From 19 to 22 March 2013 Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) met in Istanbul for a Training of Trainers workshop on digital security. Participants were selected by the WHRD International Coalition. With increasing online threats to the freedom of expression and association and because they are women, WHRDs face many unique threats online that can hinder their activism.
Who is a human rights defender? Who is a woman human rights defender? Is he the one with the fancy camera and tweeting for his thousands of followers? Is she the one with the cute face and a good English accent? Who are the ones ‘we’ consider worth our admiration, and more importantly now it seems, worthy of support, coverage and highlighting from international organizations and media?
On the occasion of November 29th, Women Human Rights Defenders Day, the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition stands in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of women activists around the world who – with exemplary courage, determination, and strength, uphold women’s human rights, the rights of communities, and of the environment.
This edition of GenderIT.org explores the online safety of women human rights defenders from the perspective of national security and counter-terrorism. While online & offline security measures adversely impact on women’s and sexual rights, women and sexual minorities are still two of the most invisible stakeholders in national security debates.
“Sex work may be illegal in Uganda, but providing services for sex workers is clearly not,” reads a statement put out on May 9 by WONETHA, a health and human rights organisation, in reaction to a serious crack-down on its activities by Ugandan municipal police.