A core part of the Women’s Human Rights Institute’s mission centers on advocacy to enhance the impact of feminist and progressive women’s human rights movements in making change in the local, national, regional and international spheres.  We provide training and mentorship support for organizations seeking to utilize women’s human rights frameworks and mechanisms in their advocacy, and we also provide direct support for strategic advocacy initiatives that develop organically through our work, and through the work of our faculty and partners.

In doing this work, we seek impact at multiple levels, and shape our direct interventions according to the needs of a particular initiative and/or historical moment.  We know our advocacy initiatives are effective when they:

  • amplify the voices and impact of particular women’s groups or organizations to strategically use women’s human rights to create change;
  • engage meaningfully with women’s human rights mechanisms and frameworks in a way that contributes to the ongoing progressive unfolding of our collective understanding of women’s rights from a feminist/activist perspective;
  • promote local, regional and transnational women’s movement building;
  • contribute to the collective endeavour to hold firm against the current backlash that threatens the progress made to date in international women’s human rights.

Our investments in advocacy are thus particular and directed, as well as being collective and universal in orientation – always seeking to link the local to the global and back again. The level of our direct engagement varies from initiative to initiative, depending on what is needed:  we play a key facilitative and supportive role that amplifies and promotes women’s leadership.  We:

  • provide training and consult on the development of advocacy plans
  • serve as an ongoing resource during the implementation of those plans
  • collaborate on strategic endeavours that support our partners’ advocacy
  • offer technical support for utilizing women’s human rights mechanisms effectively
  • directly support or get involved in advocacy initiatives when appropriate

Some examples of our work and impact to date:

CEDAW General Recommendation on Indigenous Women

Amplifying voices and reshaping women’s human rights praxis – learn about the movement for a CEDAW General Recommendation on Indigenous Women.

Learn More

Justice for Survivors of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery

Using human rights mechanisms to fight against impunity for sexual violence in conflict – learn more about the justice campaign for survivors of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery.

Learn More