On October 30th, Equality Now, an international human rights organization that focuses on the rights of women and girls, will be honoring two women for their gender-based work during their annual Make Equality Reality gala at Gotham Hall in New York City.
Equality Now was founded in 1992 and works to change laws specific to violence against women. They also try to make sure these laws are implemented, enforced, and respected. Their ultimate hope is that by shaping better laws that treat women and men equally, they can help women see and reach their full potential.
The two women, Susan Chokachi, CEO and President of Gucci America, and Brisa De Angulo, founder of the A Breeze of Hope Foundation, have been working toward creating a world free from violence of any kind against women.
Chokachi started at Gucci in 1998 and went on to launch the CHIME FOR CHANGE campaign, which works to find and use new and innovative ways to advocate for gender equality by promoting education, health, and justice for women and girls. Since its creation, CHIME FOR CHANGE has gone on to become a global initiative that has changed the lives of many women across the country.
Chokachi told Equality Now, “I am proud to be part of a company that is fully committed to protecting human rights and fighting for gender equality. In 2013, Gucci founded CHIME FOR CHANGE to campaign for education, health, and justice for girls and women all over the world, supporting the work of organizations like Equality Now, which are proving – often against extreme odds – that change is possible. It is an honor to partner with Equality Now, whose legal victories and landmark legislation wins have helped to change the course of history for so many girls and women.”
Yasmeen Hassan, Equality Now’s global executive director – who also serves on the CHIME FOR CHANGE board – said, “We support and work with activists from all walks of life; they change the course of history. At a time when most corporations were unwilling to associate themselves with issues of gender equality and violence against women, Susan helped launched Gucci’s global campaign CHIME FOR CHANGE to support grassroots efforts for gender equality. We are honored to work with such powerful and compassionate women.”
Angulo, the founder of the A Breeze of Hope Foundation, is being honored for her work on raising awareness of child and adolescent sexual abuse in Bolivia. Having been a teenage rape survivor, Angulo has used her experience in order to help put an end to sexual violence.
Angulo told Equality Now, “As a survivor, it is my dream that people worldwide will join together – in solidarity with survivors – to end child sexual violence. Equality Now’s constant encouragement and dedication have strengthened my journey on the often difficult path to justice. I am thankful for this honor and the opportunity to bring to light the situation of too many Bolivian girls. It is important and healing for survivors to know that they are not alone.”
In 2014, Angulo partnered with Equality Now in order to address and bring justice to the lives of the women and girls in Bolivia who live with this violence. Bolivia has one of the highest rates of sexual violence, but one of the lowest reporting rates. Together, Equality Now and the A Breeze of Hope Foundation are working to repeal a provision in Bolivia called, “estupro,” which “imposes lesser penalties for perpetrators who rape 14 to 18-year-old adolescents.”
Both women have been working hard to improve the lives and conditions of girls and women everywhere and have made some great strides towards the goal of ending violence against women. As Equality Now reaches its 25th anniversary, it seems only fitting that they honor women who have dedicated their lives to changing the way we look at sexual violence.
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