VIRTUAL COORDINATION MEETING FOR WESTNILE- WHRDS REGIONAL NETWORK.

 

Over 9 women from Zombo, Arua, Nebbi and Adjumani districts convened in their physical locations and attended an online meeting organized by Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda (WHRDNU) on 27th July 2021 from 8:30am to 12pm. The theme of the meeting was “Local Networking among WHRDs is crucial for supporting WHRDs at risk.” The meeting focused on the importance of local networking in West Nile region.

In her remarks, Ms. Brenda Kugonza of the WHRDN-U welcomed members and thanked them for advocating for peace, justice and equality in the region. She further noted that WHRDs in West Nile work tirelessly to defend women, girls, land, economic and freedom of expression rights while also fighting against gender-based violence, discrimination and widow inheritance.

However, Ms. Brenda Kugonza noted that as WHRDs defend human rights, secretariat has received reports of the challenges WHRDs face such as hostility, harassment, verbal and sexual assault by state and non-state actors and that the ongoing violations can result in damaging their physical, emotional and energy levels.

The following comments from participants illustrate the current situation of the threats faced by WHRDs based in West Nile:

  • People tell you remember your past before you talk to us, you lost your marriage and even failed to marry,” said Oroma Prisca.
  • “Cyber-attacks when defending women,” mentioned Amviko Caroline.
  • “Like us in the media, we are being told to first get married, they say get married before you come to talk to us, you are not even marriage material, first bring back your husband.” Mami Maimuna.
  • “Torture – psychological, emotional, and social,” shared Bileru Knight.

Ms. Brenda Kugonza from WHRDNU called upon the women defenders to practice self-care and healing from time to time. She noted human rights work can take a toll on their mental health and they shouldn’t reach a point of breaking down before they take a break.

In the plenary discussions, participants discussed how to improve coordination of the regional network:

  • “These meetings are about caring for each other.” Said Ocotuku Mercy from Arua district.
  • In West Nile, I think through the coordination meetings we will share our needs in areas of protection, safety and self-care,” Asibazuyo Lilian from Arua district.
  • “If you are not psychologically stable, you cannot counsel someone. So, we have to take care of our bodies and mental health,” remarked Adokwin Emmanuella from Zombo district.
  • “We can improve coordination through having WhatsApp groups,” said Adiru Gladys.
  • “Facilitate dialogues at regional level between women defenders representing various social movements in our regions so that they benefit and also participate in joint actions to ensure women defenders safety and protection,” Adokwin Emmanuella requested.
  • Stella Biryema from Zombo district said, “coordination meetings promote the growth and building of local networks to defend women defenders at risk.”
  • “We get demoralized sometimes when we get attacked by our communities, it also hurts to work alone and it is important to work together, we also need someone to lead us in the region,” submitted Oroma Prisca from Nebbi district.

The women defenders were encouraged to get each other’s contacts so that they can be able to check up on each other as well as stand with women defenders at risk. Phone contacts were shared and exchanged by members during the meeting.

Members suggested having an active WhatsApp group to ease coordination and networking in the region. Building good relationships with stakeholders like the police. Maintaining and having a positive attitude when they go out to do human rights work. These were recommendations raised to help members overcome the challenges women defenders face.

Participants attending the zoom meeting in their physical locations.

COORDINATION MEETING OF KARAMOJA WHRD REGIONAL NETWORK.

 

The Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda (WHRDN-U) seeks to support and facilitate WHRD regional network coordination. The key aim is to help improve response and the effectiveness of the local regional WHRD network mechanisms in rural contexts. On 23rd July 2021, under the theme “Local Networking among WHRDs is crucial for supporting WHRDs at risk,’’ WHRDN-U conducted a zoom coordination meeting for over 14 WHRDs as a space to help improve collective understanding around coordination, documenting incidences of attacks and reports cases of WHRDs at risk to WHRDN-U secretariat. While the meeting was online, the WHRDs converged in physical locations in Amudat, Moroto, Kaabong, Nakapiririt, Napak, Nanduget and Kotido districts of Karamoja region.

Ms. Brenda Kugonza, of the WHRDN-U outlined the meeting objective stating that the discussions will cover, situation of women defenders in the region, gathering information on attacks. submission of reports and documentation of attacks.

