Human Rights

Human rights – particularly women’s rights – are not just an abstract concept of law. While conventions and protocols are essential in ensuring that states can be held to account for their treatment of human rights, it is in day to day life that women, as individuals and in groups, actually find ways to implement their rights.  The women in this list are making rights a reality by standing up for equality and human dignity, including in the face of sexual and gender based violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo or the rights of imprisoned women whether in the UK or in Sierra Leone.

The women are listed in no particular order.

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Siphiwe-Hlophe ref Rachael Phillips, Guardian

Siphiwe Hlophe. Photo: Rachael Phillips, Guardian

Name: Siphiwe Hlophe

Where:
Swaziland
What she does: Activist, educator and campaigner
Impact: Supports women in Swaziland affected by gender discrimination related to HIV/AIDS
Nominated by: Stephen Brown Director and Kathryn Llewellyn, CEO, Positive Women

Website: www.swapol.net

Full nomination here

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Joice Dube

Name: Joice Dube (“Mama J, Mama Joyce or Granny”)

Where: Zimbabwe
What she does: Social activist fighting for the rights of Zimbabwean migrants, asylum seekers and refugees
Impact: Her lobbying of a detention center, refugee centre, hospitals and police stations led to an investigation by the South African government
Nominated by: Gary Swart, Inspired Individuals Director, TEARFUND

Full nomination here

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Amy Oyekunle

Name: Amy Oyekunle

Where: Nigeria
What she does: Supports women’s and girls’ leadership  in Nigeria at Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND)
Nominated by:Eniola Mafe, Vital Voices Global Partnership 

Website: www.kind.org

Full nomination here

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Name: Geni Gomez

Where: Nicaragua
What she does: Women’s Rights Campaigner
Impact: Built and consolidated women’s networks in Nicaragua and Central America
Nominated by: Helen Dixon

Website: http://www.grupovenancia.org/

Full nomination here

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Name: Aminatou Haidar

Where: Western Sahara
What she does: Operates at great personal risk to campaign for human rights and for justice for the people of Western Sahara
Impact: Has raised awareness of the Western Sahara people’s fight for independence, including through a 32 day hunger strike at Lanzarote Airport which attracted international attention
Nominated by: Natalie Sharples

Website: http://www.codesaso.com/

Full nomination here

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Name: Lepa Mladjenovic

Where: The Balkans
What she does: Campaigner for women’s rights and against war and fascism
Impact: A ‘movement builder’ – organising workshops and events to share work on violence against women
Nominated by:
Liz Kelly

Website: http://www.womenngo.org.rs/english/

Full nomination here

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Angie, Philippines

Ms. Angelina Ludovice-Katoh

Name: Ms. Angelina Ludovice-Katoh

Where: Philippines
What she does:  Executive Director of ACORD
Impact:  For her steadfast commitment to women and community organising and in working for genuine peace and development in Mindanao. Angie has been a committed women’s rights activist her whole life despite great personal risks and dangers. She is an inspiration for women in Zamboanga, in Mindanao and across the Philippines
Nominated by: Gari Lazaro

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Name: Gloria Morrison

Where: UK
What she does: Lawyer and campaigner
Impact: Raising awareness of victims of miscarriages of justice convicted under the law of joint enterprise
Nominated by: Stephanie Hart

Website: http://www.jointenterprise.co/

Full nomination here

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Vicky Simister photo

Vicky Simister

Name: Vicky Simister

Where: 
UK
What she does: Founded the Anti Street Harassment Campaign.
Impact: Has made the previously ‘silent’ issue of street harassment a matter of public interest.
Nominated by: Katie

Website: www.ashcampaign.org

Full nomination here

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Name: Suriya Wickramasinghe

Where:
Sri Lanka
What she does: Secretary of the Civil Rights Movement of Sri Lanka.
Impact: Instrumental in promoting agreement on human rights protection and monitoring as an essential component of peace settlements.

