Women HRDs

Regional Situation

Women human rights defenders (WHRDs) are confronted with the same challenges as any defender, but are made particularly vulnerable due to the myriad of gender-specific risks they also face. Throughout the East and Horn of Africa, sexual violence has been used to attack WHRDs and, at times, their families become a target for threats and harassment. Often challenging existing cultural norms and stereotypes through their work, WHRDs also face heightened isolation or rejection by their communities.

Latest News

Defender of the month: Eulalie Nibizi

Eulalie Nibizi is a Burundian human rights defender (HRD) living in exile in Uganda, and since 2017 has been the Coordinator of the Coalition Burundaise des Défenseurs des Droits de l’Homme (CBDDH). The CBDDH was founded in 2009 to promote civic and democratic space in...

3 October 2018
HRC39: Interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia

DefendDefenders commends efforts to foster human rights in Somalia and expresses concerns over freedom of expression, and women and children's rights.

26 September 2018
HRC39: DefendDefenders welcomes the appointment of new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

DefendDefenders welcomes the appointment of Ms. Michelle Bachelet as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and looks forward to maintaining the close working relationship developed with her office over the years, to advance the rights of human rights defenders across the East and...

11 September 2018


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2015: Burundi at a turning point

DefendDefenders details extensively how the relationship between civil society and Burundian state authorities dramatically deteriorated ahead of the April 2015 Presidential elections.

2 February 2015
Human Rights Defenders: A key to fighting sexual violence in African conflicts.

A briefing paper by DefendDefenders outlining the pivotal role of human rights defenders in advocating for justice, accountability, and the rights of victims of sexual violence.

9 June 2014
South Sudan: Report Highlights Persistent Pattern of Attacks against Human Rights Defenders

Human rights defenders in South Sudan are facing increasingly grave risks in undertaking human rights monitoring and reporting, finds a new report published today by the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP). The report, entitled “Change will not come until we...

9 December 2013