Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) are the people who are bringing the cases of violence against women in public. They are the activists who are supporting victims of violence risking their own lives. WOREC Nepal has managed to create a common platform for women working in different issues of human rights to come together and advocate for their rights and security. This platform is recognized as Women Human Rights Defenders Campaign that has been ongoing since 2005.
Historically, Women Human Rights Defenders in Nepal have been the victims of marginalization and harassment by the state or non-state actors including their own male colleagues. Although sharing equal responsibility of work, WHRDs face more risk compared to their male colleagues, and, in addition, do not receive credit on the work they do. Lack of recognition of WHRDs has placed in the larger strategic play of the patriarchal society to suppress women and to confine them in the private sphere. The pervasive male dominance in every form and shape has reinforced the notion that women belong to the private sphere. This has had serious impact on women’s ability to actively participate in the socio-economic and political processes. The democratization process is difficult to take the right course if there is systematic exclusion of women based on religious and traditional cultural practices. Hence, WOREC believes that encouragement of WHRD through the recognition of their work will be one step closer to inclusive democracy. The campaign therefore focuses on capacity building of WHRDs, dissemination of information on rights and education materials, documentation in giving visibility to the violence against Women Human Rights Defenders, advocacy on legal recognition of Women Human Rights Defenders with changes at grassroots and national level, support mechanisms and networking.