Claiming Rights, Claiming Justice: A Guidebook on Women Human Rights Defenders | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
January 2007
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

A Guidebook on Women Human Rights Defenders is aimed to help women human rights defenders name the specific risks, violations and constraints they face in their work.  It presents a practical discussion of the useful mechanisms developed by the state and also the civil society to provide redress and remedy, and to protect women human rights defenders.  It is intended to be used by human rights and other organisations to further a gender perspective in the monitoring and documentation of human rights. 

The guidebook was produced by Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), with support of OXFAM NOVIB, in close collaboration with individuals and organisations that participated in the international campaign on women human rights defenders since 2005. 

From the introduction: "Women human rights defenders work on a broad range of economic, social, and cultural rights - such as labour rights, indigenous peoples’ rights, environmental rights, minority rights, health rights and reproductive rights. [...] Women advocates have also demanded accountability from state agents as well as multi-national and other corporations that violate human rights in pursuit of greater profit under liberalised economies.

Women activists have protested with indigenous communities against environmentally destructive large-scale mining projects sanctioned by governments that robbed them of their livelihoods. Often there is collusion between local and national authorities and the private sector in the attacks and threats against defenders addressing environmental issues, labour rights, and land rights, and women activists are among the victims, UN Special Representative Hina Jilani said".

You can download this resource below or from the websites of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development or the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition, where you can find it in English, Spanish, French, Thai and Arabic.


Authors and Publishers


APWLD developed from dialogues among Asia Pacific women lawyers, social scientists and activists, which began at the 1985 Third World Forum on Women, held in Nairobi, Kenya. The women participating in the dialogues recognised that while law is used as an instrument of state control over resources, rights and even women’s bodies, it can also be used to help effect political and socio-economic changes in our societies.

Geographical focus

Share this page