Today Women Human Rights Defenders Day: there is a lot of work to be done

November 29, 2013

The Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRD IC) celebrates International Women Human Rights Defenders Day (29 November 2013) by focusing on 4 areas:women human rights defenders

1. Tools for Defence
The Online Directory of Urgent Responses for WHRDs is a mapping of “Urgent Responses for Women Human Rights Defenders at Risk”. The Online Directory outlines the diverse responses that exist and, where available, are specific to WHRDs. It is a tool for WHRDs to locate the best resources available for their protection, support, and wellness. Two new areas have been added: Digital Security and Training opportunities. http://urgent-responses.awid.org/

2. Training
Given the risk specialized training on various aspects of safety and protection are intended to strengthen the capacity of WHRDs to respond or prevent attacks. These training programs address the gender dimension that highlight subtle risks that WHRDs miss when they are exposed to gender based violence and gender specific risks. It is important that they multiply this knowledge with other WHRDs and members of the communities they work with.

3. Digital Security
Women defenders face many unique threats and obstacles both offline and online. Technology is transforming activism, and the promotion and defence of human rights but awareness there are also digital dangers to WHRD’s freedom of expression and association online and knowing how to communicate securely is important in ensuring a holistic approach to security for WHRD’s. WHRD IC hosted a train-the-trainer workshop for a global group WHRDs in digital security and is currently supporting their in-country activities. In 2014 it will assist WHRDs to access further training in digital security. Examples of attacks:
– On 21 September the Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network’s (LACWHN) website was hacked and disabled. The attack occurred immediately following the launch of several campaign activities on September 19th and 20th including the #28SAbortoLegal social media campaign as well as the posting of a photo album and posters. This was a deliberate attempt to silence legitimate feminist voices, suppress dissent and stifle women’s political participation in the public sphere on these issues by stigmatisation and sabotage.
http://www.defendingwomen-defendingrights.org/statement_whrdic_LACWHN.php <http://www.defendingwomen-defendingrights.org/statement_whrdic_LACWHN.php>
– In 2012 the offices of Women’s Organization Network for Human Rights Advocacy (WONETHA) were raided, staff arrested and authorities confiscated documents, computers and other material from the centre. They demanded passwords and read emails and correspondence, which seriously compromise the privacy and security of staff and members of WONETHA.
4. Celebrate, honour, remember
This tribute takes the form of an online photo exhibition <https://plus.google.com/photos/110714837166729000165/albums/5947969816908571489>  launched on November 25th 2013, Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women with a special slide show featuring 16 WHRDs from around the world and will end on December 10, International Human Rights Day. The tribute features photographs and biographies of women’s rights leaders from around the world. Each day of the campaign AWID will share the story of a WHRD(s) on its website as well as through Facebook and Twitter using hashtags #16days and #AWIDMembers and link back to the full online exhibit which will commemorate and celebrate the work and lives of WHRDs who have passed away since January 2011. http://www.awid.org/eng/Our-Initiatives/Women-Human-Rights-Defenders/WHRD-Tribute.

The new THF Digest of Human Rights Awards features several awards for women human rights defenders: http://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: