Malebogo Malefhe, a domestic abuse survivor who is fighting gender-based violence
When people find out that Malefhe uses a wheelchair because she was shot by her boyfriend, the first question they ask is: “What did you do to him [to deserve it]?” Now Malefhe, who sustained eight bullets from her boyfriend of 10 years, wants to make sure that no woman who has faced domestic abuse is asked this question ever again. Since then, she has devoted herself to fighting gender-based violence in her native Botswana and teaching women that when men hurt them, it’s not their fault. The U.S. State Department honored her with a 2017 International Women of Courage award. (~written by Malaka Gharib /NPR)
The U.S. State Department gave Malefhe the2017 International Women of Courageaward in its 11th year. The prize recognizes women who have put their lives on the line to improve their communities.
“Malebogo is being honored for her tenacity, strength and resilience to help other women and girls overcome the scourge of domestic violence,” said Thomas A. Shannon Jr., undersecretary for political affairs at the State Department, speaking at theawards ceremonyin Washington, D.C..
Malefhe, a former basketball player for Botswana’s national team, also advocates for the advancement of women in sports, with a focus on women with disabilities. She spoke with us about the shooting, her goals and how she stays motivated to help others.
International Women’s Day resources Every person – women, men and non-binary people – can play a part in helping drive better outcomes for women. Through meaningful celebration and targeted bold action, we can all be responsive and responsible leaders in creating a more gender inclusive world. The World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186. This is too long to wait. So around the world, International Women’s Day provides an important opportunity for ground breaking action that can truly drive greater change for women.
Use International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8 as an important opportunity to:
celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women because visibility and awareness help drive positive change for women declare bold actions you’ll take as an individual or organization to help progress the gender agenda because purposeful action can accelerate gender parity across the world
2017 Theme: “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”
International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
The idea of this theme is to consider how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals, especially goal number 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; and number 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. The theme will also focus on new commitments under UN Women’s Step It Up initiative, and other existing commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights.
Some key targets of the 2030 Agenda:
By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and Goal-4 effective learning outcomes. By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and preprimary education so that they are ready for primary education. End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere. Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation. Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation. The world of work is changing, and with significant implications for women. On one hand, we have globalization, technological and digital revolution and the opportunities they bring, and on the other hand, the growing informality of labour, unstable livelihoods and incomes, new fiscal and trade policies and environmental impacts—all of which must be addressed in the context of women’s economic empowerment.