This page features the perspectives of women defenders around the word about their work and what keeps them engaged and inspired. These profiles can be seen below, each of which detail their unique and engaging work. It is our hope that this section can provide some inspiration, encouragement, and useful advice to other women looking to get involved in defending human rights.
Hui Hui is a Singaporean human rights defender who, working mostly independently, uses social media to campaign for a better quality of life in Singapore and the empowerment of it’s citizens. Her main concerns include public health, education, housing issues and social needs.
Ellie Lowther is a mixed-race trans rights defender from the UK and founder of Trans Aware. She delivers awareness workshops and consults with community organisations to develop trans-friendly policies. Her main mission is to increase the fairness and equality for trans women worldwide.
Wanjeri Nderu is an activist from Nairobi focusing on a broad range of issues in Kenya. A lifelong volunteer and journalist by training, she now utilises social media to mobilise people on the streets. Recently, she has been leading an anti-corruption campaign regarding what she calls “theft“.
Emel Kurma is a human rights defender from Turkey. She focuses her work on fairness and justice, as well as environmental rights and freedoms. She is the proud founder and Co-Executive Coordinator of Citizens’ Assembly. The organisation advocates rights, freedoms, and peace while aspiring for a transparent and socio-ecologically credible political economy.
Ruth Acheinegeh from Bamenda, Cameroon is a disabilities activist campaigning to improve the lives of women and girls with disabilities in Northwest Cameroon. She is the founder of the disability rights group NWAWWD - an organisation which works to empower women and girls with disabilities through addressing social issues such as healthcare, education, and housing.
Jestina Mukoko is a Zimbabwean journalist, defender, and Project Director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project. Jestina talks about the progressive Constitution of Zimbabwe, the families of human rights defenders, what helps her relax and clear her mind from the intense work she undertakes every day. She addresses future women human rights defenders, “If your passion is not human rights, don’t do it”.
Gul Lalai is a feminist and women’s rights activist from Pakistan. Since childhood she has been thinking critically and defying the expectations of patriarchal culture, acting as a figurehead for other women to follow in her steps. Gul believes political parties are the best place to nourish the movement, and organisations need to foster independent and critically-thinking people for its progression.