RINJ Women select 5 Sheroes of 2021
Sadly, three of this year’s women who smooth the path of humanity for a future of innovation, opportunity & safety of children and their families, are held in prison or on bail by brutal authoritarian regimes. Two more are thriving national assets and Sheroes in their own countries.
“These choices were the hardest to make because among all our sisters there are millions of candidates,” explains Katie Alsop, a founding director of RINJ Women.
“It breaks my heart that three of our sisters find themselves in shackles of one form or another,” she added.
Shero Tsai Ing-wen is the President of Taiwan
“The world needs stability in Taiwan at the present time,” says Dale Carter, a feminist who is a director of government affairs for the Civil Society women’s group, The RINJ Foundation which has named President Tsai Ing-wen an extraordinary Shero of 2021.
President Tsai has served as Chair of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in Taiwan, since 2020, and also served in previous terms from 2008 to 2012 and 2014 to 2018.
President Tsai Ing-wen as a single career woman, has earned a Ph.D. in law from the University of London and has served her country in various government and diplomatic posts for decades.
One of the most outstanding achievements of this President of Taiwan is her fierce challenge to the coronavirus pandemic which has kept the Taiwanese people safe, and her effective opposition to Xi Jinping who, (paraphrased) has threatened to invade Taiwan and kill everyone who opposes his mighty rule of everything near China.
“Changing leaders would have been a dangerous gamble, asserts Ms. Carter. “The last election was getting a little hairy as Xi Jinping did everything he could do to back his candidate.”
Ms. Carter’s background includes working in several UK government departments in the category of foreign affairs. As well, she has a masters degree in political science with Asia as a focus.
“Not only has Tsai Ing-wen gained relevant leadership experience in a high-skills retention environment,” says Ms. Carter, “she is current and has shown steadfast determination in fighting for the safety and continued prosperity of her constituents. Under Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan has been a beautiful place to live and she has created an environment for the Taiwanese to raise their families with a reasonable belief in a healthy future.”
“Tsai Ing-wen has smoothed the path of humanity for a future of innovation, opportunity and safety of children and their families, and she needs to continue on that path, a stable direction for democratic Taiwan,” reports Ms. Carter.
Shero Senator Leila De Lima PhD., will seek a second six-year term in 2022. Her fight for Filipino human rights is relentless and has become legendary these past five years.
“This is the fifth time that Senator De Lima, the most prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime, would be spending New Year’s Eve in detention since Feb. 24, 2017,” explains her office staff in Manila
“In the Philippines, opposition members are either killed, or tied up in legal knots and sent to jail. There now is no political opposition in the Philippines, except Dr. Leila De Lima. One of the strongest opposition voices in the Philippines, is an indefatigable defender of human rights, Shero Leila De Lima,” explains RINJ NGO worker in Manila, Karina Angeles.
“Sending me to jail only strengthened my resolve. I was even more motivated to work harder to bring back the justice you [Rodrigo Duterte] have trampled on. Everything I have fought for would go to waste if I would turn my back on the call to run again,” Senator De Lima said in an open letter to the de facto dictator of the Philippines currently under an alleged Duterte government investigation into Duterte’s alleged crimes against humanity and mass murder in an effort to dissuade the International Criminal Court from continuing its own investigation.
“With more thousands of extrajudicial killings and countless more murders unexplained, just about everyone’s life in the Philippines has been touched negatively by this brutal dictatorial criminal government,” said nurse Karina Angeles from Manila. (Ms. Angeles is an ardent fan of Leila De Lima and has tried several times to visit the imprisoned human rights advocate.)
Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim A. A. Khan QC.
“On 15 September 2021, Pre-Trial Chamber I authorised my Office to commence an investigation into the Situation in the Republic of the Philippines.
“In my Office’s 24 May 2021 Request, the Prosecution sought authorisation to commence an investigation in relation to crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (“Court” or the “ICC”) allegedly committed on the territory of the Philippines between 1 November 2011 and 16 March 2019 in the context of the “War on Drugs” campaign, as well as any other crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the Court, which are sufficiently linked to these events. The Chamber emphasised that, “based on the facts as they emerge at the present stage and subject to proper investigation and further analysis, the so-called ‘war on drugs’ campaign cannot be seen as a legitimate law enforcement operation, and the killings neither as legitimate nor as mere excesses in an otherwise legitimate operation.”
“In their ruling, the Judges of Pre-Trial Chamber I accepted that there is a reasonable basis to believe that the crime against humanity of murder appears to have been committed. The Judges also noted, as my Office did in its Request, reports of torture and inhumane acts, imprisonment or other severe deprivation of liberty, enforced disappearance, and sexual violence. The Judges authorised my Office to investigate such other crimes, as long as they remain within the parameters of the authorised investigation.”
