Governments are failing to protect women human rights defenders (WHRDs) who routinely face a wide range of gender specific attacks, including rape, because of their work promoting rights relating to women, gender equality and sexuality, Amnesty International said in a new report on International Women Human Rights Defenders Day.
“Challenging power, fighting discrimination: A call to action to recognize and protect women human rights defenders” reveals that these activists continue to be assaulted, threatened, intimidated, criminalized and even killed for their campaigning. This is despite repeated commitments, including the passing of a UN resolution six years ago, to enhance their protection.
“Women human rights defenders are attacked because of who they are and what they do. The risks are even greater for those facing intersecting forms of discrimination – if you are a woman and from a racial minority, indigenous, poor, lesbian, bisexual or trans, a sex worker, you have to fight so much harder to have your voice heard by those in power,” said Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.