Women human rights defenders' day 2018: Rise in killings & calls for a stronger response by govts. & cos.

Marking International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, 29 November, UN Women said that the current global context of “unchecked authoritarianism” along with “the uncontrolled greed for profit-making" have contributed to closing the space for civil society. Women human rights defenders are increasingly under attack -  the attacks and challenges they face are unique and deep-rooted in discrimination against women and stereotypes entrenched in patriarchal societies related to gender and sexuality. Civil society organizations and media organizations around the world honoured women defenders, including those confronting businesses.

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Article
3 December 2018

UN Women says corporate power is shrinking civic space & women defenders need more support

Author: Dzilam Mendez, UN Women

"Increasingly under attack, women human rights defenders need better back up", 29 Nov 2018

Marking International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, 29 November, the statement said that the current global context of “unchecked authoritarianism” along with “the rise of populism, of corporate power and of fundamentalist groups” have contributed to closing the space for civil society. “This is being done through the enactment of laws and practices that effectively impede human rights work, including the misapplication of certain laws such as counter-terrorism and public assembly laws,” they explained. The experts pointed out that women human rights defenders also face the additional barriers of economic and other structural discrimination, and “unique challenges driven by deep-rooted discrimination against women and stereotypes entrenched in patriarchal societies related to gender and sexuality.” Moreover, sexual violence, defamation and intimidation, including against their family members, are being used as a deterrence... [Women human rights defenders] often challenge social and cultural norms that limit women’s human rights, taking the necessary but often unpopular route of passionate activism for their cause. The UN experts concluded their statement by condemning all attacks on women... defenders. “We are particularly concerned regarding those who have suffered reprisals for their efforts to work with the United Nations..." [they said].

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Article
3 December 2018

Women environmental & land defenders honoured on women's human rights defenders day

Author: Liz Ford, The Guardian (UK)

"Women's rights take centre stage as murdered activists are remembered", 29 Nov 2018

Rising misogyny and an increase in the restrictions placed on women’s freedom worldwide mean the work of campaigners who defend their rights is more important than ever, the head of UN Women has said... [W]omen’s rights defenders – targeted not only for the work they do, but also simply for being female – are beset on multiple fronts. [A]ctivists encounter aggression both inside and outside their homes and communities... Each year, the Association for Women’s Rights in Development updates its online tribute to women’s human rights defenders who have died. The homage now honours the legacy of more than 400 women from 80 countries. [W]e salute some of the women who have been killed for their activism in 2018[:] Marielle Franco,...a “groundbreaking politician”, had become a leading voice for disadvantaged people living in the favelas of Rio...before her untimely death... Franco, a gay, black woman, was in her first term of office on the city council... No arrests have been made in connection with her death.; Guadalupe Campanur Tapia was a prominent environmental and indigenous rights activist in Cherán, Mexico, [t]he 32-year-old was heavily involved in protecting local forests from illegal logging... She is believed to have been strangled...

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