Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

29 November 2008

Women activists: unyielding in their defence of rights

Women activists: unyielding in their defence of rights
No-one said defending human rights was easy. Activists can face threats, intimidation and even death for the work they do. In the case of women who defend human rights, and those who uphold women’s rights and demand gender equality, the risks can be even greater.

On the International Day of Women Human Rights Defenders – 29 November – in particular, we celebrate the commitment of these defenders to uphold the whole spectrum of human rights.

Women human rights defenders are at risk of attack because of the work they do, but also because of who they are. The threats and marginalisation they can encounter is frequently gender specific and can include sexual violence.

Rita Mahato, a health counsellor with the Women’s Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC) in Nepal was threatened with rape and death when her office in Siraha district was attacked by men from her community who objected to WOREC’s work to defend the rights of women. Women activists in many societies can be perceived as crossing established "boundaries", challenging social codes and this can increase their level of risk.

Women human rights defenders campaign against intimidation and harassment from state authorities and non-state actors. Critically they also point to abuses of women’s rights in the private sphere - in their communities and in their homes.

The Campaign for Equality in Iran resists the relegation of women to the private sphere, pressing for women’s rights to be central to national discussion where women are active participants. It seeks to change all laws which discriminate on the basis of gender.

Activists have reached out to citizens to show how such laws negatively affect women’s lives and wide society. Its "One Million Signatures" campaign is mobilizing Iranians – both men and women – to demand equal rights for women under the law.

For human rights to be realised, they need to defended. Women all over the world are engaged daily in this struggle. On the International Day of Women Human Rights Defenders, we reiterate our call for the protection and promotion of their rights and work. It is essential for the future of all our human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Read More

Iran: End pressure on women’s rights defenders (News, 27 August 2008)
Women act against repression and intimidation in Iran (Report abstract, 28 February 2008)




Stop Violence Against Women 

@amnestyonline on twitter


28 October 2014

 The Gambian authorities must heed a warning from the international community about the deteriorating human rights situation in the country, Amnesty International said... Read more »

30 October 2014

The fourth anniversary of the killing of an outspoken community leader in Maranhão state must be a wake-up call to the Brazilian government to urgently address increasing... Read more »

29 October 2014

The death sentence against a leading opposition figure in Bangladesh for war crimes will not bring justice to the millions of victims of the independence war.

Read more »
30 October 2014

 The onus is on the UK government to answer allegations for its role in the Abdul Hakim Belhaj rendition case.

Read more »
30 October 2014

Lawless militias and armed groups on all sides of the conflict in western Libya are carrying out rampant human rights abuses, including war crimes, according to a new... Read more »