CIVICUS at the 65th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women

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Women civil society leaders, activists, protesters and human right lawyers are central to shaping public life - through campaigns, protests and policy interventions. Across the world, women and girls are at the forefront of mobilising - for equality, meaningful democratic processes, their freedom to express themselves, safer spaces, and a protected environment, to name just a few. The theme of this year’s UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65), running from 15 to 26 March 2021, is Women in Public Life: Equal Participation in Decision-Making.

Recognising the important work of women activists worldwide, CIVICUS, working together with members and partners, will:

  • Profile women in mobilisation, protest and civil society, and their role in public life;
  • Make recommendations to multilateral bodies and governments to help realise SDG5 and SDG16 - reflecting and based on women’s lived realities;
  • Renew calls for meaningful participation, resourcing, care work and visibility for women working in civil society.


Building on our 16 Days of Activism campaign, CIVICUS will showcase inspirational stories, amplify member voices, draw attention to women human rights defenders at risk, and find out more about how Covid-19 is impacting women’s rights to protest.

We invite you to:

  1. During CSW65, from 15 - 26 March 2021, talk about your work on social media - as a women human rights defender, activist, protester - using any of these hashtags: #Wedefend #SheDefends #CSW65
  2. Follow and tag CIVICUS Alliance (Facebook|Twitter) when posting during CSW65. We will promote and share as many of your activities as we can.
  3. Share stories of arbitrarily detained women human rights defenders as part of our #StandAsMyWitness campaign by filling out this form to share documented cases of currently detained women human rights defenders.
  4. Add your signature to our Global Statement calling for support and protection of women in civil society


Powerful personal stories from women activists and journalists who are facing online harassment.  CIVICUS has partnered with Global Voices to produce this article series:

How Women Human Rights Defenders face greater risks because of their Gender by Masana Ndinga-Kanga\

REPORT: In Defence of Humanity: Women Human Rights Defenders and the struggle against silencing