Received by e-mail: From: Susan Sarandon & WITNESS, Date: 24/11/2009.
Dear Friend: Every woman should have the right and the opportunity to take part in the life of her country, to freely participate in the political process without retribution.
Memory Shiriinorira is a young Zimbabwean mother of two, and a youth secretary for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in her community.
On June 11, 2008, Memory was taken from her workplace and brought to a base where she was tortured, beaten, and raped by members of a state-sanctioned militia. She was seized as a result of her political affiliation, just after highly contested national elections.
Memory is now HIV positive. One of the men who raped her lives next door to her local clinic. Frequently, when she goes to receive treatment, she sees him. Memory worries that she will be attacked again and that her children may also be targeted.
Despite the risks of speaking out, Memory decided that she had to tell her story so that other women would not endure what she did. Memory tells her story in Hear Us: Women Affected by Political Violence in Zimbabwe Speak Out.
I have long championed the work of WITNESS to use video to change lives. As a woman and a mother, I am concerned by the violence, discrimination and pain women face all over this world – every day – on the basis of their gender. But I am hopeful and inspired by the brave women like Memory who tell their stories.
Join me in demanding a more safe, just world for Memory and the women of Zimbabwe. And join me in making a financial contribution to WITNESS which so effectively uses video to bridge the gap between survivors and audiences, between seeing and changing. Respectfully, Susan Sarandon, WITNESS Advisory Committee.