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: Dinah Nakuwa

Dinah Nakuwa works with the Loima Women Empowerment Initiative (LOWEI), a small organisation of some 60 women founded in 2010 to address social issues in the Turkana region of Northern Kenya. In this arid hinterland, geographically and traditionally on the fringes of Kenyan politics, civil...

14 June 2018
ACHPR60: Call for accountability and address culture of impunity in the East and Horn of Africa

On the opening day of its 60th Ordinary Session, DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project) called on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) to urge the African Union to establish accountability mechanisms to bring justice to protracted human rights...

8 May 2017


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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