Women Human Rights Defenders

Volume 31, Issue 1| March 2023

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Against the backdrop of increasing human rights violations, rising political authoritarianism, continuing ecological degradation, protracted wars, hostility towards refugees and migrants, and the abject failure of governments and the international community to protect the rights of the dispossessed, this issue amplifies the voices of women human rights defenders (WHRDs). 

The collection of articles, personal essays, and tributes included in this issue showcase stories of courage and the novel strategies that WHRDs deploy to survive and sustain their critical work in times of economic and political crisis, shrinking civic spaces, curbs on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and the ever-present threat of state pressure and clampdown. The issue also underscores the need for more political recognition of the intentional and strategic organising work of WHRDs.

Gender & Development is published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis. If you are interested in subscribing to the journal, please visit the Routledge website. (Please note the reduced subscription rates available for low and middle-income countries.)

Below, you can find free access to the Introduction, four articles, and the Resources and Book Reviews sections of the issue.

For free access to all of the articles, visit the Oxfam Policy & Practice website and search using the article title.



 Editorial: Women human rights defenders
Nidhi Tandon, Donny Meertens, Shivani Satija, Anandita Ghosh

#MeToo with Chinese characteristics – analysis through a lens of Chinese feminism
Sanshan Lin

Roadblocks on the ruta de denuncia: negotiating women’s rights and resisting violences in postwar Guatemala’s Northern Transversal Strip
Julia Hartviksen

The marks of gender in the defence of human rights in Colombia
July Samira Fajardo & María Adelaida Palacio

Barefoot nisswiyya in practice and theory: the case of grassroots feminists in Jordan
Wafa Awni Alkhadra

Intersectional analysis of women human rights defenders’ lived experiences under COVID-19 lockdowns in Zimbabwe
Manase Kudzai Chiweshe & Primrose Hove

‘What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger’: women human rights defenders: trajectories in activism in the context of challenging migration enforcement policies in Mexico and the United States
Alethia Fernández de la Reguera Ahedo & Gretchen Kuhner

Politics of gender: challenges of being a feminist male women human rights defender in the north-eastern periphery of India
Pooja Chetry

Lucha Castro: a women’s rights defender’s strength in Juarez and Chihuahua, Mexico
Laura Aragón CastroLuz (Lucha) Estela Castro Rodríguez & Sophia Khromer Aragón

Funding schemes and support towards gender-based violence prevention and sexual and reproductive health in Lebanon: a critical analysis of their impacts on human rights defenders
Yara Tarabulsi

‘If You Want Peace, Create Peace’: women’s rights organisations as operatives of hybrid peace in the former Yugoslavia
Nicole Johnston

Strategies of discrediting: attacks on feminist activists in Turkey
Selime Büyükgöze

Collectivising within the maternal framework: Prayer Warriors Forum of Rumuekpe
Onyinyechukwu Durueke

Indigenous land rights in Brazil and the women defending them: an encounter with activist Valdelice Veron
Jessica Smith & Joshua Allen

A revolution of the mind: a tribute to Rula Quawas (1960–2017)
Summer Forester

Questioning harmful traditions
Masooma Ranalvi

Ekla Chalo Re: a tribute to Ms. Mary Roy
Aishwarya Bhuta

Engendering injustice: gendered lawfare in Guatemala
Rebecca Contreras

Confronting feminicidio in Mexico: pioneering anthropologist and activist Marcela Lagarde y de los Ríos
Amber Lusvardi

Accidental women human rights activists, unintentional advocacy by NGOs and a displeased government
Rita Manchanda

Kiruba Munuswamy: progenitor of shockwaves in a casteist-pratriarchal society
Anjali Chauhan

Edilia Mendoza Roa, una mujer que lucha por el derecho a la tierra, Colombia
Laura Victoria Gómez Correa

Cristina Bautista, colombiana e indígena, lideresa social y tejedora de pensamiento y comunidad
Luisa Fernanda Gáfaro Duque

Yanette Bautista, toda una vida de lucha y búsqueda
Luisa Fernanda Gáfaro Duque

El caso de Augostina Mayan y las violencias diferenciadas hacia las defensoras del ambiente y del territorio en Perú
Sofía Vargas & Carolina Oviedo

Luz Méndez Gutiérrez, una mujer de su tiempo
Ana Silvia Monzón


Here you can find additional materials related to the issue. These are compiled by Anandita Ghosh and Shivani Satija

View Resources Section

Book Reviews

Suspicion: Vaccines, Hesitancy, and the Affective Politics of Protection in Barbados by Nicole Charles. Reviewed by Lorena Nunez Carrasco

Miss Major Speaks: The Life and Legacy of a Black Trans Revolutionary by Miss Major Griffin-Gracy and Toshio Meronek. Reviewed by Haley McEwen

Intimate City by Manjima Bhattacharjya. Reviewed by Anushree Jairath