MADRE and Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (RLS-NYC Office) present an online roundtable series entitled: “Rising Together: Addressing the Shadow Pandemic in the Time of COVID-19.” This series will consist of two online roundtables that explore how women and girls, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, migrants, refugees and other marginalized communities have responded to this crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated gender-based violence (GBV) across the world due to pre-existing gender inequality and social norms combined with mandatory lockdowns, active conflict and fragile settings, isolation with abusers, cramped living conditions, restriction of movement, and loss of income. Women and girls, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, migrants, refugees and other marginalized communities have been disproportionately impacted by what many have considered to be a shadow pandemic. Despite this rise in gender-based violence, grassroots organizations and communities continue to actively advocate, withstand and pave the way forward to a post COVID-19 world.
The first roundtable brought together leaders from across-movements in in-depth discussions on how they have mitigated the impact of this crisis in their communities during the height of COVID-19.
Winnie Kodi, member of the African Indigenous Women’s Organization (AIWO), a continent-wide network working to promote women’s rights and Indigenous rights throughout Africa. Winnie is an Indigenous women and girls’ rights leader from the Uba Indigenous Peoples in Sudan and has many years of experience advocating for Indigenous women and girls’ rights and climate justice at the local, national and international levels.
Aldijana Sisic, Chief of the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women and the Campaign Manager of the United Nations Secretary-General’s campaign, UNiTE to End Violence against Women. She has over 20 years of experience working in preventing and ending violence against women and advocating for human rights, including women’s rights, children’s rights, refugee and migrant’s rights, torture and the death penalty.
Charo Mina-Rojas, Human Rights and International Coordinator for Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN), a nationwide network of grassroots organizations of over 100 local Afro-descendant organizations and community councils. Charo is an Afro-Colombian human rights leader with many years of experience advocating at the national and international levels for Afro-descendent Peoples’ rights, women’s rights, and peacebuilding.
Jade P. Leung, Lead convenor with Young Women Initiatives (YouWIn), an organization that educates, organizes, and is dedicated to empowering young women and LGBTQ+ women in the Philippines. Jade is a feminist, social activist and human rights defender who has presented at various international rights forums on the issues faced by Indigenous Peoples, women and LGBTQ+ people in Northern Luzon.
Aisha Saifi, Founder of Salon Plus, a one-of-a-kind women’s health and wellness center in Ramallah, Palestine. Aisha is a lifelong feminist activist and human rights defender, with over 30 years of diverse experience on women’s rights as a community midwife, healthcare consultant and lecturer on women’s issues.
Martha Ntoipo, Founder and Executive Director of Pastoralist Information Development Organization (PIDO), a women’s organization that works with Pastoralist Maasai Indigenous communities in Tanzania to adapt to climate change and promote Indigenous women’s and girls’ rights. Martha is an Indigenous women’s and girls’ rights leader from the Maasai People and has many years of experience working with Indigenous women and girls to collectively advocate for their rights and promote climate justice.