New report to launch on Women Human Rights Defenders: 8 March 2012
Tuesday, 06 March 2012 15:31


A new report on the situation of women human rights defenders will be launched this week during the Human Rights Council.


Entitled Global Report on the Situation of Women Human Rights Defenders, the research has been produced by the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRD IC).  It offers an essential insight into the work of the coalition’s members and the risks they have faced since the coalition was established in 2005.


The launch of the Global Report will take place as a side-event to the Human Rights Council, on Thursday 8 March, from 12 noon to 2pm at the Palais des Nations in Geneva (room XXIV). The event is organised by the International Service for Human Rights.


A panel discussion will feature Sunila Abeysekera, the Executive Director of INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre; Fikile Vilakazi, Programs Director for the Coalition of African Lesbians; and Christina Ellazar Palabay from Tanggol Bayi, an association of women human rights defenders in the Philippines. Ms Ellazar Palaby is also part of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development.


The Global Report contributes to an ongoing project of increasing awareness of the nature of the experiences of women human rights defenders.


It features 43 case studies, which demonstrate the links and differences in women human rights defenders identities, working environments and the violations they face. The report analyses their experience through the examination of several contexts, such as militarization, and through particular thematic areas of work, such as reproductive rights.


The report points to the urgent need for increased, systematic and more thorough documentation of human rights violations against women human rights defenders. Documenting these violations and explaining how the context in which they take place facilitates such violations to occur is essential in defining effective means to address them.


It also underlines the importance of recognising that the risks women’s rights defenders face differ from those of human rights defenders in general; risks can be gender-specific and often have gendered consequences, such as threats or violence of a sexual nature, verbal abuse which targets women rights defenders’ gender, or exclusion due to their gender.


In order to ensure the effective, long-term protection of the rights of women human rights defenders, the report recommends that these defenders participate in the planning and application of strategies designed to protect and assist them.


The WHRD IC is a resource and advocacy network for the protection and support of women human rights defenders worldwide. The coalition involves defenders and groups committed to the advancement of women's human rights and sexual rights including rights related to sexual orientation and gender identity. 


For further information on the work of the WHRD IC and a list of members, please see:


You can download a flyer regarding the side event here.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 March 2012 10:25
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