AF3IRM Statement on Nigeria’s Missing Girls

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3, 2014

CONDEMN THE KIDNAP, TRAFFIC, TORTURE AND MURDER OF WOMEN AND GIRLS IN NIGERIA AND THE GLOBE OVER

AF3IRM condemns in the strongest words possible the kidnapping of over 300 Nigerian girls, their subsequent transit into Chad and Cameroon, and their sale at $12 each into forced marriage with strangers.

AF3IRM extends its sympathy to the family, relatives and town mates of the missing girls who have endured this horror for almost three weeks and speaks out in solidarity with those calling for the girls’ safe return.  “As an immigrant mother and with the transnational mothers who led AF3IRM chapter marches on May 1st, we will be relentless in our call for the rescue of the kidnapped and trafficked girls of Nigeria as if they are our own daughters. We hear your wails and we cry with you,” stated AF3IRM National Programme Coordinator Katrina Socco. “We see your steadfastness and we too will not be moved until justice is won.”

As an anti-imperialist, transnational feminist organization, AF3IRM opposes the globalized system of  human trafficking that treats the bodies of girls and women as mere products to abuse, rape, and exploit. AF3IRM decries the use of women and girls as pawns and bargaining chipsin the continuing power struggle over control of the resources of oil-rich Nigeria. The women of AF3IRM denounce the sickeningly normalized and rampant exploitation of and violence committed against girls and women in areas of conflict and and instability. The state of Borno, wherein Chibok is located and from where the girls were taken, has been under a state of emergency for the last eleven months because of recurring and seemingly unstoppable acts of violence.

AF3IRM condemns the government’s purposeful inaction that has failed to protect and return the Chibok girls as part of the continuum allowing unchecked violence against women as a pandemic human rights violation.

It is a straight line from the kidnapped girls of Nigeria to the trafficked girls and women on the streets in Brooklyn and Queens, NY, in New Jersey, along Oakland’s International Blvd, on Figueroa in Los Angeles, on El Cajon in San Diego, and on Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki, Honolulu; to the thousand missing and murdered women of Canada, most of them First Nations women; to the murdered women of Juarez; to the missing women along U.S. borders; and to the murder of women’s rights defenders in many countries of the world. The continued violence against women in the world are not isolated events – these are the direct results of the patriarchal and imperialist normalization of the subjugation and devaluation of the lives of girls and women. The bodies of girls and women are not to be used for control, intimidation, and profit!

AF3IRM condemns the commodification of women’s bodies and the governments that enable the kidnappers to sell women and girls into slavery via forced marriages. Some of the Nigerian girls have been sold for $12 each into such marriages. Fifty-three have managed to escape but the kidnappers have said that three have died while 18 have fallen sick. Such preying upon the weak and vulnerable is not sanctioned by any religious thought or belief. Furthermore, we condemn those who would characterize this sexual exploitation of the poor as “work.” The kidnapping and selling of these girls is nothing but commerce – the same lust for profit which has made a large part of Africa and the world a dismal habitation for majority of humanity.

AF3IRM calls for justice for the kidnapped girls. AF3IRM calls for justice for the trafficked girls and women here in the U.S. and abroad, for the missing women along borders.  AF3IRM calls for justice against femicide – for Canada’s missing and murdered women, for the murdered women of Juarez. AF3IRM calls for justice for every girl and woman who endures violence and exploitation and whose stories go unheard.

AF3IRM calls for an end to Capital’s assault of women’s bodies and urges all women to shake off the chains of gender, class and race oppression, to get organized, and to demand true women’s liberation and the freedom of all humanity.

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Contact: Barbra Ramos, National Communications Director
[email protected]
323-813-4272

IMG_4765
1622005_10152433087331115_2036761819109054541_nFrom the May 3rd rally at Union Square, New York (credit: Kristina Joyas). 

AF3IRM has begun to participate in #BringBackOurGirls rallies and marches in different cities to join the call for the return of these Nigerian girls.  Follow us on Facebook to stay up-to-date with these events (http://www.facebook.com/af3irm).

 

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