Women's Empowerment and Leadership Development for Democratisation
Eight women from WELDD partner projects in Sudan, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria headed to Geneva in June to take part in the two-week Human Rights Defenders Advocacy Programme hosted by the International Service for Human Rights. The participants from the WELDD program joined 12 other participants from around the world working on diverse issues from indigenous and environmental rights, to corporate responsibility, to LGBTI rights. The fortnight started with intensive training on engagement with UN mechanisms, before participants attending the 26th session of the UN Human Rights Council in the UN Headquarters. Participants spent the final days of the fortnight in meetings they had arranged with UN officials, during which they lobbied on the human rights situations in their respective countries. For the WELDD participants, this was an important opportunity to put forward the pressing issues facing women’s rights in their contexts – an opportunity they grasped with both hands!