Sunday, March 21, 2010

Women in Guatemala need whistles and flashlights for safety: please do what you can to help out

What follows is a cross post from MADRE's website, *here*.

Flashlights & Whistles: Help Guatemalan Women Organizing Against Femicide

c. Helen Marden, MADREIn the past decade, nearly 4,000 women and young girls have been murdered in Guatemala. Many of them, including girls as young as 10, were tortured and raped, their bodies left in public places.  As a result, women have coined the term “femicide” to describe these widespread, gender-based killings committed with impunity. Of the 383 women’s murder cases in 2003, more than 300 are still awaiting results from police investigations today.

In response to the murders, women in Guatemala are organizing to protect each other. MADRE's sister organization, the Women Workers' Committee in Guatemala, has created neighborhood watch groups in their communities. Sandra Gonzales of the Women Workers' Committee describes the violence as "getting worse every day." However, she says "with your help we can continue to defend human rights for all women."

You can help these women by providing whistles and flashlights for the neighborhood watch. According to Sandra, "flashlights and whistles are essential to providing security for women and girls in our community," where there are no street lights and no reliable police protection.

If you don't have the supplies to donate, but still want to make a contribution, you can make a monetary donation to help alleviate the costs of shipping the whistles and flashlights to Guatemala.

How to Donate Supplies:

Simply mail your donation to:
Attn: Helping Hands
121 West 27th Street Suite 301
New York, NY 10001

Helping Hands can pick up your donation in Manhattan if it is too large for you to mail. You may also drop off your donation at the address above during our business hours, 9:30 am – 6:00 pm.

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