Today 29th/Nov is International Women Human Rights Defenders Day (IWHRDD). Several Human Rights defenders and activists from all over the word met 7years ago, in Colombo Sri Lanka to celebrate, raise awareness acknowledge the works and to discuss the situation of women human rights defenders and strategies to address the hostile context for defenders and the community which they work.
Many queer feminist human rights defenders face a range of un-imaginable challenges. Being frontline defenders for rights of women and sexuality related rights, they above all else face specific violations because of their gender. Everyday women human rights defenders suffer harassment, torture, intimidation, are unlawfully arrested and detained, face abandonment from their families, stigmatization, slander and blackmail and hostility from government officials. All these violations go with little or no documentation and recognition except from their most immediate community.
Women human rights defenders with meager resources, who are neither high profile nor well connected, are most often never recognized by their states for their tremendous work, nor accorded protection not let alone funding for their work and yet despite the risks they are subjected to they continue to rally, organize and fight frontline battles against human rights violations.
Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG) applauds the tremendous, selfless, sacrificial, relentless and persistent services rendered by all women human rights defenders the world over who amidst all challenges and yet remain steadfast in their conviction and pursuit of what they believe in.
We would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate all women human rights defender whose works have been rewarded, the Martin Ennals Human Rights Defenders’ laureate; Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, who is also the executive director of FARUG and the winner of this years Nuremberg Human Rights Defenders Award.
Women human rights defenders have been tortured, raped, assaulted but they have never been silenced. They fight for the rights of all of us at tremendous personal risk. They must not be left alone.