Women’s rights defenders & women human rights defenders (WHRD)
Women’s rights defenders
“Women’s human rights defenders are at the forefront of social movements that advocate for justice and equality” (Mrs Margaret Sekaggya). Women’s rights defenders are individuals of all genders who strive to promote and defend the rights of women and girls and rights related to gender equality. This includes ending violence against women, advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights, and seeking economic justice for women. They do so by addressing the discrimination and inequality experienced by women in their everyday lives by powerful actors including governments, organizations and private individuals and advocating for much needed change, policies and representation in all relevant sectors of society.
Women’s rights defenders are pivotal in ensuring that women everywhere realize their fundamental human rights, free from persecution, discrimination and violence on the basis of their gender. Their work is often seen as threatening to the status quo as it challenges systems built on patriarchy and traditional notions of family and gender roles. Because of this, they face extreme resistance, hostility and intensified levels of threats, harassment and violence.
Women human rights defenders
Women who are human rights defenders, whether they defend the rights of women, civil rights, the environment, or whether they are journalists, lawyers, or artists, encounter similar threats as other human rights defenders while facing an additional layer of risk due to their gender. As they experience the risks related to their work in human rights movement, they are also highly vulnerable to harassment, attacks and threats related to their gender. These may come in the forms of sexualized defamation campaigns, gender-based violence, and rape.
We must support women’s right defenders and women human rights defenders so that they may continue to stand for justice and equality in a safe and effective way.
Shelter City stands side by side with women’s rights defender and women human rights defenders.