HRC 35: Recognizing the critical role of WHRDs to support and implement the SDGs


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This statement on the role of Women Human Rights Defenders to support and implement the Sustainable Development Goals was made by AWID at the 35th session of the Human Rights Council, Panel 2 on Women’s rights and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: health and gender equality.

Women human rights defenders are at the forefront of rights struggles across the breadth of the SDGs and in all human rights arenas. WHRDs are targeted in each area because of our work, including for what we do, the fact that we do it, and the identities we carry.

The Women Human Rights Defender International Coalition has particular intersectional contextual concerns which shape our defense of rights:

  1. Attacks on the entire framework of human rights
  2. Government efforts to limit space for civil society voice and action
  3. Rise in fundamentalisms across all regions and contexts (including those related to religion)
  4. Negative effects of globalisation, and neo-liberal economic ideology, including poverty and inequality
  5. Militarism and the devastating effects of proliferation of arms and defense industries and related spending
  6. Crises of governance and democracy
  7. Patriarchy, heteronormativity and other social norms that limit enjoyment of rights of women, WHRDs and all people.
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