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25 Nov 2021

Author:
CIVICUS

CIVICUS: 16 campaigns to support woman rights defenders & fight gender inequality

"Take Action: 16 campaigns tackling women’s rights and gender inequality", 24 November 2021

Across the world, brave and resolute women rights defenders are taking action on everything from advocating for equality, access, and justice, to standing up to corruption, environmental violations, and even persecution of fellow activists. For many, the COVID-19 pandemic made already difficult operating environments even worse: an increasing number of governments have used COVID-19 as a smokescreen to implement repressive measures that strangle civil society, as well as roll back progress made for gender equality and reproductive rights. Yet, the fightback continues. Here are 16 people-powered movements and campaigns to add your voice to this 16 Days of Activism.

1. #Lifeinleggings

#Lifeinleggings is one of the winners of this year’s Nelson Mandela - Graca Machel Innovation Awards. This campaign was founded in 2016, speaking to gender-based issues and discrimination faced by women and changing the mindset and the lives of women in the Caribbean...

2. #OrangeTheWorld Campaign 

Each year, the United Nations invites people to Orange the World, in support of ending Violence Against Women. Civil society and women's rights organisations, governments, schools, universities, the private sector and individuals host orange themed events - film screenings, exhibits, radio shows, etc - to raise awareness and get people talking...

3. Drop Case 173 

In Egypt, Case 173 of 2011, also known as NGO Foreign Funding Case, continues to undermine women’s rights and civil society organisations working towards defending human rights... #DropCase173, a campaign led by regional and international feminists, women’s rights and human rights organisations, calls on the Egyptian state to dismiss cases against civil society activists and organisations persecuted under Case 173 and immediately drop the charges and lift any travel bans and asset freezes against them...

4. GHANA: Reject the anti-LGBTI+ bill

... The government of Ghana has brought forward the “Family values” draft bill that would criminalise the country’s LGBTI+ community and its allies. If passed the bill will amongst many other things discriminate LGBTI+ community and criminalise the promotion and funding of their activities...

5. Stand As My Witness 

High numbers of women human rights defenders are facing persecution for their activism, making the global Stand As My Witness campaign mportant to support right now. Launched in 2020, the campaign calls for the release of human rights defenders jailed as a result of their work and who they are...

6. Free Saudi Activists

... On 15 May 2018, a few weeks before Saudi Arabia lifted a ban on women driving, authorities launched a large-scale coordinated crackdown against women human rights defenders in the kingdom...

7. FAIR SHARE of Women Leaders

Women are under-represented in leadership positions in many sectors including the social impact sector. FAIR SHARE of Women Leaders is an initiative established to advocate for Feminist Leadership and accelerate gender equity in the social impact sector by monitoring the proportion of women in leadership and advocating for Feminist Leadership...

8. #JusticeForFikileNtshangase

On 22 October 2020, Fikile Ntshangase, a grandmother in her sixties, and an activist from the Mfolozi Environmental Justice Organisation (MCEJO) who resisted and spoke out against the activities and expansion of the Tendele anthracite mine on her community's doorstep, was murdered in her home in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa...

9. She Changes Climate 

... #SheChangesClimate was launched in November 2020 with a #5050 vision to address women leadership in decisions and policymaking related to the climate crisis...

10. #FreeViasna Campaign

Tatsiana Lasitsa and Marfa Rabkova, the two WHRDs among other members from the Viasna group in Belarus, are currently in prison. Since 2003, the Belarusian authorities have been harassing Viasna because they have been actively monitoring and documenting human rights violations...

11. #TurkeyTribunal

Erin Keskin, a lawyer and a human rights activist in Turkey, who dedicated her life to amlifying the voices of women and exposing abuses happening to them in Turkish prisons. Keskin has been among many other activists and human rights defenders, arrested, imprisoned, and subjected to numerous lawsuits related to her human rights activity and now she is one of the leading witnesses in the Turkey Tribunal...

12. #FreeNasrinSotoudeh Campaign

Nasrin Sotoudeh, an Iranian lawyer and a human rights defender, has been sentenced to 33 years of prison and 148 lashes for defending women’s rights in Iran...

13. #StrajkKobiet

... Strajk Kobiet has worked relentlessly to stop the various initiatives proposing an almost complete ban on abortion in Poland. A year on, many women human rights defenders who took part in the protests continue to face an increasingly hostile and dangerous environment...

14. Justice for Marielle Franco

It has been 3 years since the murder of one of Brazil's most courageous social leaders, Marielle Franco and to this day no one has been brought to book. On 14 March 2018, Marielle was brutally assassinated on the streets of Rio de Janeiro shortly after leaving a gathering of young Black activists...

15. #StandWithThe6 

... #StandWithThe6 is launched to build solidarity with the Palestinian civil society, pressure the international community, policymakers, and representatives to take the needed measures, and stand with the Palestinian civil society against the Israeli assaults on human rights and human rights defenders...

16. Write for rights Campaign

Write For Rights is a campaign run by Amnesty International yearly over the months of November and December. The campaign encourages individuals to write messages of solidarity to activists, organisations and movements that have suffered injustice and abuse. This year, the Write for Rights campaign is asking that you stand in solidarity with 10 human rights defenders and activists...

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