In the category of unforgivable insults to human rights defenders:
“Somehow Rodrigo Duterte landed a spot on US Idiot-President Joseph Biden’s democracy advocate list for the Virtual Summit for Democracy. Biden’s country was also on the list of allies in the war against Yemen with Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir, one of the world’s worst genocidal criminals. If that moron Biden comes here, you better tie me up because I would be wanting to go kick his balls for that insult to human rights,” says Lisa, the chair of a local women’s group in a barangay in west Manila, while speaking to Katie Alsop who writes for this publication and is a founding director of RINJ Women.
Shero Denise Ho is a Canadian human rights defender who believes in democratic process. She is a pop-star and an intellectually gifted advocate for the freedom of her ancestral nation’s people.
Shero Denise Ho was blacklisted by the Chinese government and by the luxury brand Lancome for her participation in the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong.
Ms. Ho is a Canadian.
On 28 December 2021, Shero Denise Ho was arrested by the HK police under conspiracy charges of production and distribution of allegedly seditious materials, namely the Stand News which is renown for its pro-democracy advocacy. Ms. Ho is a board member for this non profit publishing house.
Shero Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US Congress
On 29 December, China’s police force in Hong Kong hauled away Nancy Pelosi’s inspirational leaders for the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act to jail.
“This bill directs various departments to assess whether political developments in Hong Kong justify changing Hong Kong’s unique treatment under U.S. law. (Hong Kong is part of China but has a largely separate legal and economic system.)” Citing Summary: S.1838 — 116th Congress (2019-2020).
Stand News editors Chung Pui-kuen and Patrick Lam, plus current and past Stand News board of directors members including Shero Denise Ho, Margaret Ng, Chow Tat-chi, and Christine Fang.
“Probably, Nancy Pelosi is the most beloved politician in the entire world,” says Dale Carter, a feminist who is a director of government affairs for the Civil Society women’s group, The RINJ Foundation
Shero Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
The case of Shero Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is a heartbreaker.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is a British-Iranian teacher and communications specialist, formerly with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the World Health Organization, BBC, and project manager for the Thompson-Reuters Foundation. She is being held for ransom by Iran which seeks £400m from Boris Johnson’s government.
It was September 2016, after an unfair trial, when Nazanin was first sentenced to five years in prison on a trumped up national security charge while the evidence used against her was kept secret. According to her husband, Nazanin had previously been given a message for her family to pass on to the UK government that she would be released without charge if the British government “made the agreement” to repay funds allegedly owed to Iran.
According to Amnesty International, “On Sunday 24 October 2021, Nazanin’s husband Richard Ratcliffe began a hunger strike outside the Foreign Office in London, declaring “the time for promises is over”. His protest was a bid to press the Government into taking firmer action for Nazanin, his wife who has been arbitrarily detained in Iran for more than five-and-a-half years.
Pressure has been put on Boris Johnson by Amnesty International to fix the problems with Iran and get Nazanin released.
“On Saturday 13th November 2021, after an astonishing 21 days without food, Richard agreed with Nazanin to end the hunger strike,” says an Amnesty Int’l report.
“Throughout the protest, many MPs and peers from all political parties visited Richard and pressed the government to act to secure the release of Nazanin, Anoosheh, Morad, Mehran and all British nationals arbitrarily detained in Iran. Richard has had two meetings with the Foreign Office, including with the Foreign Secretary, and next week a debate will take place in Parliament. You can contact your MP and urge them to attend here.
“Despite all this, there has still been no promises, no real commitments from government. We remain hopeful that the extensive outcry, from members of the public across the country, MPs & peers across Parliament, may have had some influence behind the scenes which may not be known until later down the line.
“Until then, the Prime Minister must step in and take action,” says Amnesty International.
Who are the RINJ Women who name sheroes every year? This is what they say:
“We are the (Rape Is No Joke) RINJ Women who fought to remove pro-rape and child-sex-slavery content from social media, ending on 4 Nov. 2011. We then elected to continue as a campaign for the universal rights of women & girls wherever the promise of peace and prosperity through gender equality has not been realized. We incorporated on 21 Aug. 2012, after one decade as a grass roots group called The RINJ Campaign.
RINJ Women strive to end malicious & hateful ideologies fuelling gender-based violence & terrorism in Afghanistan, South Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Iran, & Venezuela. At our women’s care clinics, women’s shelters, and birthing clinics, we energize our tolerant kindness and apply our love for the human family, our caring, & our sharing.”