Saluting 16 Heroes in Women's Health in Honor of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

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Futures Without Violence recognizes 16 individuals and organizations around the world for their ground-breaking work at the intersection of heath and gender based violence.

“Gender based violence (GBV) is a health care problem of epidemic proportions that can impact women and girls for the rest of their lives,” says Esta Soler, Founder and President of Futures Without Violence.

Futures Without Violence is honoring 16 individuals and organizations for their innovative projects that deepen the link between promoting women’s health and ending gender based violence (GBV). These advocates are being saluted for their ground-breaking work in GBV health education and intervention, reproductive or maternal health care, HIV/AIDS prevention, and services in post-conflict situations and natural disasters. The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence (November 25 - December 10, 2011) is a worldwide campaign that calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women.

From Dr. Bogaletch Gebre, who grew up in a rural Ethiopian village and later opened the first clinic in Ethiopia to improve women’s health, economic empowerment and education, to Sebastiana Vasquez Gomez, a midwife who trains birth attendants in Chiapas, Mexico, and Dr. Claudia Garcia-Moreno, chief of women’s health for the World Health Organization, these extraordinary individuals and organizations will be featured for 16 days on the Futures website, as well as in ongoing social media. Honorees will also be recognized at the National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence in San Francisco, CA, March 29-31, 2012.

“Gender based violence (GBV) is a health care problem of epidemic proportions that can impact women and girls for the rest of their lives,” says Esta Soler, Founder and President of Futures Without Violence “Both here and abroad, victims of abuse are at risk for debilitating injuries, unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS. That’s why we’d like to take the opportunity to salute just a few of the outstanding individuals and organizations who are using healthcare, advocacy, community organizing and policy reform to end this cycle and meet the needs of women all over the world.”

Among the groups and individuals being recognized for their work during the 16-day campaign are:

  •     Buklod Center and Nagkakaisang Kababaihan – Philippines: The sister organizations have provided multi-purpose assistance to victims and survivors of military sexual exploitation and trafficking within former US naval/military bases in the “red light” districts of Olongapo City and Angeles City. Specifically, they have initiated health services, legal assistance, and livelihood opportunities for women, youth and urban poor in these communities.
  •     Dr. Natalia Lokhmatkina, Russia: Advocate, researcher and physician Dr. Lokhmatkina founded Women’s and Children’s Crisis Center “Anastasia” the first shelter in Vladivostok, and is currently working on exposing the relationship between partner abuse and mental health problems in women at the Northwestern State Medical University (St Petersburg, Russia).
  •     ACASAC – Mexico: Honoring Sebastiana Vasquez Gomez who works with traditional midwives in the Highlands of Chiapas and has transformed the beliefs regarding women’s positions in their community -- preventing violence against women.

Please visit http://www.futureswithoutviolence.org to discover more honorees during the 16 Days of Activism.

About Futures Without Violence, formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund:
For more than 30 years, Futures Without Violence has led the way and set the pace for innovative educational programs, public action campaigns, policy development and leadership training designed to end violence against women, children and families around the world. Instrumental in developing the landmark Violence Against Women Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1994, Futures Without Violence has established an International Conference Center that will engage today’s diverse national and global leaders, stand with survivors, and continue working to break the silence around gender-based violence. Learn more at http://www.futureswithoutviolence.org

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Marsha Robertson
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