent of women seeking her help are Muslim. <The real challenge for abused wives is the biased societal norms and legal frameworks that keep women of all faiths stranded in these destructive relationships,> said Raafat. “<Patience in the face of injustice will win you a heavenly crown,’ or ‘Just accept it and live with it. There is no divorce in Christianity,’ – [these] are widespread comments, discouraging women from pursuing an exit. But a way out always exists,> she noted. Societal stigmatisation and discrimination, she explained, add extreme psychological and emotional strain on abused women, driving many to try to take their own lives. CEWLA’s Noura agreed, adding that societal challenges include many landlords refusing to rent their properties to a divorced woman, and many families insisting that children remain with the abusive father. <Many women find themselves forced to accept these abusive relationships,> she said.>>
Read more here:

The Guardian
21 Apr 2022
By Ed Pilkington
<<Texas mother set for execution – yet evidence suggests she did not kill her child.
n the evening of 15 February 2007, a team of five police officers in Cameron county, Texas, began an interrogation of a Mexican American mother whom they suspected of having murdered her two-year-old child.
Melissa Lucio was in a vulnerable condition. She was pregnant with twins and in the grip of shock and grief. Just two hours earlier her youngest child Mariah had been pronounced dead having fallen unconscious. The officers did not let the suspect’s vulnerabilities get in the way of the inquisition. Over almost six hours, stretching late into the night, they applied to Lucio the notorious <Reid Technique> – a controversial interrogation method that has led to numerous wrongful convictions in the US. As trained to do under the system, the officers put their faces within inches of Lucio’s, screaming at her that she <had to know> what had happened to her child. They had <lots of evidence> that she was to blame for the death, they said, forcing her to view photographs of the girl’s lifeless body. Then, as the Reid method dictates, they abruptly switched tone. They gently reassured her that she could “put this to rest” if she would only confess to having caused the toddler’s death. Lucio insisted over 100 times that night that she was innocent. But after more than five hours of aggressive <maximization> and <minimization>, as the technique is known, she reached break point. She began to repeat the phrases that the investigators had effectively coached her to say. <I don’t know what you want me to say,> she told them. <I’m responsible for it … I guess I did it.> That coerced confession was the core evidence presented at Lucio’s subsequent trial. It was critical to the jury’s guilty verdict, and to the death sentence that followed. Next Wednesday, pending a last-minute stay, Lucio, 52, will be executed for a crime that significant evidence suggests she did not commit. Not only that, but significant evidence also suggests that the crime for which she will be strapped onto a gurney and injected with lethal drugs never happened in the first place. A mounting body of intelligence – much of it never heard at trial, some of it actively suppressed by prosecutors – points to a very different conclusion. Mariah was not beaten to death by her mother; she died of internal injuries from an accidental fall. As the 27 April execution date approaches, concern that an innocent woman is about to be sent to the death chamber has reached fever pitch. Strange bedfellows have come together to call for the execution to be delayed in an eruption of disquiet that has rarely been witnessed in such intensity in Texas.>>
Read more here:

Al Jazeera
21 Apr 2022
By Gurvinder Singh
<<Women in India’s West Bengal fight upcoming coal mine
Women are leading a movement to resist government efforts to set up a coal mine in Birbhum district of West Bengal.
Birbhum, India – Mainomoti Soren, a 42-year-old farmer in Dewanganj village in eastern India, was one of at least 100 women who clashed with supporters of a political rally in her village over the government’s attempts to buy her land to mine the coal buried there. As the police beat the protesters with sticks last December, Soren, who was two months pregnant at the time, felt blood oozing down her legs and she fainted. Villagers rushed her on a motorcycle to a hospital but she had already lost the baby. <I kept pleading about my pregnancy, but they didn’t listen and beat me with a stick,> says Soren. Soren is among the hundreds of women belonging to an Indigenous community who have been leading since September a fierce battle against the West Bengal government’s efforts to set up a coal mine in Birbhum district which is touted to be the second-largest in the world on account of its estimated coal reserves of 2,102 million tonnes. She is trying to hold on to the 4 acres (1.6 hectares) of land that she owns in Birbhum, about 200km (125 miles) from state capital Kolkata, where she grows paddy and vegetables. She keeps what she needs to feed her family of four, including her husband and their two children, and sells the rest, earning about 5,000 rupees ($66) on average a month. With the income barely enough, her husband works as a daily wage labourer on another farm. <We find it difficult to eke out our livelihood,> says Soren, adding, <the loss of land will push us further into poverty.>
Villagers complain that no action has been taken against the errant policemen involved in the assault on the protesting women. <We were beaten up in the absence of female police,> Suhagini Soren, another villager who had joined the protests, told Al Jazeera. <They assaulted us severely but no action has been taken yet,> she said, showing four stitches on her hand as a result of the scuffle. Senior police officers, however, denied any police brutality. <There was a minor scuffle between the two groups when the rally was being taken out in the village. Police intervened and pacified both the factions. But there were no reports of police brutality,> Nagendra Nath Tripathi, Birbhum superintendent of police, told Al Jazeera. The police were investigating the claims of brutality, he added. The controversial coal block
The proposed coal project is spread across 18 villages and covers 4,314 households and about 21,000 people in the Deocha-Panchami-Dewanganj-Harisingha blocks of Birbhum and is commonly known as Deocha-Panchami coal mining project. Locals mostly farm their own land or someone else’s and also work as daily wage labourers in stone quarries and crushers in the area. In September 2018, the federal government allocated the coal block to the West Bengal government. A year later, the state government handed over the block to West Bengal Power Development Corp Ltd (WBPDCL) for extracting coal and generating power. The government plans to invest 350 million rupees ($4.6m) for power generation.>>
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Al Jazeera
20 Apr 2022
By Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza
Rwandan political figure
<<My story: Being an opposition figure in Rwanda
I spent eight years in prison, five of which were in solitary confinement, and my ordeal is still far from over.
In 1994, I was in the Netherlands, studying business management and economy, when a genocide against the Tutsi took place in my home country, Rwanda. In the space of 100 days, countless people were massacred in one of the worst episodes of ethnic cleansing in recent history. I watched the reports of political upheaval, suffering and death coming from my beloved country in horror. Despite being miles away, I felt compelled to do something, so I founded a political party called The United Democratic Forces of Rwanda (FDU-Inkingi). After years of political activism in the Netherlands, in January 2010, I returned to Rwanda intending to take on a much more hands-on role in the country’s politics. I intended to register FDU-Inkingi and run in the upcoming presidential election against incumbent Paul Kagame. I said goodbye to my husband and three children at the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for what I thought was going to be a very short separation. I even promised my youngest son, who was due to turn eight later that year, that I would be back in the Netherlands to celebrate his birthday with him. Of course, I did not know that I would miss that birthday, and many more thereafter, due to political persecution. On the day of my return to Rwanda, I visited the Gisozi Genocide Memorial Centre and gave a speech urging unity and reconciliation. I criticised the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front’s (RPF)’s policies for not being sufficiently inclusive, and demanded they also recognise and honour all the others who had fallen victim to violence before, during and after the genocide against the Tutsi. Just three months later, I was arrested and dragged into a politically motivated judiciary process that included years of solitary confinement, relentless smear campaigns and a long, painful separation from my family.

In 2012, the High Court of Rwanda sentenced me to eight years in prison for “conspiring against the government by use of war and terrorism” and “genocide denial”. My speech at the Gisozi Genocide Memorial Centre, where I called for effective reconciliation, was considered evidence of genocide denial. After I appealed to the Supreme Court, my sentence was extended from eight to 15 years.
Immediately upon my imprisonment, I was placed in solitary confinement in the infamous <1930> maximum-security prison in Kigali, where I remained for five years. In 2016, I was finally shifted from solitary confinement and allowed to serve the rest of my sentence along with the other inmates. But my isolation did not end even then, because prison authorities started transferring any prisoner who dared to talk to me to faraway prisons where their relatives could not visit them. The director of the prison only put an end to these transfers when I pointed out to her that those prisoners she sent away spoke of me and my plight where they were transferred. In 2014, while still in solitary confinement, I filed a claim against the Rwandan government to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR). In 2016, just as the AfCHPR was set to decide on my claim, the government of Rwanda withdrew its declaration enabling individuals to file complaints with the court. Nonetheless, having already reviewed my claim, the AfCHPR concluded in 2017 that the Rwandan government had violated my rights to freedom of expression and adequate defence. The court also ordered the government to reimburse me and my family for the material and moral prejudice I suffered during my prosecution and imprisonment. The government has not executed that court order to this day.>>
Read more here:

Al Jazeera
20 Apr 2022
<<Jihan’s Venture: A Businesswoman in Kenya I Documentary | Africa Direct.>>
Watch the documentary here:

The Guardian
19 Apr 2022
I moved to an all-girls college to escape my school’s rape culture – finally I can study in safety.
Until I reached 16, I’d spent my entire education in mixed schools. A lot of that time was happy: I made friends, learned new skills and explored subjects that intrigued me. But all of those experiences happened under a shadow of misogyny – one that was fuelled by a culture of unwanted sexual advances, rape jokes and crude comments about the appearance of female teachers and fellow students that was allowed to exist in classrooms, completely unchecked by staff. I remember one geography class, where a young trainee was observing our lesson. As she walked around the room looking at everyone’s work, a group of boys waited until she was out of earshot to snigger about her behind. <Yeah, she’s got a phat back, you know,> they laughed. Teachers are naturally in a position of authority, leadership and safeguarding. But when boys began to objectify and sexualise teachers – not only elbow-nudging, gesturing and giggling behind their backs but approaching teachers to ask things like <Are you single, miss?> before running off – it felt like the boys had the power rather than the teachers. The very people who were there to protect us were no longer safe themselves. Slowly, it became apparent to me that the things I was witnessing on a daily basis weren’t isolated events but rather belonged to a very sinister culture. At the beginning of high school, things had been different. Everyone was new to each other, and the <banter> among the boys was mostly restricted to football and Fifa, beyond the occasional <make me a sandwich> or <kitchen slave>. However, as we got older, rape jokes began to creep into conversations and were met with peals of laughter from other boys.
No class was safe. In business studies, we watched clips from The Apprentice, and each time a female contestant came on screen, boys would make phallic gestures or explicit comments. Even something as simple as an advert featuring a woman was viewed through this tainted, hypersexual lens. Eventually, my patience ran out and I asked: <Why are you so sexist?> The angry shouts of <HOW AM I SEXIST, TELL ME, HOW?> that came in response made me immediately regret my decision. I could feel the stares boring into the back of my head. And even though I knew I was in the right, I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed.

Rape victims failed by UK criminal courts are being forced to seek justice elsewhere.
Charlotte Proudman
Read more:

Other girls who challenged their peers about victim-blaming rape survivors during consent lessons faced the same response. This left me feeling hopeless – the lessons had been introduced after a pair of boys were reported for coercing girls for nude photographs and posting them on social media. We were at the end of our GCSE course and preparing to leave school in a few weeks’ time, and yet this was how these conversations were ending – with fury, disagreement and two boys being sent to isolation for their comments about rape.>>
Read more here:

The Guardian
18 Apr 2022
Global development is supported by
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
By Sophie Cousins in Port-au-Prince
<<‘We are fighting the system’: Haiti lawyers taking rape to the courts
In a society riven with poverty and where armed gangs use sexual violence as a means of control, three women are working for justice.
Every morning, three lawyers navigate the gang-ridden, treacherous roads of Port-au-Prince to get to work. Of the women’s two priorities of the day this is the first: to get to and from the office safely. The second is fighting Haiti’s legal system from inside, trying to win justice for women who have been raped. Sexual violence linked to armed gangs in Haiti is not new but the situation has significantly deteriorated since the assassination of the president last year, which has left the country in a power vacuum. The Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) in Haiti’s capital, a human rights law organisation, set up a rape project in the wake of the dramatic rise in sexual attacks predominantly on women in the displacement camps after the 2010 earthquake. The lawyers – Abigail Derolian, Marie Kattia Dorestant-Lefruy and Gladys Thermezi – help victims through the legal process, from lodging a statement at the police station to preparing the case and representing them at trial – if there is one. Of the 528 cases they’ve worked on since the 2010 earthquake, only 10 have gone to trial. <When you live in a society with a lot of problems, women and girls always suffer. In such a situation, gangs use women as weapons of war to get revenge, to show what they’re capable of,> says Derolian. <We’re not a country that promotes human rights, particularly women’s rights. Women don’t know that they can live with dignity, that they can get justice. We have a lot of women who are raped, and we know that the majority remain silent because they’re afraid.> An assessment of Haiti by the UN high commission for human rights in 2021 found gang-related sexual violence was increasing. <Rape was used as a weapon to humiliate, terrorise and reinforce the control of gang members over local populations. In some areas, the feeling of impunity is so pervasive that rapes have been perpetrated in broad daylight,> it said. Karlyn*, who is being supported by BAI, was attacked during the day by two men. <I had to resign from my work at a garment factory and move to the countryside because gang members were looking for me,> she says. Her case is waiting at the state prosecutor’s office. In its latest figures published last March, the UN estimates 23% of married or cohabiting women will be sexually or physically abused by a partner in their lifetime. Last year, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the number of recorded cases in Haiti increased by 377% in 2020.>>
* Name has been changed.
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