Ms. Brenda Kugonza, gave an overview of the situation, highlighting the human rights work done by WHRDs, the reports on challenges, threats and fears Rwenzori WHRDs received at secretariat. Ms. Brenda acknowledged that WHRDs in the region were involved in defending land rights, freedom of speech, access to information, mining and environmental rights and fighting against GBV/Violence against children, patriarchy and Female Genital Mutilation. Ms. Brenda informed participants that the WHRDN-U secretariat was receiving reports of violations against women defenders in Karamoja region notably; restrictions on their freedom of expression, state actors’ refusal to recognize the work of women defenders in the region, infringing on their right to association and lack of appreciation of the work of WHRDs from their communities, discrimination and intimidation. She further inquired if some participants were experiencing similar challenges & threats. With regards to threats and challenges, below are WHRD’s voice;

  • Sending threatening pictures like a man holding a gun, shared Alosikin Merab from Amudat district.
  • Restrictions on access to information ‘sometimes you go to police to defend someone and they don’t give you any information’ said Nambuya Fiona from Moroto district.
  • Threats of losing marriages and not being married – ‘husbands are always told that they can’t control a woman who is a WHRD’ revealed Mary Lopuka from Nakapiririt district.
  • When you are sensitizing communities about FGM, they tell you, you must be a victim of FGM that is the reason why you know all about it, mentioned Cepohysiyo Janet from Amudat district.

In addition, participants were informed that they face a variety of problems related to their mental and physical health. In particular, the issues related to showing signs of fatigue, exhaustion and stress which indicated lack of self-care for themselves. Brenda Kugonza asked why WHRDs neglected their own self-care & wellbeing.  In response, Dorcus Chelain from Amudat district said ‘’we feel guilty to take breaks yet our people need us- sometimes we are overwhelmed with many sad cases that need our urgent attention.’’ Thus, the meeting highlighted the importance of selfcare and well-being and recommended that WHRDs learn to take off breaks for their own self-care and healing in order to avoid burn-outs, stress and also relax to feel better. For instance, “let’s create healing spaces for women defenders in regions to remove stress and traumas,’’ said Joyce Chemutai from Amudat district.

In conclusion, the meeting provided a great platform for dialogue and collaboration to review the need for stronger local support networks for WHRDs. The participants formulated recommendations to improve coordination, networking and support WHRDs at risk. They included;

  • Timely reporting of incidence of threats against WHRDs to WHRDN-U secretariat
  • Members suggested to have regular coordination meetings
  • Requested WHRDN-U team to visit regions when COVID-19 lock down measures are eased to provide on-site mentoring support to regional focal persons.
  • Exchanged telephone contacts to maintain communication and sharing of information
  • “Regional networks will help denounce violations against women defenders”, said Amiya Shannon from Napak district.
  • “Regional coordination meetings will help to promote recognition of women’s work and contribution in human rights.” Dorcus Chelain of Amudat district.

Members shared contacts during the zoom meeting as seen below.

Members participating in the meeting.

 

 

VIRTUAL COORDINATION MEETING FOR RWENZORI – WHRDS -REGIONAL NETWORK.

 

On 22 July 2021, the Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda (WHRDN-U) convened a zoom coordination meeting for WHRDs based in Rwenzori region under the theme “Local Networking among WHRDs is crucial for supporting WHRDs at risk.” The meeting attracted over 18 women defenders who gathered in their physical locations from Kasese, Kabarole, Katwe, Bundibugyo, and Bulisa districts.

The coordination meeting aimed at improving the capacity of grass root regional WHRD networks to protect women human rights defenders at risk. It also provided a platform for women defenders to share their experiences of threats, fears and challenges faced in defending human rights work.

