Human rights defender's story: Linda RM Baumann from Namibia

Linda RM Baumann, a pivotal advocate for LBT women's rights and strategic coordinator for Namibia’s Diverse Women Association (NDWA), passionately works to ensure protection and recognition for marginalised communities.

Linda RM Baumann, serving as the strategic coordinator for the Namibia’s Diverse Women Association (NDWA), dedicates her efforts to supporting lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women, focusing on human rights advocacy. Growing up in an impoverished community with multiple marginalised identities, Linda recognised early the necessity of self-defense against oppression before she could champion the rights of others. Her personal experiences with discrimination fueled her motivation to engage actively in rights defense.

Linda’s activism is not without significant personal risk. She has faced surveillance, harassment, and hostility, both from State authorities and within her community. Despite these challenges, she remains committed to educating and empowering those around her. Linda’s work includes facilitating dialogues to reduce conflicts and training local community members, enhancing their capabilities to engage with human rights mechanisms effectively.

Her advocacy extends to influencing national policies. Linda praises Namibia’s progress, such as the inclusion of LGBT issues in the national human rights action plan, but she urges the government to transform these policies into actionable changes. At an international level, Linda calls for a diversified approach to ensure that all States adhere to fundamental human rights principles, advocating for global accountability and protective measures for all vulnerable populations.

Through her unwavering commitment, Linda RM Baumann not only stands as a defender of her community but also as a beacon of hope and resilience, striving to make a significant impact on both national and international stages.