Human Rights House Foundation


Portraits of women human rights defenders

This exhibition features portraits of 18 women human rights defenders in the Human Rights House Network. It acknowledges the vital role that women play locally, nationally and internationally in protecting and promoting human rights.

Women human rights defenders challenge gender inequality and stereotypes, advance sexual and reproductive rights, and promote women’s empowerment and participation in society. They often challenge religious and cultural norms and patriarchal attitudes that subordinate, stigmatize or restrict women.

Because of this, women defenders worldwide often face additional threats, violations, and abuse that male defenders may not - from smear campaigns to sexual and gender-based violence. The photographers in this exhibition use their portraits to convey the wisdom, courage and defiance of prominent women defenders. It is a visual journey through the challenging work they do, often unprotected, frequently unvalued by the authorities or their society.

On the occasion of the International Day of Women Human Rights Defenders, 29 November 2014, HRHN launched its Exhibition on-line here.

The Human Rights House Network created this exhibition as a contest. A jury of three professional photographers in London reviewed the submissions of 12 Human Rights Houses (HRH) and unanimously selected the winning portrai: the picture by Daro Sulakauri for her picture of Lela Tsiskarishvili from the Georgian Centre for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Torture Victims. The portraits were first displayed on 19 June 2014 in London.

Ressources on women human rights defenders:

Women human rights defenders:

Women human rights defenders are:

  • Women of all ages who engage in the defence of all human rights;
  • All people who engage in the defence of the rights of women and those related to gender play.
Women human rights defenders are indeed even more at risk than other human rights defenders and hence deserve attention and protection.

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