Women human rights defenders participating in the meeting had this to say about their experiences of threats, challenges, fears and attacks

  • “Some people abuse us that If you failed to manage your own children whose child, do you think you will manage, why are you interfering with our culture.” Kyobutungi Maureen of Kabarole district.
  • “Detention of WHRDs – ‘someone times you come in as a defender you are also arrested without even fair hearing.” Mawa Juliet Masika of Katwe district.
  • “I have received threats of rape, office break ins, and telling me to reduce my voice or I will die because of defending rights of sex workers.” Rose Kahunde of Kasese district

For her part, Ms. Brenda Kugonza thanked women defenders for their resilience and commitment to defending human rights noting that women defenders from Rwenzori region worked on a wide range of areas- rights of sex workers, rights of indigenous people (Batwa), women’s rights, land rights, business and human rights, environmental rights and working to dismantle patriarchy moreover in extremely difficult contexts and circumstances. In her remarks however, Ms. Brenda Kugonza informed participants that throughout the period of Lockdown, WHRDN-U secretariat received reports showing the challenges faced by members of Rwenzori WHRDs Network including:

  • Emotional blackmail
  • Discrimination against women defenders by duty bearers
  • Being branded as immoral women corrupting society.
  • And their meetings/gatherings being dispersed by duty bearers.

Speaking at the meeting, Kabagenyi Peluce, the focal person concurred with Ms. Brenda’s report of the challenges they were facing and thanked WHRDNU for organizing the meeting to ensure that their pertinent issues were heard and addressed.

In her presentation concerning how to improve the local network in the region, Ms. Brenda Kugonza, of the WHRDN-U, encouraged women defenders to document incidences of attacks against women defenders noting that documenting brings visibility and legitimacy to the work and contributions of women human rights defenders. She further noted that documenting allows us to record our experiences as human rights defenders and as women that if there is no record of the violations inflicted upon women defenders, the violations will not be known by the public. By the end of the meeting, WHRDs demonstrated the ability to coordinate grass root WHRDs, document attacks, and report cases to secretariat, when they gave the following proposals regarding collaboration, coordination and documenting and reporting cases of attacks against WHRDs.

  • They committed to opportunities of collaboration when they exchanged phone contacts. Members shared their phone numbers in the chat during the zoom meeting. They also suggested that they create a social media platform for the Rwenzori WHRDs Network.
  • “Coordination can surely improve if only we can keep in touch with each other and our district focal persons.” said Jacklyn Bwenge of Kasese district.
  • “Thank you, WHRDN-U, through the coordination meeting you will help provided a shared understanding of the violence women defenders face in our region.’’ Kabalisa Rhoda of Bundibugyo district
  • ‘’We need to have forums like this to encourage mobilization of women defenders to come together leading to a smooth flow of information between secretariat and the region,’’ said Peninah Zaninka from Kisoro district.
  • “In these meetings I get to know the sufferings of our sisters.” Peluce Kabagenyi of Rwenzori

The meeting also involved discussions on self-care and well-being. During the meeting, it was empathized that WHRDs need to take care of their mental and physical health through taking off time to rest and relax. Meeting as a Network for leisure activities like having dinner.  Participants went ahead to discuss the toll of stress, trauma and social exclusion on their mental health as there is a lot of stigma faced at community level. ‘’This leads to risks such as mental breakdown and distress due to psychological torture.” Musoki Elizabeth of Kasese.

Members gathered in physical locations to attend the zoom meeting.

 

 

VIRTUAL COORDINATION MEETING FOR ACHOLI – WHRDS -REGIONAL NETWORK.

Over eight WHRDs from Gulu, Kitgum, Omoro and Pader districts, participated in a virtual meeting for the Acholi WHRD regional network. The meeting on 21st July 2021 from 8:30am to 12pm was under theme “Local Networking among WHRDs is crucial for supporting WHRDs at risk”. The women defenders gathered in their physical locations and joined the meeting online.

Speaking to the participants, Ms. Brenda Kugonza of Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda (WHRDNU) thanked them for the work of defending rights. She informed members how despite the COVID-19 crisis, they continued to fight against child marriages, GBV/FGM, widow inheritance, land grabbing and defending rights of LGBTQ persons and sex workers.

Ms. Brenda Kugonza also told members that reports received at secretariat from WHRDs in the region reveal that WHRDs continue to suffer from smear campaigns, eviction from their communities, being accused of promoting immorality and being assaulted physically on several occasions. That also lack of recognition of their human rights work since in their communities’ women activists are perceived as bad women, not being good wives, failure to attend to issues in the private sphere (their homes).

Participants also acknowledged the existence of social and traditional norms in the region that have posed grave obstacles for women defenders since it is unheard of for a woman to actively participate in public spaces. For instance Christine Achan from Gulu district was rejected by her community and forced to relocate. ‘’ I have been beaten on several occasions and recently I was being evicted from the house I was in and WHRDNU came in and supported me to relocate to another place, she told members. ‘’Threatening calls and messages, exposing nude pictures are the experiences we go through in handling our roles as Human rights defenders and sometimes it’s discouraging,’’ shared Agenorwot Fiona from Gulu district.

