#StandWithWHRDs: to keep them safe, but not silent

Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) face a variety of challenges, difficulties, and risks. These risks can look quite differently from the general threats human rights defenders are confronted with. In our campaign #StandWithWHRDs, DefendDefenders and AfricanDefenders want to highlight the work that WHRDs do and raise awareness about their protection needs, so that they can be safe, but not silent.

We have developed a brochure exploring who HRDs and WHRDs are, what threats they face, and what protection is available that can be shared online and offline.

From 15 February until 08 March, International Women’s Day, we will further delve into these topics in short videos on our social media platforms.

DefendDefenders’ main goal is to promote and protect defenders and the work they do. It is particularly important to us to provide targeted protection to WHRDs and the specific needs they have. Through our protection programmes, we try to ensure the safety and well-being of HRDs and WHRDs, so they can continue to speak out against human rights abuses. In case of emergency, don’t hesistate to reach out to our 24/7 emergency phone line: +256-783-027611.

MORE NEWS:

Human Rights Defender of the Month: Anny Kapenga

As a young student, Anny Kapenga used to cringe at the cult-like worship of Mobutu Sese Seko, the then Zaire’s President. By then, in the early 1990s, Zaire was still under one party rule, and calls were increasing for Mobutu to open political space to allow other parties to operate. In the meantime, however, all Zairians were expected to show affection for Mobutu wherever they gathered in public.

Students across Zaire’s schools were required to sing and dance adoringly before his (Mobutu)’s portrait every morning before they went to class, and all school scholastic materials were emblemed with his portrait. A young Anny never really appreciated the obsession:

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