WHRI 2015 – Day 1

Women’s Human Rights Education Institute started this week! This year we have participants from the following regions: Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, Costa Rica, Barbados, Grenada, Canada, Sri Lanka, India, Armenia, Haiti, Nigeria, and more participants from other countries will be joining us for the CEDAW for Change week. Here is a short video from the first day of WHRI 2015.

Support Our Indiegogo Campaign

Alda Facio, Costa Rican feminist jurist and Expert Member of the UN Working Group on Discrimination Against Women in Law and Practice, co-founded the Women’s Human Rights Institute (WHRI) in 2004 with a clear intention: she wanted to offer a transformative, distinctively feminist human rights training program that would support women’s human rights defenders from around the world in their efforts to achieve substantial gender equality. She envisioned an educational space that supported global women’s movement-building, enhanced feminist learning of women’s human rights, and facilitated an in-depth understanding of the UN human rights instruments and mechanisms, notably the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). But above all, she hoped to provide an environment in which our world’s women’s human rights defenders could feel nurtured, valued and supported…where they could experience a brief respite from the daily adversity they face and return home rejuvenated and newly inspired.

And that’s exactly what was created. Since its establishment, the WHRI has trained more than 500 women’s human rights defenders from around the world to utilize CEDAW as a tool for activism and education, and also as a visionary feminist framework for personal, communal and social change. Many of the participants have gone on to make significant impacts in their communities, regions and at the international level. You can find out about some of them on our website at www.learnwhr.org.

The WHRI team has worked incredibly hard over the past more than decade to ensure the sustainability of the institute. However, this has become increasingly difficult. The struggle for women’s human rights continues within a global context of increasing conservatism and backlash against hard won gains. As a result of this climate, finding funding for visionary, feminist women’s human rights work such as that of the WHRI is an increasing challenge. We are trying to find new and creative ways to sustain this vital work, and to make it possible for women, particularly those from the Global South, to be able to participate in the WHRI without barriers.

2011 CEDAW

We are thus appealing to our supporters and to all those who stand in solidarity with women’s human rights defenders to contribute to our Indiegogo fundraising campaign. All of the funds will go directly to providing scholarships and travel support for applicants who would not be able to participate in our programs without financial support. As more and more groups of women begin to use CEDAW for their struggles, notably LBT women, indigenous women and many other groups that did not traditionally have access to international fora, we need the funds in place to continue building capacity to work with, claim and redefine human rights mechanisms according to diverse women’s needs and lived realities.

Any amount of contribution you make will go a long way to ensuring that participants accepted to our 2015 programs can attend, and to letting these women know that the international community stands alongside them.

If you are unable to contribute financially but would like to support this campaign and the work of WHRI, there are many ways to help:

Last but not least, we want you to know that your support means the world to us, and that your commitment to women’s human rights and substantial gender equality is deeply appreciated.

In solidarity,

The WHRI Team

Human Rights Education – Nepal 2014

A video slideshow from our last Women’s Human Rights Education Institute (WHRI) training program in Nepal, August 2014.

CEDAW Guatemala

The second CEDAW WIW was offered in November 2013 in collaboration with several indigenous women’s organizations in Guatemala and JASS (Just Associates), as well as representatives from other Indigenous women’s NGOs from throughout Central America.

Guatemala Program – Participating Organizations: Asociación Uk´u´x B´e, Movimiento de Mujeres Indígenas Tz´ununija´, Tik Na´oj, Unidad de Protección de Defensoras y Defensores de Derechos Humanos de Guatemala, -UDEFEGUA-, Sinergía No´j and JASS