International Women’s Day

8 Mar 2011

Today is International Women’s Day (IWD) – a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. This year marks the 100th Anniversary of IWD.

Much of SURF’s work involves and is led by women. As the genocide targeted first men and boys, a disproportionate number of survivors are women and girls. In particular through the support that SURF channels through AVEGA (Association of Widows of the Genocide), we are helping to rebuild the lives of over 25,000 widows of the genocide and 100,000 of their dependents.

This work has been featured as part of a number of online campaigns around IWD, including:

– United Nations Millennium Campaign Women Make It Happen Group features Odette Kayirere, Coordinator of AVEGA Eastern Region, highlighting the contribution that she has made to support widows and orphans.

Odette Kayirere with AVEGA members

Odette Kayirere with AVEGA members

– Guardian Development Messages for UN Women – in pictures Group which features messages to and from the world’s women on the issues that matter most. SURF Founder, Mary Kayitesi Blewitt OBE is featured in the exhibition with the message inscribed on the Kamonyi Memorial: “Genocide – Never Again.”

Mary Kayitesi Blewitt OBE

Mary Kayitesi Blewitt OBE

- The New York Times website are showcasing A Woman’s World, illustrating the importance of educating girls and empowering women. ¬†Amongst those featured is Daphrose Mukangarambe, a widow of the genocide supported by AVEGA,¬†photographed outside her new home in Nyagasambu.

Daphrose Mukangarambe

Daphrose Mukangarambe

All photos are by Drew Sutton, whose pictures tell the story of SURF. We are grateful to Drew for his support, but also to Daphrose, Odette, Mary and the women whose work ensures that we have a story to tell!