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International Women Human Rights Defenders Day.

International Women Human Rights Defenders Day,

29 November 2022

States must live up to their commitments to protect women human rights defenders, who are increasingly under attack and inadequately protected.

❝ The current global context of unchecked #authoritarianism as well as the rise of #populism, of corporate power and of fundamentalist groups are contributing towards closing the space for civil society. This is being done through the enactment of laws and practices that effectively impede human rights work, including the misapplication of certain laws such as counter-terrorism and public assembly laws. In this context, women human rights defenders face additional barriers of economic and structural discrimination and unique challenges driven by deep-rooted discrimination against women and stereotypes entrenched in patriarchal societies related to gender and sexuality.

In addition to the risks of threats, attacks and violence faced by all human rights defenders, women human rights defenders are exposed to specific risks such as sexual violence, defamation, intimidation, including against their family members, in order to deter them from continuing their valuable work. In 2017. Front Line Defenders recorded the killings of 44 women human rights defenders, an increase from 40 in 2016 and 30 in 2015.

Those working on rights contested by fundamentalist groups such as women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights and those denouncing the actions of extractive industries and businesses that often leads to the violation of the rights of specific groups, i.e. indigenous people, racial and ethnic minorities, and rural and other marginalised communities, become at heightened risk of attacks and violence.

Women human rights defenders also face particular threats in conflict and post-conflict situations. Situations of armed conflict, and the subsequent break down of the rule of law, create a dangerous environment for women and girls. Women human rights defenders are pivotal in promoting sustainable peace, yet they are constantly excluded from peace processes and politics, often criminalised, and they experience gender-based violence, which hampers their participation in decision-making processes.

Women human rights defenders often face abuses perpetrated by non-State actors including members of their own family, community and faith-based groups, non-State armed groups, private security agencies, corporations, organised crime.

Women human rights defenders make essential contributions to the effective promotion, protection and realization of international human rights law and play an important role in raising awareness and mobilizing civil society in identifying human rights violations and in contributing to the development of genuine solutions that incorporate a gender perspective.

Women human rights defenders lead movements that have swept the globe calling for gender equality and an end to gender-based violence against women. They have flooded the streets, the airwaves, and the internet with their energy and their testimonials, bringing to light truths that are too often buried in darkness.

They are making immeasurable contributions to the advancement of human rights all over the world. They are raising their voices, frequently at great personal risk, to stand up for human rights and justice for all. Often these women are at the forefront of challenging social and cultural norms that limit women’s human rights. They take stands that are necessary to progress but unpopular, taking on the most powerful and providing support for the most vulnerable.

As United Nations human rights experts, we condemn all attacks on women human rights defenders. We are particularly concerned regarding those who have suffered reprisals for their efforts to work with the United Nations and regional bodies. Participation in the work of the international human rights system is in itself a right and must never be met with intimidation or attacks ❞ (UN Women, 2019)

Activist Genital Mutilation - Sister Fa.

Sister Fa (real name Fatou Diatta, born 1982 in Dakar, Senegal) is a Senegalese rapper and anti-female genital mutilation (FGM) activist.

Diatta began her career as a rapper in 2000, when she made her first demo tape. The following year, she performed at the Senegal Hip Hop Awards.In 2005, she released her first album, Hip Hop Yaw Law Fal.In 2008, she toured Senegal to raise awareness of the problem of FGM. In 2009, she released her international debut album Sarabah: Tales From the Flipside of Paradise.In 2011, Sarabah, a documentary about Diatta's tour Education Sans Excision (French for Education without Cutting), premiered at the human rights festival Movies That Matter.

Critical reception

Sarabah: Tales From the Flipside of Paradise received a lukewarm review from Jon Lusk of the BBC, who wrote that "too much of the album consists of fairly pedestrian or annoyingly sing-songy melodies that echo playground chants (like Poum Poum Pa) or seem transparently aimed at the ring tone market." In The Daily Telegraph, Mark Hudson gave the album 3 out of 5 stars and wrote that Diatta "pits her gutsy verbalising against exquisite traditional melodies on this well-crafted debut." Rick Anderson reviewed the album for Allmusic, concluding that "It's rare that a hip-hop artist balances lightness, seriousness, funk, and message as successfully as this one does -- especially the first time out.

Research on FGM in the Netherlands

Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting, female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and female circumcision,[a] is t