International Conference: Building Global Support for Women Human Rights Defenders


an article by Nobel Women’s Initiative

We are very excited to invite you to join us online for our 5th biennial conference, Defending the Defenders! Building Global Support for Women Human Rights Defenders. Over 120 women – including Nobel peace laureates and frontline activists from the Middle East, Africa and Central America—will gather in the Netherlands this week [April 20] to discuss how the international community can protect women human rights defenders across the globe.


“Women activists are on the frontlines of some of the globe’s most pressing conflicts,” says Jody Williams, Nobel peace laureate (USA) and chair of the Nobel Women’s Initiative. “These women play an essential role in pushing back against those wishing to repress basic human democratic rights.”

Williams will be joined at the conference by sister Nobel peace laureates Shirin Ebadi (Iran), Mairead Maguire (Northern Ireland) and Leymah Gbowee (Liberia), as well as globally-known human rights experts.

Women human rights defenders are targeted for a wide range of violence around the world—from verbal harassment to systematic rape, torture and assassinations. Often these women are targeted for violence because they are defying traditional gender roles and represent a threat to the “status quo”.

Among those at highest risk are women resisting mining and other mega-developments in their communities and women facing new threats from extremist groups such as ISIS. Women are at the forefront of creative and innovative nonviolent action. By listening, learning, and amplifying women’s voices, we hope to bring attention to incredible and important work being done by women front-line defenders, as well as strengthen networks for support and protection.

Stay tuned in the coming days on Facebook, Twitter (#DefendingDefenders), Instagram (@nobelwomen), and our Defending the Defenders Blog as we post photos, videos, facts and quotes and spotlight some of our extraordinary participants!

(Thank you to Janet Hudgins, the CPNN reporter for this article.)

Question for this article:

Protecting women and girls against violence, Is progress being made?

The 47 CPNN articles devoted to this theme suggest that indeed progress is being made.

See comment below about Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, as well as our recent article A century of women working for peace

One thought on “International Conference: Building Global Support for Women Human Rights Defenders

  1. The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom just had its 100th anniversary birthday party, Congress and Conference (Women’s Power to Stop War, in the Hague April 22-25 and 27-29. Their “manifesto” is now on line ( Great spirit ! The Conference was attended by about 800 women (and a few men) from 80 countries.

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