#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.

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Human Rights Defender of the month: Kasale Maleton Mwaana

Kasale’s human rights activism precedes his years. The son of pastoralist parents from Ngorongoro district in northern Tanzania, he grew up seeing his parents and entire community having to defend their land and way of life against authorities who thought their lands could be put to better use. Now, at 25, Kasale is already one of the most recognizable advocates of his people’s cause, much to the ire of Tanzanian authorities.
“Our people’s struggle goes back many generations. It started with the pushing out of our forefathers from Serengeti to gazette Serengeti National Park in 1959, and then further evictions from the Ngorongoro crater to gazette the Ngorongoro conservation area in 1975. Since then, every generation has had to resist further evictions. It’s now my generation’s turn,” he says.

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