Full nomination here

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Name: Sherine Xavier

Where: Sri Lanka
What she does: Executive Director of Home for Human Rights
Impact: Provides free legal advice and has supported women to challenge strict cultural roles and engage in decision making

Website: http://www.advocacynet.org/page/hhr

Full nomination here

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Name: Jess Wood

Jess-Wood photo

Jess Wood

Where: UK
What she does: Founder and Director of Allsorts
Impact: Empowers young people who are unsure about their sexual orientation and/ or gender identity
Nominated by: Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion

Website: http://www.allsortsyouth.org.uk/

Full nomination here

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Maryam Bibi photo

Maryam Bibi

Name:  Maryam Bibi

Where: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Tribal Areas, NW Pakistan
What she does: Works tirelessly for women and children’s rights
Impact:  Has enabled women and girls in NW Pakistan to receive education, health and civil rights and pushed the cause of peace and community development to politicians
Nominated by: Marilyn Crawshaw, UK Friends of Khwendo Kor; and Caroline Pym of the J A Clark Charitable Trust

Website: www.frok.org.uk

Full nomination here

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Name: Bogaletch Gebre

Where: Ethiopia
What she does: Founder of KMG Ethiopia
Impact: Challenging traditional practices harmful to girls and women.
Nominated by: Francoise Moudouthe

Website: http://www.kmgselfhelp.org/

Full nomination here

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Name: Sike Bille 

Where: Cameroon
What she does: Director of ALVF (Association de Lutte Contre les Violences Faites aux Femmes), Cameroon
Impact: Preventing child marriage and other practices that deny Cameroonian girls and women their rights
Nominated by: Francoise Moudouthe

Website: http://www.iwhc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=132&Itemid=74

Full nomination here 

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kat_banyard_200

Kat Banyard

Name: Kat Banyard

Where: UK
What she does: Author of The Equality Illusion and Founder of UK Feminista
Impact: Raised the profile of feminism in the UK and been a role model for young women in the UK
Nominated by: Servene Mouazan, CEO of Ogunte

Website: www.ukfeminista.org.uk http://www.katbanyard.org/

Full nomination here

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Name:Rioch Edwards Brown

Rioch Edwards-Brown

Where: UK
What she does: Campaigner, tackling one of the last taboos – child abuse
Impact: Helped 4000 families in the UK and worldwide. 150 legal teams have used her service – she has identified 9 other conditions that mimic symptoms associated with child abuse

Website: http://www.sbs5.dircon.co.uk/five.htm

Full profile here

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Name: Arefa Khatun

Where:
Hatibandha Sub-district under Lalmonirhat district, Bangladesh
What she does: Social work
Impact:  Fighting to promote child rights and reduce gender based discrimination
Nominated by: Mahfuzar Rahman, Program Unit Manager, Plan Bangladesh, Lalmonirhat Program Unit

Full nomination here

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Name: Shannon Hopkins

Where: USA
What she does: Innovator and Founder of Sweet Notions
Impact: Has affected the British Governments position on human trafficking through work supported by the social enterprise
Nominated by: Sharon

Website: http://www.sweetnotions.org/

Full nomination here

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Sokny

Sokny

Name: Sokny

Where: Cambodia
What she does: Trade union organiser
Impact: Helped protect and support garment workers and ensure fair and safe working conditions
Nominated by: Rob Blakemore

Full nomination here

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Name: Shadi Sadr

Where: Mulund, Iran
What she does: Human Rights Lawyer and activist
Impact: Defended several women’s rights activists from execution and advocate of women’s rights
Nominated by: Marjaneh Halati (Omid-e-Mehr)

Full nomination here

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Name: Liliany Obando

Where: Colombia
What she does: Colombian trade unionist, human rights defender and sociologist
Impact: Has campaigned internationally to highlight human rights violations in Colombia

Full nomination here

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Name: June Jacobs CBE

Where: UK
What she does: Campaigns for human rights – particularly in support of women’s rights in the Middle East and to stop the use of rape as a weapon of war
Impact: Campaigner against intolerance and oppression including the use of rape as a weapon of war
Nominated by: NAWO (National Alliance of Women’s Organisations) 

Full nomination here

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Name: Zarin Hainsworth

Zarin Hainsworth

Where: UK
What she does: Promotes gender equality, diversity and women’s rights at grassroots and international levels
Impact: Has helped change negative attitudes towards widows in Tanzania
Nominated by: NAWO (National Alliance of Women’s Organisations) 

Full nomination here

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Bina Silwal

Name: Bina Silwal

Where: Nepal
What she does:
Works for the rights of marginalised women and girls in remote rural communities
Impact:
Women have been empowered to challenge discrimination and violence, and girls are developing their potential
Nominated by:
Nick Burn, MRDF

