IWD 2012 Inspirers

We’re marking International Women’s Day by honouring inspiring women around the world.

SPOTLIGHT: Janis Puracal

Janis in DC filing a petition to the UN. Photo: http://www.FREEJasonP.com

Janis Puracal is the sister of Jason Puracal, an American wrongfully detained in Nicaragua since November 11, 2010. She has been fighting tirelessly for his FREEDOM since his arrest, doing EVERYthing within her power, and reaching far beyond anything she has ever done.

Her strength, courage and determination inspire me greatly. I know how incredibly difficult it is to fight for a loved one when one’s heart is shattered by their suffering. Janis needs global support, like the support I had fighting for FREEDOM for Josh, Shane and Sarah, to sustain her and ensure that she’s able to maintain the fight for justice until it is won.

~ Farah N. Mawani, Founder, Farahway Global

Learn more about Janis and her brother’s case:


TODAY SHOW: American fights for freedom in Nicaragua prison | Today Show | Feb 14 2012

One Year Since My Brother’s Wrongful Imprisonment in Nicaragua | Janis Puracal | Huffington Post | Nov 11 2011


Join the Facebook page and Twitter account campaigning for Jason’s FREEDOM!

Make a donation to Jason’s Defense Fund: Campaigns such as Jason’s are immensely costly on many levels. Any amount you can contribute is a great help.

SHOW your support, spread the word, AND contribute to the campaign with a t-shirt or bumper sticker

Janis’ Response to our Spotlight:

“I wanted to thank you for your mention on International Womens Day.  My family is so grateful for the support and awareness you bring to Jason’s struggle.  If there is ever anything I can do to return the favor, please let me know.”


SPOTLIGHT: Sarah Shourd

Sarah taking a lead role in the Free the Hikers campaign shortly after her release.

Sarah is one of the three American Hikers, held hostage in Iran between 2009-2011. She not only survived unjust incarceration, involving 410 DAYS of solitary confinement, but she launched into advocating for the release of her fiance Shane Bauer & dear friend Josh Fattal upon her release, and now continues to advocate for the rights of prisoners in the US, Iran and around the world. She also advocates for diplomatic relations between the US & Iran and against torture, including excessive use of solitary confinement. We are honoured to support her advocacy and continue to work with her towards human rights and social justice for all. ~ Salina Abji and Farah N. Mawani


Join Free the Hikers on Facebook and Twitter to support the ongoing human rights efforts of Sarah, Shane & Josh.

Follow Sarah on Twitter!


We also asked our supporters “Who inspires you?” and here is what they said:

“For International Women’s Day (March 8), there is one woman I would like to pay tribute to because, in my view, she represents the struggles of many women in Iran and around the world. She has also been one of the greatest inspirations to me since I began my activism for a free Iran. Nasrin Sotoudeh is a prominent attorney and human rights and women’s rights activist. She is held in Evin prison. Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested in September 2010 and has been imprisoned ever since. She has launched multiple hunger strikes to protest against the unjust treatment she has been subjected to by Iranian authorities. The Iranian Judiciary has sentenced her to six years in prison and banned her from practicing law for ten years. She has two young children at home who need their mother. Nasrin Sotoudeh MUST BE RELEASED! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!” ~ Maryam Nayeb Yazdi

Join the Facebook page campaigning for Nasrin Sotoudeh’s release!
Call for Nasrin Sotoudeh’s FREEDOM via Amnesty International!

“Rell Sunn, the amazing waterwoman of Hawaii inspires me. She was a pioneer in womans pro surfing, the first female lifeguard in Hawaii, she created the Menehuni competitions for kids so that they would be doing something positive with their lives and not getting into drugs, She brought the true spirit of “ALOHA” to all that she met and asked others to pass it on. she brought awareness of the beauty and fragility of the ocean and as stewards we must protect it and Most of all she brought awareness of breast cancer . Her spirit lives on in me as a surfer and instructor.” ~ Dana Adam Keiser

“My Mom. She quit school when very young (after the war), taught herself to read when I was about 15, raised us through extreme poverty although I was always comforted knowing she would “make everything better”, escaped an abusive relationship and miraculously managed to raise 5 kids who live in peaceful homes, kicked us in the butt when we needed it, loves us completely and unconditionally, serves her Lord and her community cheerfully and trusts without question. Now THAT’S pretty cool! My Mom rocks!” ~ Cindie Smith

“Every day I am inspired my mother, who takes such good care of us, my daughter, who is so determined and has such a great sense of self, my sisters, who are so strong and beautiful, my nieces that delight me in their wisdom and humour, and my girlfriends, who are there for me, who make me laugh, who impress me with their accomplishments and great spirit. Thank-you to all of the wonderful women in my life and to all of the women across the world who make this a better place. Love you all!” ~ Karen Cavuoti

“Aletta Jacobs. Writing a paper on her right now, incredible women’s rights activist from the 1800s in the Netherlands- first female MD over there, as well.” ~ Sage Warren

“I would like to nominate my friend and mentor Wendy Williams. She spoke out for women’s rights and reproductive health. She supports women finding their voice, even when it seems like it’s a tiny squeak inside your brain. Wendy taught me that taking time to celebrate was as important as taking the time to challenge the status quo and fight for change. More than anything, Wendy taught me that the greatest joy in life is engaging in discovery, personal and political. And I should add Wendy continues to speak out for women’s health and to support women’s right to knowledge so they can make the best decisions possible for themselves.” ~ Martha Muzychka

“Great question: All Women inspire us, their Courage. Pride. Confidence. Perseverance. And their Beauty.” ~ Global Connections for Women

We are especially touched by Karen Cavuoti, and many others, highlighting our own work on this auspicious day:

“Happy International Women’s Day! I would like to introduce my friend, Farah Naaz Mawani who has been a huge inspiration to me in the past year. She was the force behind Free the Hikers and although her friends have been released, she continues to fight for the rights of others. Check out her page, Farahway Global and ‘like’ it if you want to support this amazing woman’s causes.” ~ Karen Cavuoti

And LAST but most certainly not least, we are inspired by all of you who responded to our question, and support women every day.

Leave a Response

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s