Highlights 2017: Inter Pares' year in review

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 Credit: Eric Chaurette

Inter Pares supports local activist organizations to build a more equal world. Thanks to our generous donors, throughout 2017, we have strengthened many struggles for social justice in Canada and overseas. Here is a snapshot of a few successes in 2017.

 

Africa

COPAGEN in Guinea-BissauThrough our counterpart COPAGEN’s Train the Trainers program, 37 women in Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Senegal, and Guinea-Bissau received training in agroecology, which is sustainable small-scale farming rooted in biodiversity and local knowledge. These trainers shared agroecological methods with 2,300 women. The outcomes include setting up 253 composting units in Côte d’Ivoire to build fertility in 85 hectares of land. In Togo, 12 km of stone cordons were built to combat soil erosion on 45 hectares of land.

The Sudanesse Organization for Research and DevelopmentThe Sudanese Organization for Research and
Development (SORD) provided free legal representation to poor women in Khartoum who have experienced discrimination and violence. In 2017, 18 SORD lawyers supported women in cases of early and forced marriages, violent spousal abuse, or child custody. We are pleased to support SORD in their efforts to challenge Sudan’s patriarchal laws that discriminate against women.
 

TiniguenaIn Guinea-Bissau, weak governance and political instability has led to the plundering of the country’s rich natural resources. Coastal areas fall prey to foreign fishing fleets, illegal logging is widespread, and mining exploration occurs without community consent. Our counterpart Tiniguena is building communities’ capacities to respond, and has organized 30 citizen watch committees that will mobilize if illegal fishing, mining, or logging occurs.

Latin America

HumanasSexual and gender-based violence was used as weapon of war in Colombia’s armed conflict. In 2017, our counterpart Humanas conducted interviews and gathered the testimonies of 7 women from the department of Putumayo who were targeted during the conflict. On behalf of these women, Humanas plans to present these cases to Colombia’s Truth Commission.
 
Fondo Lunaria 8 activist art projects by youth groups from across Colombia were brought to life through Inter Pares counterpart Fondo Lunaria. These initiatives are aimed at promoting the peace process and ending violence. They included: community radio programs on sexual violence; poetry and hip hop to raise awareness on militarism; and workshops with
demobilized guerrillas about trans rights and violence against the LGBTI population.
The Network of women,s Organizations of IxcanThe Network of Women’s Organizations of Ixcán (ROMI) brings together women from 103 communities across Ixcán, in northern Guatemala. In response to high levels of violence linked to alcohol abuse, ROMI worked to ensure passage of a new bylaw which will better regulate the sale of alcohol in their communities. Read an article (in Spanish).

Canada

Seven in Ottawa250 people witnessed Inter Pares’ Ottawa premiere of the documentary play Seven. The play traced the lives of seven women’s rights activists in Russia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Northern Ireland.
 
 
International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group Bill C-59The threat of terrorism is being used to increase powers of Canadian security agencies, posing real risks to civil liberties. There is no evidence that this will increase safety. The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) created 6 public education videos to explain Bill C-59, the new national security legislation. C-59 gives agencies widespread new powers to collect information unrelated to national security. Watch the videos.
 
The Canadian Network on Corporate AccountabilityOver 4 years, more than 100,000 people joined Inter Pares and 30 members of the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability to demand an Ombudsperson for people whose human rights have been violated by overseas Canadian mining operations. This year, with thousands more Tweets, FaceBook posts and letters from members – including you – the federal government appears poised to create an Ombuds, and we are now in discussions about its essential elements. Learn more about Open for Justice Campaign.

Asia

In Burma, the Rezua Women’s Group conducted surveys and held women’s exchanges in Zotung communities in order to define key issues affecting them, and develop recommendations for changes to discriminatory customary laws. Thanks to their efforts, traditional authorities have agreed to fairer conditions around inheritance and family law, which will affect nearly 25,000 zotung women.
 
In February, Inter Pares coordinated an exchange that brought 4 West African rural women leaders from COPAGEN to Telangana, India, to learn from women’s community groups of Deccan Development Society (DDS). Over 10 days, the women learned about innovative strategies
to reach urban consumers with organic produce. These include DDS’ first Community Shared Agriculture model and the “millet food truck”, which delivers highly nutritious meals using local organic millets to busy city centres. Look at the photo gallery from the exchange.
 
Likhaan Centre for Women's HealthLikhaan Centre for Women’s Health in the Philippines carried out over 50000 consultations for services such as family planning, prenatal and postpartum care, as well as other reproductive health services. In 2017, for the first time, they also began providing free, safe, and high-quality birthing services. Read more about Prime Minister Trudeau visits ina Likhaan Clinic.
 

Witness to HorrorIn response to widespread sexual violence committed by Burmese security forces against Rohingya women, our counterpart Kaladan Press Network published the testimonies of 21 Rohingya women survivors who have fled to Bangladesh. This report "Witness to Horror" was one of the first firsthand accounts of the recent violence against the Rohingya in Northern Arakan State. Following a trip in November 2017 to Rohingya refugee camps Inter Pares staff was able to brief Canadian government officials about the ongoing crisis. Read the report "Witness to Horror".

 

Inter Pares

Active in 16 canadian coalitions focusing on national and international social justice issues.

108 groups and organizations around the world to which we provide long-term support and accompaniment. Learn more about our counterparts.

More than 6,000 supporters from all Canada's 10 provinces and 3 territories.

15 co-managers who share equal responsibility and equal salary in a non-hierarchical and feminist organizational structure. Meet our staff members. 

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