Website: http://www.kopilanepal.org.np/

Full nomination here

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Marina Mendoza Peru

Marina Mendoza

Name: Marina Mendoza

Where: Peru
What she does: Activist and women’s rights leader
Impact:  Has created a space for women and women’s issues in local, regional and national politics in Peru
Nominated by: Womankind Worldwide

Website: http://fepromuica.blogspot.com/

Full nomination here

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Name: Subhadra Belbase

Where: Uganda
What she does: Country Director of Plan in Uganda – an initiator of change, an inspiration to all she works with and a relentless gender equality activist
Impact: Gender-awareness training in the Plan office, an initiative to help girls out of commercial sex work
Nominated by: Anshu Rastogi

Website: http://plan-international.org/where-we-work/africa/uganda 

Full nomination here

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Name: Sabrina Mahtani

Where: Sierra Leone
What she does: Founder of Advocaid – has organised aftercare programmes for ex-prsioners, sustainable rehabilitation programmes inside prisons, and human rights training for prison officers
Impact: The number of women in Freetown’s prisons has halved. The Ministry of Social Welfare have put a policy in place about treatment of children imprisoned with their mothers
Nominated by: Ari Clowney, Inspired Individuals Communication and Development Manager TEARFUND

Website: http://www.advocaidsl.com/

Full nomination here

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Rubidia Cornejo

Name: Rubidia Cornejo

Where: El Salvador
What she does: Supports and campaigns for the rights of blind people in El Salvador
Impact: Has raised awareness of blind women’s health, helped to ensure Braille materials are available in schools and supported blind women to organise themselves and network
Nominated by: Laura Ouseley

Website: www.asces.org.sv

Full nomination here

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Name: Siriporn Panyasen

Where: Lampang province, Northern Thailand
What she does: Is an advocate for women’s participation in politics and the founder of WAY Lampang
Impact: The first introduction of CEDAW-themed training on local government working processes in Thailand and a  rise in number of female politicians in Lampang
Nominated by: Siriporn Laosang, One World Action 

Full nomination here

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NameLuz Melon

Where:
 Argentina
What she does: Diplomat
Impact: International legal recognition of the specific rights of disabled people
Nominated by: Hannah Davies

Full nomination here

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Moni Rani

Name: Moni Rani

Where: Bangladesh
What she does: Co-ordinator and founding member of the Dalit Women’s Forum, Bangladesh
Impact: Dalit women now have access to resources that would have been denied them according to “traditional practice”
Nominated by: Bethan Cobley, One World Action

Full nomination here

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Kinga Lohmann

Name: Kinga Lohmann

Where: Poland
What she does: Founder and executive director of the KARAT Coalition
Impact: Has responded to the political, economic and social challenges affecting women in Central and Eastern Europe and post-Soviet countries and helped to improve their lives
Nominated by: Veronique Dion, One World Action

Website: http://www.karat.org/

Full nomination here

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Dr Sasha Rakoff

Name: Dr Sasha Rakoff

Where: UK
What she does:
Founder of OBJECT – a human rights organisation set up to challenge the sexual objectification of women
Impact: Has raised awareness of the realities of lap dancing and prostitution, changed the law so local people now have a say as to whether a lap dancing club can open and made it a crime to pay for sex with someone who has been trafficked or pimped
Nominated by: Clair Yates

Website: www.object.org.uk

Full nomination here

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Chigoziri Ojiaka

Name: Chigoziri Ojiaka

Where: Lagos, Nigeria
What she does: Human Rights Lawyer, co-Founder and Director of the Gender and Child Rights Initiative Nigeria
Impact: Providing legal aid to women, supporting welfare officers and working to reduce gender based violence
Nominated by: Sarah Ewing, Vital Voices

Website: http://allafrica.com/stories/201103280584.html

Full nomination here

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Fanny Chirisa

Name: Fanny Chirisa

Where: Zimbabwe
What she does: Director of the Women in Politics Support Unit (WiPSU) in Zimbabwe
Impact: Has helped to promote women’s leadership and increase women’s political participation in Zimbabwe
Nominated by: Celena Green, Vital Voices

Website: http://wipsu.posterous.com/

Full nomination here

One Response to “Human Rights”

  1. Esther September 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    A list of amazing and very powerful women. This is a great list and wow, the stories of what all this amazing women are doing are very inspiring.
    Very very proud of you. The world is a better place to live in because of what you do! Keep on!

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