In the plenary discussions, participants discussed how to improve coordination of the regional network:

  • “To improve on coordination for effective reporting, we need to know contacts of fellow defenders and know the regional and districts focal persons,’’ submitted Ataro Juliet from Kitgum district. This would enable a woman defender at risk to reach out for support from the local network thus defending her from her attackers.
  • Effective coordination within the region promotes positive advocacy. It then leads to having and growing a strong movement of women of all walks of life coming out to defend rights of everyone. More solutions like having regular dialogues, check in meetings and practicing self-care were recommended by members to build a local support system for WHRDs at risk.
  • “I think as a regional network we will respond quick to women defenders in danger.” Teddy Ayo of Acholi
  • “Coordination means to share contacts so that WHRDs can communicate to each other in the region.” Aloyo Teopista of Gulu district.

 

Members pose for a photo during the meeting.

VIRTUAL COORDINATION MEETING FOR ALBERTINE – WHRDS -REGIONAL NETWORK.

On 20th July 2021, 18 Women human rights defenders from Albertine (Kagadi, Hoima, Bulisa and Masindi districts) region were in attendance of a zoom meeting hosted by Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda (WHRDNU).  Under the theme Local Networking among WHRDs is crucial for supporting WHRDs at risk’’. The meeting was organized to foster a strong local network in the Albertine region to promote rapid response to cases as a team.

Ms. Brenda Kugonza of the WHRDN-U, commended the good work of WHRDs, she informed members that WHRDs in the regions are involved in various work of defending human rights including; land rights, women’s rights, mining rights, and minority rights.

Ms. Brenda Kugonza, in her remarks, noted that the purpose of the meeting was to facilitate dialogue among women defenders to create a local support system for them. It was also to build capacity to respond to cases at local level. She urged members to offer guidance, solutions or suggestions on how to strengthen joint action to ensure WHRDs are safe and protected.

Ms. Brenda during the meeting expressed concerns of fears, attacks and threats against women defenders emphasizing that over time, the WHRDNU secretariat documented the following challenges, risks and threats among WHRDs in the region:

  • Arbitrary arrests
  • Threats of closing their organizations by duty bearers
  • Threats to harm their families
  • Sexual harassment from male duty bearers
  • And hate from their communities.
  • Being asked for Identification/ documents that allow them to do Human Rights work.

 

In the plenary discussions, participants shared their experience of fears below;

  • ‘’We are being undermined as women and being called women who can’t be married-this is all done to shut us down,’’ said Janepher Baitwamasa the Focal person of Albertine region.
  • Insults for example you look like a prostitute, failure in marriage, you are a childless woman or barren, shared Jolly Bategeka from Hoima district.
  • ‘’Sexual harassment like bad touches even by law enforcement when reporting abuses, rape, nick- naming Albertine,’’ said Atugonza Harriet from Kagadi district.
  • Revenge porn and Blackmail, reported Ajok Flavia from Masindi district.
  • Sexual harassment – ‘’I one time went to police to seek for help but this police officer first asked me for sex before he helps with the case… This is tricky because if you don’t yield your issue isn’t addressed’’ explained Alinda Juliet from Buliisa district.

Among the suggestions brought forth to curb these challenges experienced by WHRDs were;

  • To continue naming violations against Women defenders, to lobby the government to recognize WHRDs as essential workers in this lockdown, provision of psychological support and a platform to share issues that can be handled jointly as a team in the region.
  • Ruth Namuyiga from Hoima district suggested continuous capacity building workshops for WHRDS, motivation of the defenders, creating local networks which are easily accessible to them in their local communities.
  • More trainings, self-care workshops and regional meetings were key activities that WHRDNU committed to have for the women defenders.
  • To me regional coordination is about sustainability of women’s movements and struggles, said Kabagenyi Marion from Hoima district.

Regional networks will help us be together said Joy Rugunda from Hoima district

Members are seen participating in the zoom meeting below;

WHRDs from Karamoja trained in Human Rights Activism.

