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

Women & Girls

Today, modern-day slavery persists in eastern India throughout Assam’s tea gardens where indigenous and low-caste workers lack basic healthcare, housing, and nutrition despite domestic and international laws mandating full protection.
More than 60%-80% of women and girls in Pacific Island Countries (PICs) have faced physical or sexual violence based on prevalence studies conducted by U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) using World Health Organization (WHO) methodology.

Reports

  • 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 to uncover Gender Based Violence (GBV) trends over a ...
  • Analysis of Judicial Sentencing Practices in SGBV Cases in the Pacific Island Region
    This report, An Analysis of Judicial Sentencing Practices in Sexual & Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) Cases in the Pacific Island Region, provides crucial evidence of the effect that gender discrimination has on sentencing decisions by courts. The report highlights the extent to which gender bias continues to prevent women from accessing justice on an equal basis with ...
  • UPR: Nauru, 23rd Session, 2015
    Since its last UPR Review, Nauru has taken some concrete steps to combat gender inequality and violence against women. Issues remain in terms of amending legislation to include a specific domestic violence law; better data collection; and ensuring that gender stereotypes and cultural norms don’t impact accountability (sentencing) in gender based violence cases. Read the complete ...
  • UPR: Micronesia, 23rd Session, 2015
    The FSM delegation indicated to the United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review that FSM was a “very peaceful society and that violence against women and children were rare and isolated”.  Since the first UPR review, not enough empirical studies have been conducted on sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) ...
  • Fiji: The Role of Culture in Shaping Judicial Opinions
    The Role of Culture in Shaping Judicial Opinions in Sexual & Gender Based Violence (SGBV) Cases: Fiji Case Law Survey In Fijian culture, bulubulu – a custom for reconciling differences – is an essential part of traditional village life. Disputes were settled with the offer of a whale’s tooth (tabua), a gift or compensation, and asking for forgiveness. There is ...

Videos

  • ICAAD at SwitchPoint 2016 – Video & Photo Gallery
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHNP26f5BTY SwitchPoint 2016 Pictures Courtesy Intrahealth International  
  • Radio New Zealand: New study says gender bias is impeding justice
    Radio New Zealand Int’l interviewed an author of our Report (http://bit.ly/1YamzCy) on the impact of gender bias in the judiciary – listen to it below. (Original Link) A new regional study shows most people convicted for domestic violence have been given reduced sentences after courts took into account factors like myths about rape and traditional forgiveness ...
  • CGI Commitment to Action: Combating VAW in the Pacific Islands
    At the 10th Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, ICAAD and its partners announced a Commitment to Action to combat violence against women (VAW) in the Pacific Islands. The commitment focuses on strengthening the rule of law through a systems approach and using big data to monitor and understand the outcomes of violence on the ...
  • Tony Blair Faith Foundation Presentation on Violence Against Women in the S. Pacific
    Face to Faith hosted ICAAD’s Director of Legal Programs, Hansdeep Singh, on Human Rights Day (12/10/12) in a question and answer session with students. The discussion covered topics such as: nuclear disarmament, manifesting one’s religious identity, discrimination in the context of hate crimes, women’s rights (specifically violence against women), lack of State accountability mechanisms in the ...
  • Oral Argument 9th Cir.: Indo-Fijian Woman Seeking Asylum
    In Rashika v. Holder, Jaspreet Singh, ICAAD’s Director of Policy and Advocacy argued that Indo-Fijian women with no systems of support in Fiji should be eligible for asylum, as a particularly disfavored group with a well founded fear of future persecution. Ms. Rashika, a single Indo-Fijian woman with no family or remaining ties to Fiji ...

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 to uncover Gender Based Violence (GBV) trends over a ...
  • 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 3 directives (authoritative instructions to judges) developed in ...
  • Sexual Harassment Train the Trainers Workshop
    ICAAD in partnership with The Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM) organised the first ever train the trainers workshop to raise awareness on combating sexual harassment in the workplace. The training targeted key stakeholders and agencies to strengthen implementation of laws and policies. The 3-day training workshop was supported by the Australian Government, United States Embassy in ...
  • Combating Sexual Harassment for Women
    ICAAD has teamed up with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP and Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM) to conduct a train the trainers program to combat sexual harassment in the workplace for major public and private sector groups across Fiji. The program is designed to be scaled and replicated in other jurisdictions. According to a study of ...
  • 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 an incredibly lenient sentence or no sentence at ...

Art

  • Tiffany Parsons: More Than Just Black or White
    From the Artist: “As more children are being born the more important it is to realize that being multiracial is okay and beautiful. The image represents a biracial women who will one day birth the future of our world, which will be more multiracial children. This gives hope to Racial Discrimination being put to an end.” -Tiffany ...
  • Ashley Luttrell: The Skin We Live In
    From the Artist: “In our society, pop culture is in the lead, and they have marginalized dark skinned women more in our culture than any I’ve ever seen. Light skin, ‘white features’, and fine hair are disgustingly coveted qualities. Our population is moving further and further away from any one ethnicity, while at the same time ...

 

#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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