"As societies build walls of separation between communities,
ICAAD works to remove each brick to illuminate our common humanity"

Women’s Rights News

Handbook puts gender bias on the spot

Lawyers and local advocacy organisations will gain access to an important tool needed to identify gender bias within legal decisions made in Pacific Island Countries (PICs). The International Centre for Advocates Against Discrimination (ICAAD) released a handbook detailing its methodology in examining sentencing patterns with a view […]

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TrackGBV Updates: Case Law Analysis Begins, Global Transformation Conference, & Advocating to Support Survivors

5,000 Gender-Based Violence Cases Covering 12 Pacific Island Countries Are Being Analyzed ICAAD, with its law firm (Linklaters; Manatt, Phillips & Phelps) and technology/ data science (Conduent) partners are engaged in a multi-year initiative to look at how gender bias influences judicial decision making in domestic violence and […]

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Fijian Judiciary Collaborates with ICAAD to Improve Access to Justice

ICAAD has built credibility with the Fijian Judiciary over 5 years through rule of law trainings, publication of reports centered on judicial bias, and direct engagement with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Chief Magistrate, and Chief Registrar of the Family Courts. Recently, the Chief Justice approved […]

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Sharing a Systems Approach to Systems Change

ICAAD was invited to North Carolina to conduct a workshop for senior and country staff at IntraHealth International on our systems approach to identifying and disrupting systemic problems like gender-based violence and gaps in maternal health services. IntraHealth International is a global health organization focusing on health […]

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ICAAD Continues to Advance Data-Driven Justice

Over the past 5 years, ICAAD has advanced data-driven justice for gender based violence. We’ve also helped collect data on the efficacy of legal mechanisms, healthcare, and access to basic services like water and sanitation. More recently, our tools and methodologies have been increasingly adopted to advance […]

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Human Rights Defenders Unite at CSW to Share Successes in Advocating for Women & Girls’ Rights

Erin Thomas, Advisor, ICAAD: In March at the UN, there’s a buzz in the air. Thousands of women’s rights defenders gather in New York City to raise their voices about the injustices women and girls face all over the world at the Commission on the Status of […]

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The Rising Tide of a Stronger Judiciary

ICAAD’s work to improve access to justice for women and girls in the Pacific is currently focusing on fact that sentences are reduced in 52% of cases of violent crimes against women and girls because of gender-bias and customary reconciliation practices. In many cases perpetrators are given […]

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Demanding Access to Vital Services in Delhi

In December 2016, Nazdeek and ICAAD launched the SMS for Justice program in Delhi to track access to vital services for women and impoverished people in in two communities, Rajiv Ratan Awas Yojana (RRAY) in Baprola and Bhim Nagar in Nangloi. In its first three months of data […]

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Applying machine learning to detect judicial bias in the Pacific Islands

In this cross-post from ICAAD partner HURIDOCS’ blog, Natalie Widmann describes the new sentencing database we are working on to promote consistency, transparency and accountability in the Pacific Island region: Language is a beautiful way of communication that provides us with infinite ways to express ourselves. However, understanding […]

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Judicial Bias Reveals a Tacit Acceptance of Gender-Based Violence

Natalie Druce, Advisor & Thalassa Cox, Volunteer, ICAAD: In many countries the sentences levied for crimes involving sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) fail to adequately reflect the severity of the offense. ICAAD, in partnership with DLA Piper, recently published a study on the existence of judicial bias in […]

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#RaiseYourShield

This Civil Rights and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’d like to challenge you to reflect on how fear may have influenced your opinions, especially of others, and to take a step towards the courage to overcome those fears. Why the focus on fear you might ask?

Famed marketer and author Simon Sinek in his book “Start with Why” outlines six typical manipulations used in sales and marketing, one of which is the use of fear. On fear, Sinek says, “When fear is being employed, facts are incidental. Deeply seated in our biological drive to survive, that emotion cannot be quickly wiped away with facts and figures.”

In the current political atmosphere, in the U.S. and around the globe, fear is often used by politicians and campaigners to polarize debates and to demonize marginalized communities, using them as scapegoats for the real economic, social, and political challenges that societies face.

Martin Luther King, Jr. understood how important fear is, so much so that he gave a sermon on it named “Antidotes for Fear.” It’s worth reading in its entirety, especially because it recognizes the importance, necessity, and creativity of fear (kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/draft-chapter-xiv-mastery-fear-or-antidotes-fear). However, particularly pertinent section was highlighted by King’s wife Coretta Scott King in her book “My life with Martin Luther King, Jr”:

“First Martin spoke of the many kinds of fear that troubled men and women in this period of change and "calamitous uncertainty"— fear of illness or economic disaster, fear of personal inadequacy in our highly competitive society. More terrible was the fear of death, even racial annihilation, in this atomic age, when the whole world teetered on "a balance of terror . . . fearful lest some diplomatic faux pas ignite a frightful holocaust."

"Some fears are normal and necessary," he said, like the fear of snakes in a jungle, but when they become neurotic and unchecked, they paralyze the will and reduce a man to apathy or despair. He quoted Emerson, who wrote, "He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear."

How, then, to overcome fear? First, Martin said, "We must un-flinchingly face our fears . . . this confrontation will, to some measure, grant us power. . . . "Second, we can master fear through one of the supreme virtues known to man— courage . . . courage is the power of the mind to overcome fear.”"

MLK Coretta Scott King Simon Sinek
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