Caption: Brenda Kugonza E.D WHRDNU conducting her session during the training.

On the 19th of May 2021, 20 Women human rights defenders (WHRDs) from Karamoja region were trained in Human Rights Activism in Moroto district, Uganda. They were trained by UN Women together with OHCHR and Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda (WHRDNU) from 19th to 21st May.

It aimed at improving their skills of doing human rights work. The meeting was organized following concerns raised by WHRDs related to backlash from their communities, increased gender violence, police resistance and rampant name calling.

During the training, the Women defenders outlined key national protection institutions they can partner with in their defense of human rights. These included Uganda Human Rights Commission, Uganda Law Reform Commission, The Justice, Law and Order Sector. The Uganda Police Force and Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC). These institutions defend and advocate for human rights and human rights activists.

The WHRDs were also introduced to the national and International human rights protection mechanisms. For instance the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is an international human rights protection mechanism. The UNOHCR facilitator informed participants that Uganda was reviewed in UPR in October 2011 noting that the government received over 170 recommendations and accepted 129.

Brenda Kugonza conducting her session during the training.
A woman defender asks a question during the training.

The Women defenders were encouraged to work amicably with duty bearers. For instance they can build a friendly working relationship with police officers in their areas. This would make it easy for them to report an attack or follow up on cases.

The training methodology encouraged participation by every member. For instance, the WHRDN-U staff, divided participants in to 3 groups. The group discussions enabled participants to discuss key questions namely:

  • Identify the offline and online security threats, risks ad attacks that WHRDs face in Karamoja Regions.
  • Suggest practical ways in which these off-line and on-line threats, risks and attacks can be addressed or prevented.
  • In what ways can WHRDs in your region prevent or respond to attacks against them.

Responses to questions above.

The first group cited denial to speak in meetings/gatherings, arbitrary arrests, name calling, denial to access services, online bullying, hacking and revealing of private information to the public.

The second group suggested solutions such as avoiding joining multiple WhatsApp groups, desist from sharing hate speeches or personal information online/ offline. Having a 24/7 helpline like the one of WHRDNU at all times, use of different routes to avoid being followed unaware and referring cases to WHRDNU for support.

The third group gave insights on how women defenders can prevent or respond to attacks against them. These included but were not limited to reporting cases to authorities, burden sharing to overcome trauma, recording phone calls to do with threats, having good relationships with other WHRDs and joining professional organizations that can help.

At the end of the training,  the WHRDs were appreciative of the new knowledge and skills they had acquired from the workshop.

 

WHRDNU staff poses for a photo with WHRDs from Women With A Mission in Mbale district.

Impact of solidarity visits for WHRDS.

 

Caption: WHRDNU staff (second left) poses for a photo with WHRDs in Mbale before heading to other districts.

There are many WHRDs in the districts of Kapchorwa, Kween and Mbale who are individual and organization affiliated Women Defenders. They defend Children’s Rights, Sexual and Reproductive Rights of women and girls, land rights of ethnic and indigenous people, rights of LBTG Women and fight against Widow Inheritance.

On 8th July 2020, the Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda (WHRDNU) represented by secretariat and the Head of Oil and Extracting rights working group woman defender conducted a solidarity visit to 18 WHRDs in the above mentioned districts to express solidarity, create awareness of WHRDNU, monitor their situation and encourage networking  to foster solidarity among them.

The WHRDs voiced a series of challenges they were facing which included: being abhorred by barriers to access to justice, Phone call warnings, threats of being raped and beaten up, hostility from their community members and having nowhere to report such incidents. They recognized that the solidarity visits energize and encourage them. Members also received a helpline that would enable them reach WHRDNU.

We equipped them with tools and skills on how to identify the different forms of violations and how to report to WHRDNU for support in case of attacks. Contacts of service providers were shared through a list of referral services.

The WHRDs intimated that they would like to have more solidarity visits made to their areas to enhance and boost their confidence as they carry out their work and as a way of self-checking on their mental and psychological state.

 

 

 

 

Group photo of Women HRDs with Dr Linda Birungi

Self-care, well being and collective healing a must for WHRDs.

Caption: Group photo of Women HRDs with Dr Linda Birungi.

