Advocating for Human Rights
WLP provides training and resources to women in the Global South to become advocates for a just, equitable, and peaceful world, where human rights are realized and protected.
Local, national, and regional rights campaigns
Dozens of successful campaigns to amend laws
Dissemination of information on women's rights violations
Human rights reports to the UN and CEDAW
WLP promotes the universality of rights in our workshops, publications, and films. In some countries, the universality of human rights, and especially women’s rights, is met with harsh resistance by state and local authorities who see the reform of discriminatory laws as an attack on their religion and customs. In response, WLP uses a community-based approach to disseminating knowledge about women’s rights and democratic ideas, and to increasing our partners’ organizational, strategic, and tactical capabilities.
Through dialogue and the free exchange of ideas, WLP shares human rights values that shape the bases for people’s conduct and choices. We recognize that there are numerous interpretations and authorities on religion and culture, many of which are consistent with human rights and that promote women’s equality. We frame our human rights campaigns around local history, traditions, and religious customs that support women’s advancement, working in collaboration with women’s organizations, social service organizations, legal advocates, government officials, and religious leaders.
Curriculum on Human Rights
WLP’s Beyond Equality: A Manual for Human Rights Defenders, is being used in workshops and other forums to promote the continuing relevance of human rights to the struggle for women’s freedom and advancement. The manual’s lessons provide a starting place for frank conversation about the conflicts that can arise in supporting human rights, and help advocates develop locally applicable strategies for their human rights campaigns.
Beyond Equality begins by asking the most basic but important questions about what are human rights and why are they essential. The sessions that follow explore the rights enumerated in international human rights agreements through discussions about contemporary issues. The final sessions look at the most frequently used international human rights and women’s rights legal tools, and consider how and where they might be applied to current social justice campaigns.
Human Rights: The Unfinished Journey Documentary Film
Used in conjunction with Beyond Equality, or screened by itself, WLP’s documentary Human Rights: The Unfinished Journey examines how human rights since 9/11 have been marginalized in favor of “hard security,” and the impact of that shift on communities around the globe. The film underscores the linkages between women’s human rights and social, economic, and environmental rights, and the importance of bringing the human rights framework back into the development paradigm.
Books in Translation
WLP has translated and published several works by leading women’s rights activists on their human rights strategies and campaigns in the Global South.
- Guide to Equality in the Family in the Maghreb (2005) outlines legal and tactical approaches for reforming family law in Muslim-majority societies based on the experiences of advocates in Morocco and the region.
- Iranian Women's One Million Signatures Campaign for Equality: The Inside Story (2010) details the history, strategies, and values that brought together a diverse group of Iranian rights activists who successfully mobilized for women’s advancement.
- In Violence without Borders: Paradigm, policy and praxis concerning violence against women (2016) author Yakin Ertürk, former UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, uses 10 country case studies to present her theoretical framework for understanding gender-based violence. Ertürk examines patriarchal forces that deny women access to their rights and perpetuate cycles of violence, and how these forces can be overcome.