"Amazing facilitators, inspirational women, and engaging content and workshops = a great learning experience."

The WHRI is a light that ignite lights in others to shine. My life and work for humanity has been radically changed positively since I attended the Institute. The Institute is a source to which I will always be proud to be identified with and I acknowledge it as the place where I was made fully awake to my potential as an activist.

One of the best things I have ever done to support myself and my work. At this particular time bringing women together from around the world to connect with each other is an important catalyst for change on the planet. Just like for the women’s movement in the 70’s.

In the wake of the WHRI I have gained confidence to explore the policy aspect of human rights advocacy; to dialogue more openly and engage at that level. The diverse input of participants in the course has also inspired me and helped put my advocacy efforts into perspective as part of a global effort.

At my current position in the International Centre for Ethnic Studies, an NGO in Sri Lanka, I utilize much of the knowledge gained through the course. For example, in researching the criminal justice systems of the countries of South Asia, I have been enriched by my knowledge of international human rights instruments and standards gleaned through the course. These instruments, such as the Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, form an international standard by which I have analyzed the justice systems of these countries. Also, I have been able to look at the human rights regime in Sri Lanka through a gendered lens gained through the instruction of Alda Facio. This gendered perspective will be useful in my later work in law school as well.

Bernadette Maheandiran

One of my first projects as an intern at the Mongolian Gender Equality Centre was to develop and produce a gender equality informational pamphlet and poster that would be directed at university students in Ulaanbaatar. The feminist and human rights theory I learned during the institute served as an incredibly helpful foundation for this project and the group discussions we had about effective and creative strategies and methods for communicating and sharing these ideas and encouraging dialogue greatly influenced my approach to the project. Having just recently completed the institute, I was so excited to be able to share some of what I’d learned with MGEC and to use CEDAW as a tool for change in collaboration with other women’s organizations in Mongolia.

Bridgitt Sloan

As for the info I acquired during the last session, the one that I put to use immediately was the Human Rights component. I have done a visual presentation for our member agencies on CEDAW and it applicability to Canadian NGOs. There were 19 individuals present from a variety of agencies that serve survivors of sexual violence. It was well received and what amazed me was the lack of knowledge around CEDAW and international processes in place.

Kiruthiha Kulendiren

I am working on the linkages between climate change, adaptation and vulnerability and gender. I’ve got very valuable inputs regarding human rights and women’s rights…

Because the convention on climate change is based under the UN framework, the lectures around UN and Women and possibly entry points were very useful.”-

Livia Bizikova

I knew really very little about the UN and international women’s human rights before the institute, and now I understand: UN mechanisms, the CEDAW, the Optional Protocol, UN Special Rapporteurs, UN bodies and a lot more about international law generally. This is all very useful for my work. Learning about capitalism, globalization and neocolonialism with Dr. Angela Miles was very important because it helped me to put everything in context and to make links for resisting oppression against women. The yoga sessions, working with the body and looking at the body as political, were very important for me.

Participant from Honduras

Before I came to this training, I must say I knew very little about international women’s human rights, especially the CEDAW convention. After the six weeks, I feel very confident and I now have the basic understanding of the conventions and am ready to move to the next level in my work.

Developing an in-depth understanding of CEDAW was very useful for me having worked with grassroots women for many years and not knowing that such mechanisms exist. I also enjoyed the sessions focusing on self-care as an activist.

Participant from Kenya