Because of their work for human rights, women human rights defenders challenge the traditional gender roles of the patriarchal society that keeps women in the domestic sphere. Consequently, women human rights defenders often suffer from serious public defamation campaigns that aim to damage their reputation, accusing them, among others, of neglecting their family or of being in search of sexual partners. In addition, women human rights defenders are often targets of attacks, threats and harassment, also of a sexual nature.
19th Feb UPDATE - Obtilia Eugenio Manuel and Hilario Cornelio Castro were released alive on Saturday the 16th of February at 5am. They are with their families and are well. PBI is very grateful for all the immediate actions taken by supporters.
In December 2018 Dina Meza, a celebrated Honduran independent journalist, was invited to the UK to speak at the FCO’s Human Rights Day event. During her time in London Dina Meza met with the Minister for Human Rights; Lord Ahmad, All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Rights, as well as representatives of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to discuss the human rights situation in Honduras as well as restrictions on freedom of expression and attacks against journalists in the country. She also met with NGOs and donors.
Every day, more women all over the world are taking action to promote equality, peace and justice. It is these women who, whether they mean to or not, are transforming traditional gender roles and power structures by dedicating their lives to defending fundamental human rights. More and more, these extraordinary women are identifying themselves as human rights defenders. In general, it is said that women are doubly vulnerable, for being women and for defending human rights. However, they are strengthened by their determination to create positive change in our societies.
Kenyan social justice activist Naomi Barasa and Colombian human rights lawyer Daniel Prado have won the first annual Henry Brooke Awards for Human Rights Defenders. The awards were presented by Lady Arden DBE, at a packed event at the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom on 13 November 2018. The event was organised by PBI UK and pro bono legal network the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk, and hosted by Lord Carnwath CVO.
"Torture remains unacceptable and unjustified at all times, including during states of emergency, political instability, or even in a war. On this day, let us also pay tribute to all those who stand in solidarity with victims and their families – and reaffirm our commitment to ending this abominable and useless practice." Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General
Torture violates the inherent dignity of the human being. Its use creates societies based on fear and throttles the transformative potential of civil society.
This International Women’s Day, PBI is honouring the incredible and vital work done by Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) in Honduras, Mexico and Kenya, despite their continuing struggle against oppression and human rights abuses.
International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women that are at the heart of the fight for positive social change and equality for all women around the world.
Two years ago, Berta Cáceres, Lenca indigenous leader and coordinator of COPINH, was murdered in her residence in La Esperanza, Intibucá. Despite global outcry, justice still hasn’t been done*.
International accompaniment for relatives of disappeared people, who face indifference or hostile reactions towards their struggle for justice, strengthens their process of empowerment and their capacity for resilience.
International Women’s Day celebrates women’s achievements in the political and social spheres, while also serving as a reminder that the fight for true gender equality is still far from over. Every day, PBI witnesses the actions and impacts of courageous women who take a stance against injustice and the violation of their rights.