The United Nations Special Rapporteur has indicated about Humans Rights Defenders (HRD) that "women human rights defenders are at greater risk of certain types of violence and other violations, prejudices and forms of exclusion and rejection than their male counterparts”.
Therefor our human rights center decided to give special attention to the needs of women HRD to counteract the various risks they face in the performance of their work. We have been focusing on the formation and counseling of female human rights defenders in Chiapas, mainly indigenous woman defending their land and territory.
We´ve organized visits to their communities to increase their knowledge on different aspects relevant for their human rights defense. We held workshops on women rights, indigenous collective human rights, agrarian rights in Mexico, and on how to document a human rights violation. We also analyzed gender related violence, the current sociopolitical context, territorial conflicts, and forced displacement; all issues related to the current situation in the region we work, and where the women live. We had trainings related to security and self-care strategies. And for the women to be able to denounce the human rights violations they encounter we looked on how to use social networks to denounce human rights violations.
We invited female representatives from different organizations to meet and exchange experiences and increase contact among them. The women expressed they would like to continue these types of gatherings as they experience these as a safe place where they can gather strength and hope, as well as learn from each other.
In the process their children, families and their local organizations were also involved. This strengthens the social fabric of the communities. Together with the female human rights defenders hereby we increased the visibility of their actions in their communities. That is an advantage for each one of them but also for the entire community because it helps to modify current believes that men are the only ones who produce social transformation and creates space for a broader participation of women in the defense of human rights.