Every day, more women all over the world are taking action to promote equality, peace and justice. It is these women who, whether they mean to or not, are transforming traditional gender roles and power structures by dedicating their lives to defending fundamental human rights. More and more, these extraordinary women are identifying themselves as human rights defenders. In general, it is said that women are doubly vulnerable, for being women and for defending human rights. However, they are strengthened by their determination to create positive change in our societies.
I was born in Kibera and then I moved up country with my family. When I came back to Nairobi, I ran a community-based organisation (CBO) in Dandora to empower women on their human rights, in particular gender-based violence and defilement cases. We also taught entrepreneurship because we used to build women’s skills so they can survive on their own.
On the 20th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, defenders accompanied by PBI reflect on the importance of the Declaration as well as the accompaniment and international solidarity provided by organizations such as PBI.
May 24, 2018
In 2017, PBI’s community of activists provided effective protection and support to more than one thousand women, men and LGBTI defenders, despite the challenging context and huge risk those working to change the world continued to face. Click on the report below to read more about our work in 2017 and some of the ways we made space for peace and supported (women) human rights defenders in 2017.
March 8, 2018
PBI celebrates the incredible and vital work done by Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) in Honduras, Mexico and Kenya, despite their continuing struggle against oppression and human rights abuses.
January 18, 2018
Wangui Kimari works as the participatory action research coordinator for the Mathare Social Justice Center in Nairobi, Kenya, a community-based organization in the poor urban settlement Mathare. The organization strives for social justice by means of community engagement and the use of social movement platforms. The following is from an interview with Kimari conduced by PBI.
Police violence in the slums of Kenya: “I learned that he had been shot down by a police officer” is a short documentary with Kenyan human rights defender Stephen Mwangi from Mathare Social Justice Centre (MSJC).
I was born in Kibera and I grew up in Kibera; growing up here was both a privilege and a struggle. Life is difficult in Kibera and we live in poverty here, but this place makes a woman strong and I believe that I am strong today because I grew up in Kibera.
I come from a family of four daughters. My father was never really in the picture, but I never felt the absence of a father-figure in the house; Mama has been such a role model in that sense. She would say “whatever you want to do, you can do it.” Whenever we would complain about not having a brother to help us fix household things, she would push us to learn how to do it ourselves.