What a profound day we had on Tuesday for our public launch!

Our voices were amplified in 208 news outlets in every region of the world.

This opening news line will go down in history: «Women’s rights activists from 128 nations are launching a public campaign Tuesday for an international treaty to end violence against women and girls.»


We launched with treaty signings in Islamabad, New Delhi, Moscow, Cairo, Porirua, Mogadishu by way of Los Angeles, and Saudi Arabia via New York City, as well as Santa Clara, USA and Seattle, all hosted by Steering Committee Members with online video celebrations at the Seattle office with Steering Committee Member Eleanor Nwadinobi and cofounder Lisa Shannon.

The message spread. More than 700 signed onto the call, raising our call to more than 5,000 signers from 150 countries! We had so much traffic that the website crashed (and was quickly rebooted).

The day began in India with Meera Khanna and Dr. Giri gathering activists and survivors at Guild for Service for a signing. Our work was represented visually with 1 in every 3 women wearing black in honor of the 1 in 3 women who face violence globally.

Then it was on to Pakistan where Simi Kamal had a crowd gathered at her home, ranging in age from 60 years to six months, including four mother and daughter duos, an acid survivor, a transgender woman who was also a survivor, all activists, holding signs for why they signed.

In Egypt, Ghada Hammam’s son, Karim, shared these wonderful words: «My mom has truly taught me the meaning of two words, gender and equality. I believe it would make a much better world if we understand that gender it not a way to discriminate or do violence, it is about differences that we should celebrate.»

Marina Pisklakova-Parker’s activist community gathered around a table in Moscow, the People’s Call printed out, signing and discussing the importance of a treaty for Russia. Hala Aldosari in New York City shared the difficult reality of her self-exile from Saudi Arabia due to the great risk of being an activist, and how the treaty could shed light on the violence of deprivation of liberty.

Each call brought to life both the great need for a treaty and the overwhelming power it has to the change the course of history. From Ilwad Elman (Somalia) and her friend Kelly Furano, who launched the treaty on the streets of LA, two women from two worlds joined by a common cause to end violence against women. To Brent Turner, who works to combat sex trafficking in Seattle, and Francisco Rivera, whose law students gathered in a conference room sharing the reality of campus violence and the need for accountability, and Seattle activists Shelmina Abji and Dr. Aisha Simon, who came by the office in solidarity.

As our board chair Marcia Cardamore, said from Toronto, Canada: This is the biggest most systemic change we will probably ever see.

And we are creating it.

The launch closed where a new day had already dawned—in New Zealand with Caroline Herewini, who summed up the call for a treaty with these words: «It’s about visibility, agency and voice.»

We can be assured our voices are being heard.