New guide | Recognising and protecting women human rights defenders

Coinciding with International Human Rights Defenders Day, we're pleased to share our rough guide to UN General Assembly Resolution 68/181 regarding the protection of women human rights defenders.

Women human rights defenders continue to be at the forefront of so many human rights struggles across the world. In increasingly authoritarian contexts, their very work to confront oppressive, discriminatory structures and address human rights violations subjects them to increasing threats, attacks and violence. 

Three years ago States at the UN General Assembly agreed by consensus that the protection of women human rights defenders is of paramount concern. With the involvement of defenders themselves, the landmark resolution - 68/181 - effectively developed a roadmap that outlines practical steps that governments can undertake to ensure that the rights of women human rights defender in their countries are respected and protected. This resolution presents a tool for women human rights defenders to claim their rights and their protection needs. 

With the support of the City of Geneva, ISHR is pleased to bring resolution 68/181 out from the vaults through its new publication, Recognising and protecting women human rights defenders: A Rough Guide to UN General Assembly Resolution 68/181. 

Women human rights defenders face all of the same risks as human rights defenders generally, and can become targets of State agents and non-State actors. But further, women human rights defenders often face gender-specific threats and violence, such as rape, sexual violence, stigmatisation and discrimination, causing both physical and psychological harm.

We hope this rough guide assists women human rights defenders around the world pursue tangible policy reform in their countries.

Official copies of the complete resolution are available.

Unofficial translations of the Resolution are also available.

(Thanks to People’s Watch, Ivi Oliveira and Valentine Karugaba for providing these unofficial translations of the resolution.)