EHAHRDP Receives US State Department Human Rights Defenders Award

Ambassador Michael Posner (Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor) and Ambassador Scott DeLisi (the new US Ambassador to Uganda) today presented members of the Ugandan Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law with the US Department of State 2011 Human Rights Defenders Award.

Hassan Shire received the award on behalf of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project and Protection Desk Uganda team (pictured here). The award recognizes individuals or non-governmental organizations who show exceptional valor and leadership in advocating for the protection of human rights and democracy in the face of government repression.



Human Rights Defender of the month: Esther Tawiah

In Ghana, Esther Tawiah is one of the loudest voices for women empowerment and gender. It is also why she is one of the most loathed. Born and raised in New-Tafo in the country’s eastern region, Esther grew up surrounded by a culture that frowned at the idea of women participating in public affairs, and witnessed firsthand, the backlash those who dared to challenge that cultural norm faced.

“I grew up in a society where ageism and sexism were so entrenched. As a young person, you weren’t supposed to give your opinion on public issues, especially if you were a woman. Women who dared to speak up were caricatured and branded as frustrated, unmarriageable prostitutes, all designed to shut them up,” she says.