Women human rights defenders

"It was the son who got an education"

Published: 2015-11-27 14:52
Sadete Citaku, #femdefener from Kosovo. Photo: Kvinna till Kvinna/Olga Beletski.

#Femdefenders: When her friend was sexually harassed by men in power at the university, she and some other students formed a group to work for change. Sadete Citaku from Kosovo wants to fight the difference in freedom between young women and men, and dreams of a world where men’s violence against women no longer exist

Read more

"It's always men who threaten me"

Published: 2015-11-18 15:56
Marija Stankovic, #femdefender from Serbia. Photo: Kvinna till Kvinna/Charlotte Marie.

#Femdefenders: Marija Stankovic struggles for the women in Serbia to receive the same rights as the men. Contrary to society’s expectations of how she, as a young woman, should behave, she chooses to fight against injustice.

Read more

"My brother threatened to kill me"

Published: 2015-11-12 11:28
Leyla Murshudova, #femdefender from Azerbaijan. Photo: Kvinna till Kvinna/Olga Beletski.

#Femdefenders: Leyla Murshudova from Azerbaijan was forbidden by her family to work. But she defied the threats from relatives and society and choose her own path. Now, she is committed to women human rights issues.

Read more

Working for a peace with women's voices in South Sudan

Published: 2015-08-26 10:04
"I dream of a South Sudan where we can laugh together," says Dolly Anek Odwong, women human rights defender who recently visited Sweden. Photo: Kvinna till Kvinna/Karin Råghall.

Despite a formal truce, the conflict in South Sudan has continued and the UN reports of mass murders, rapes and widespread destruction and looting. Dolly Anek Odwong is dedicated to getting women’s voices into the peace work.

Read more

"I fight for a unified Iraq"

Published: 2015-04-16 12:24
“We do not focus on the most sensitive topics, but rather try to gather women around the problems that basically every woman encounter," says Shameran M. Odisho, president of Iraqi Women's League. Photo: Kvinna till Kvinna/Karin Råghall.

The history of Iraq is not only a story of violence and conflict. It is also a story of women’s courageous struggle. Meet women’s rights activist Shameran M. Odisho, who refuses to give up her hope of a united, peaceful Iraq, despite the fact that she has been persecuted for her political activism throughout her whole life.

Read more

"I had to get protected identity"

Published: 2014-12-09 14:44
Anna Silver never imagined that her standing up for human rights would lead to hate-mail and threats. Photo: Kvinna till Kvinna/Ida Svedlund.

Sweden is often thought of as a safe country, where human rights are respected. But for activist Anna Silver, getting involved in helping EU migrants became an eye-opener. After being stalked on-line and having received one too many threatening phone calls, she moved and got protected identity. This is her story.

Read more

"They accused us of promoting pedophilia"

Published: 2014-12-02 14:07
As executive director of the women's rights and peace organisation Society Without Violence, Anna Nikoghosyan is often targeted by anti-equality groups. Photo: Kvinna till Kvinna/Karin Råghall.

A month ago, Anna Nikoghosyan celebrated her 10-year-anniversary as an activist. Working for women’s human rights in Armenia means constantly defending yourself against threats and smear campaigns. ”Extremist groups spread the message that gender equality is an anti-family and anti-Armenian western concept,” she says.

Read more

"They told people to boycott me"

Published: 2014-11-27 11:37
"It is hard to be a political activists and at the same time a woman activist," says Palestinian women human rights defender Rita Noor. Photo: Kate Nevens/Flickr Creative Commons.

A vicious smear campaign on Facebook nearly put an end to femdefender Rita Noor’s activism. Working for women’s rights and freedom in Palestine means tackling harsh resistance and threats. Sometimes even from other (male) members of civil society.

Read more

"Militia groups gathered around my house"

Published: 2014-11-21 14:09
"Being forced to flee your home is like being thrown away like a ball – and not knowing where you will land," says Buthainah Mahmood. Photo: Kvinna till Kvinna/Karin Råghall.

Women human rights defender Buthainah Mahmood got her life shattered when, last summer, she was forced to flee her home in Iraq. Today, she is one of millions of internally displaced people (IDP:s) in Iraq. But that does not stop her from working for human rights.

Read more