On International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, the United States pays tribute to the remarkable efforts of women and girls worldwide who tirelessly advocate for human rights and fundamental freedoms within their communities. Despite facing numerous challenges, these women bravely hold their governments accountable and strive to promote equal rights for all.
Women human rights defenders often find themselves in precarious situations, enduring gender-based violence, threats, intimidation, physical and online harassment, imprisonment, and other forms of harm. Nevertheless, they remain at the forefront, steadfastly committed to building inclusive societies that are accessible to everyone.
Secretary Blinken emphasizes that defending the rights of women and girls is deeply rooted in democratic values of human rights and fundamental freedoms. By championing equality and protecting women’s rights, we ultimately enhance the quality of life for all individuals.
Earlier this year, the United States relaunched the annual Global Human Rights Defender Awards, acknowledging the exceptional contributions of five courageous women human rights defenders. These individuals play a crucial role in exposing and countering human rights abuses committed by governments and businesses. They also mobilize action to protect the environment, improve governance, and ensure accountability.
The United States remains unwavering in its support for these advocates as we commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Efforts will persist to break down barriers that impede women and girls’ participation in public life, promote their endeavors to defend fundamental rights, and foster their leadership worldwide.
In conclusion, today serves as a reminder of the invaluable contributions made by women human rights defenders globally. Their unwavering dedication to the pursuit of justice and equality inspires us all. The United States will continue to stand alongside these brave individuals, providing support and defending their work on the global stage.