This is a guest post by Sarah O’Malley
Throughout the world hundreds of thousands of women are living with the physical and emotional scars inflicted by war. Join me on the Bridge is a chance for people to stand in solidarity with these women on International Women’s Day (March 8th), and join their fight for peace and equality.
Join me on the Bridge is now in its third year, beginning in 2010 when women from Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) met on the bridge that joins their two countries. Each group carried two halves of a banner, and when they met they tied them together to reveal the message: ‘women are building bridges of peace.’ This symbolic and moving event sparked a global movement that last year saw 75,000 people in 70 countries meet on bridges to show their support for these women, and the many others who have suffered because of war and gender inequalities.
We hear all too frequently of the abuses suffered by women in the countries we work with. It was reported this week that a woman in the Kunduz province of Afghanistan was murdered by her mother-in-law and husband for failing to produce a son. In a recent report by Doctors without Borders, it was revealed that only 1% of pregnant women in DRC with HIV are receiving treatment, and one of the reasons given for this is that international donor support is being withdrawn. It is important that the international community supports women in Afghanistan, DRC and other war afflicted countries to ensure their voices are heard and their demands for peace and equality are met.
This year marks the beginning of the second century for International Women’s Day (IWD), and the beginning of a renewed effort to secure equality, security and a voice for women around the world. We would love you to join us at one of our Bridge Events to stand in solidarity with our sisters in war-torn countries, and to celebrate IWD. Our flagship event in London has now been confirmed, and we will be marching across the Millennium Bridge on 8th March. Last year we were joined by over 2,000 people, and this year we hope even more of you will join us.
To find out more about the London event have a look at the website (www.joinmeonthebridge.org) and if you can’t make it to London don’t worry – there are events taking place all over the world, details of which can be found on the site. We look forward to seeing you there!
Can’t make it on the day? There are plenty of ways you can support the campaign even if you can’t be at an event in person. You can let people know about Join me on the Bridge via social media, you can sign up to the website and leave a message of peace for us to share with the women we work with, or you can donate and help support the work we do with women in war-torn countries. Information on all of this and more can be found on the website.
Image by courtesy of Join Me On The Bridge