Statements to the 49th Ordinary Session of the African Commission

Representatives of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network attended the recent 49th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Banjul. In response to the activity reports of the Special Rapporteurs, on 3rd and 4th May 2011 EHAHRD-Net made statements on the situation of Freedom of Expression, Human Rights Defenders, and the Rights of Women in Africa (focusing on women human rights defenders).

To read the full text of the statements, please follow the links below:

  1. Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa
  2. Human Rights Defenders in Africa
  3. Rights of Women in Africa

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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.

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