Meetings & Events

Defending Human Rights Has a Cost

Defending Human Rights Has a Cost
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Investing in the Protection and Participation of Women Human Rights Defenders in Conflict & Crisis

In collaboration with its UN and INGO partners, in January 2022, thanks to the generous support of Norway, Germany and Albania, the United Nations Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) launched a new window dedicated to supporting women human rights defenders (WHRDs) from crisis and conflict affected areas. Under the WPHF Window for WHRDs, rapid, flexible funding and direct logistical support is provided to WHRDs to ensure their safe participation to peace efforts at the community, national, regional, and international levels. 

This event aims to amplify WHRDs' voices and crucial role protecting and promoting human rights and building peace in conflict and crisis-affected countries, raise awareness on the increasing risks and targeted threats that WHRDs face in conflict and crisis affected countries and the urgent need to support them in the face of such challenges, and call on the International Community and Member States to accelerate their financial and political commitment to protect and support WHRDs in conflict and crisis affected countries. 


·       Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith, Permanent Representative of Norway to the UN

·       Sarah Hendriks, Director of Policy, Programme & Intergovernmental Division, UN Women

·       Todd Howland, Chief of Branch, Development, Economic, Social Rights, OHCHR

·       Nilofar Ayoubi, Afghan Activist, Journalist & Entrepreneur

·       Nohora Alejandra Quiguantar, Indigenous Woman Human Rights Defenders, Director of Tejiendo Pensamiento

·       Lucie Canal, Director of International Justice of MADRE, INGO partner of the WPHF WHRDs Window

·       Ghita El Khyari, Head of the Womenʼs Peace and Humanitarian Fund Secretariat (WPHF)


·       Annika Flensburg, Director of Advocacy, Kvinna till Kvinna, Board member of WPHF

About WPHF: 

The United Nations Women's Peace & Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) mobilizes critical support for local and grassroots civil society organizations working on women, peace and security and humanitarian action. WPHF is a flexible and rapid financing mechanism supporting quality interventions designed to enhance the capacity of women to prevent conflict, respond to crises and emergencies, and seize key peacebuilding opportunities. Since its launch in 2016, WPHF has funded over 700 civil society organizations in 32 countries through 24 allocations, working to support women to be a force for crisis response and lasting peace. Since early 2020 and through its various funding windows, the WPHF has integrated institutional funding as a separate and complementary stream to support local women's organizations, in addition to programmatic funding. Established in 2022, the WPHF Window for Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) provides rapid, flexible funding and direct logistical support to WHRDs from crisis and conflict-affected areas working at community, national, regional, and/or international levels to enhance their protection and participation in building more inclusive and peaceful societies.