The WHRDNU held a workshop for 14 WHRDs regional focal person representatives from different sub regions namely Acholi, Lango, Karamoja, Kigezi, Albertine, Rwenzori, Ankole, Busoga, Bagisu, Teso, Sebei, Bukedia, Budama, Bunyoro and rural Buganda under the theme “Promoting a culture of activism rooted in practices of self-care, mutual support and well-being” on 13th – 14th August 2020.

The workshop kicked off with the WHRDNU secretariat welcoming the participants and thanking them for attending the workshop. The objective was reiterated which was to provide a platform and process for WHRDs to deal with emotional and physical trauma and begin to prioritize their own well-being as a personal act. She further mentioned that the workshop is for them to reflect, relax, learn and enjoy. She invited them to feel free since this was a free space for all of them to network and commiserate with each other.

The WHRDs raised several challenges they faced repeatedly which include but are not limited to: Heavy workloads, stress and fatigue, family issues, financial instability, marital problems, personal frustrations and anxiety of what next in life. There was a counselor from Healing Talk Services who encouraged the WHRDs to seek out counseling services at least once a month and also engage in group counseling which reduces the stress of feeling lonely, overwhelmed and individually exposed.

Burden sharing was one of the activities that was done to help the WHRDs unpack the loaded up feelings of fatigue, bitterness and burn-outs that may affect their Human Rights work if not dealt with. A facilitator from Fitclique Africa helped address the several burdens that the WHRDs shared during the session by giving them tips on planning out an entire week and saving some funds to reduce on the stress of unpreparedness and distractions that come because of lack of proper planning.

Healing and care with medical and health practices was one of the sessions that shed light on  reproductive health, health risks, and best health practices for WHRDs. Dr. Linda Birungi a gynecologist at Reproductive Health Uganda enlightened the WHRDs about their reproductive health, family planning and menstrual periods. She also advised the ladies to go for cervical cancer screening every after 3 years for those who don’t have HIV/AIDS and every year for those with it.

The self-care, well-being and collective healing workshop ended on a high note with the WHRDs appreciating the help and self-love practices they received and promised to incorporate them into their daily life.  A new culture of activism that is rooted in practices of self-care and mutual support was also launched as a necessary condition of women’s movements in Uganda.

CEO WHRDNU Brenda Kugonza  addressing WHRDs from the West Nile region. 

Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda reaches out to WHRDS in hard to reach areas.

Caption: CEO WHRDNU Brenda Kugonza  addressing WHRDs from the West Nile region. 

On 22nd July 2020, the secretariat of WHRDNU together with the representative of sexual minorities’ woman defender conducted a Solidarity visit to West Nile. They held a meeting with 37 women human rights defenders from Arua, Koboko and Zombo districts. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce  WHRDNU to them and build networks of solidarity from individuals and organizations to ensure their safety and active response to attacks with support from the Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda.

The women Human Rights defenders welcomed the presence of the WHRDNU by appreciating their work of supporting WHRDs as being unique, and equally acknowledged that they have always faced different forms of violations like physical assaults, threats on their lives and families, stigmatization and smear campaigns but had nowhere to report or get support and Protection.

A WHRD for Economic rights informed us of how she had been attacked by men in her community accusing her of being disrespectful, stubborn and misleading women to grab land from men. This was simply because she encouraged women to utilize land in their possession, get soft loans to invest and also save to become economically empowered and support their families.

Another WHRD submitted her grievance of being called “loud mouthed” and “nosy” just because she ensures good governance and Human rights while holding duty bearers accountable. Another woman defender recounted to us how she received threats from perpetrators promising to bring harm upon her family. She further faced confrontation from a district chairperson who went as far as talking to her husband about her work interfering in matters that are not of her concern.

A number of  female journalists and many more WHRDs interfaced with a series of threats from phone calls warning them to back off, threats of being beaten and being called uncouth names publicly hence making the people in their community shun them and their work.

At the end of this meeting, key milestones were achieved such as the visibility of the WHRDNU, its work of providing protection and ensuring a safe working environment for WHRDs. WHRDNU also shared the list of referral services which the WHRDs can use in case of attacks and need support. The WHRDs were glad to have a hand that supports them after having shared their lived experiences of violations.

The Women Human Rights Defenders Network continues to conduct solidarity visits coupled with capacity building trainings to equip our WHRDs with tools to protect themselves from attacks but also report them when they happen and need support.