Launch of the 2012 Global Report on the Situation of Women Human Rights Defenders

Dublin, Ireland [29 February 2012] – Front Line Defenders joins with other members of the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRD IC) to release the 2012 Global Report on the Situation of Women Human Rights Defenders.

From events in the Middle East and North Africa to Burma, Chile and the ‘Occupy’ Movements across the world, women are playing a decisive role in challenging social and political norms. However, within the human rights arena, Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) continue to receive scant attention, even as gender-based violence shows a marked increase in a number of regions across the globe.

The Global Report gives a contextual analysis of the environment in which WHRDs work and the violations they face because of their gender and/or work defending women’s rights and sexual rights. The risks faced by WHRDs are increased because there is no systematic documentation of the gender-specific nature and manifestations of the violence and violations of their rights. The Global Report begins to rectify this by drawing on individual and collective analysis of WHRD IC members since its establishment in 2005.

Front Line Defenders protects and promotes human rights defenders at risk; people who work for any or all of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. By working directly with the defenders to identify their needs, Front Line Defenders has developed a rapid response program of emergency support, security grants, training and international advocacy.

Front Line Defenders supports the WHRD IC mission of drawing greater attention and specialized awareness about the unique challenges faced by WHRDs. Tara Madden, Front Line Defenders representative to the WHRD IC, explains the importance of the report, “Coming at a time when we see women in the lead on the streets from Sana’a to Cairo and Santiago to New York, this report offers important insights into the unique challenges women face as human rights defenders in varied settings across the world. We hope this report will not only draw greater attention to these issues, but result in changes in policy and protection measures undertaken by international, regional, national and local actors.”

The Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition is a resource and advocacy network for the protection and support of women human rights defenders worldwide.


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