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Day 5 - International Women's Human Rights Defenders Day

Part of the Union's 16 Days against Gender Based Violence Campaign.

Since 2006, International Women’s Human Rights Defenders Day has been celebrated to recognise Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) around the world. These are women who defend the human rights of all women and in particular those associated with gender based violence.

Issues they campaign around include:

  • indigenous rights
  • women defending victims of torture
  • abortion rights
  • rights of sex workers to a safe and fair employment.


"Women defenders frequently face specific violence for their tireless work in the pursuit of fundamental rights. In addition to similar risks faced by male defenders, they also face other gender-specific obstacles. Many women defenders work in situations of inequality and uncertainty, due to either a lack of social recognition, or because they have additional domestic and caring responsibilities, or due to high levels of violence against women. Indeed, International Women Human Rights Defenders Day reminds us just how much these women need our solidarity, and just how urgent it is to promote and implement protection strategies and tools that enable them to continue their work." (Peace Brigades International, 2018)


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