On January 17th, 18th and 19th, the 1st National Meeting of Women Human Rights Defenders took place in Brasilia, as part of the Connecting Women, Defending Rights project, implemented by UN Women Brazil, funded by the European Union, which supports women human rights defenders in Brazil in their efforts and responses to human rights violations and violence against women and girls, seeking to contribute to improving the security of some of the most impacted and discriminated against social groups in Brazilian society, who have less access to justice and public services in general: black women, indigenous women, quilombolas, artisanal fisherwomen, women with disabilities, among others.

The meeting was based on the recommendations of the 2013 UN General Assembly resolution on the Protection of Women Human Rights Defenders, with a focus on women in all their diversity who work individually or collectively to defend rights. The meeting was attended by human rights defenders from regional protection networks; women’s organizations; the Brazilian Committee of Human Rights Defenders (CBDDDH); the Ministries of Human Rights and Citizenship (MDHC), Women (MM), Indigenous Peoples (MPI) and Racial Equality (MIR); traditional press, feminist and community media; protection programs for human rights defenders; the European Union, embassies; the UN System’s Inter-Agency Thematic Group on Gender, Race and Ethnicity, among other relevant actors. CEPIA was present, through the Maria da Penha Law Consortium, represented by Mariana Barsted.

The Charter for the Dignified Life of Women Human Rights Defenders, representing 52 organizations, was delivered to representatives of the government and international cooperation. The Charter, drawn up jointly by the organizations present at the event, recommends the implementation of demands systematized into eight axes (Recognition; Security and protocols; Articulation and networking; Environment and Climate Change; Recommendations for the Brazilian State; Access to Justice; Recommendations for the UN System and the international community; and Specific Measures), and calls for swift action and protection policies for women human rights defenders in Brazil.

The event also launched the Portuguese version of the La Esperanza Protocol on the investigation and effective response to threats against human rights defenders.

To read more about the First National Meeting of Women Human Rights Defenders, visit the UN Women Brazil website.

Photograph by Cláudia Ferreira.