Women human rights defenders

Violence against women activists continues to rise. Unfortunately, despite considerable effort, responses to this violence are coming up short. Given the urgency of the situation, JASS and allies are questioning the underlying assumptions guiding activist safety, and bringing a feminist and movement building perspective to rethinking the approach.
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JASS' WInnet Shamuyarira reflects on a Cross Movement Dialogue that brought together women activists from Zimbabwe, Malawi and South Africa to identify and map the key actors, politics and policies driving the “closing space for civil society” and increased backlash against women activists in Southern Africa.
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Italia Mendez refuses to be known the rest of her life as “one of the Atenco victims”. So instead she has become an outspoken global crusader against sexual torture by the state. In May of 2006, Mexican police rounded up Italia and more than two hundred other protestors in a violent crackdown in the village of Atenco, Mexico State. They were taken into custody and driven more than 150 kilometers (about 93 miles) to a state prison. During the hellish ride, the police sexually tortured the 47 women. The torture continued even after arriving at the prison.
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I spoke to Berta Cáceres the day she was murdered. I never imagined that later this year I would be in a demonstration along with almost a thousand women in Honduras asking for justice for her murder. Sometimes, I still can hear her voice.
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We are MOBILIZING HOPE during this year's 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence! Join us every day as we feature 16 women activists who at the forefront of many justice efforts. They will inspire and give you hope -- a true testament to the power of organizing, even in the most dire of times.
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Thousands of Southeast Asian women and men will join together in solidarity with women human rights defenders at risk during JASS Southeast Asia’s regional One Day, One Voice Campaign, which coincides with the global 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women. This year’s theme – “Stand Up For Women Human Rights Defenders” – will include a series of art performances, media events, peace marches, dialogues, bazaars, and film screenings to honor the brave women of Southeast Asia who are defending human rights and precious land and resources.
“Protection of women defenders must be based on recognizing their existence, but also their contribution to creating better societies,” said a participant during a forum with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, Michel Forst who visited Central American countries to hear directly from defenders about the challenges and risks they face.
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The majority of indigenous women of Indonesia face multiple challenges in their daily lives: being a woman, being an indigenous woman, and being a rural poor indigenous woman. For Pipi Supeni, an indigenous woman from the Dayak Benuaq tribe of East Kalimantan, being constantly in the margins is not a hopeless situation. Representing her organizations, she leads her community in raising indigenous women’s awareness of their rights. Read more…
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JASS Southeast Asia joins regional and international human rights allies in expressing its solidarity with the Filipino farmers and Lumad indigenous peoples who stood up for their right to food and resources. JASS likewise condemns the violent dispersal of the farmers and indigenous peoples in Kidapawan, North Cotabato on 1 April 2016 where 29 women are detained, including three pregnant women and six elderly individuals.
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