Women Human Rights Defenders and the Struggle for Justice in Colombia

Credit image: Sisma Mujer

Colombia continues to suffer one of the worst humanitarian and human rights crises in the world. In this context, those who defend human rights and the rule of law in Colombia have continuously been victims of systematic stigmatization, threats, sexual violence, unfounded criminal proceedings, violent attacks and killings carried out by all armed actors in the conflict.

Among this group of defenders, women play a crucial role. Women defenders come from all walks of life; they are indigenous and Afro-Colombian women living in remote areas, trade unionists, internally displaced persons, human rights lawyers defending victims of the conflict, lesbians and transgender women fighting against discrimination, journalists, mothers, daughters and sisters of the victims of extrajudicial executions and forced disappearances, and survivors of sexual violence. In this context women are carrying out a fundamental role as defenders of human rights and “builders of peace and democracy.