The women human rights defenders making history today

To celebrate the centenary of the suffragette movement, Amnesty International is putting Britain’s women human rights defenders on the map. Literally…

When Emmeline Pankhurst founded the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1903, it was the beginning of a revolution. The suffragettes did more than gain women the vote – they helped to set the stage for a century of change. And today’s women human rights defenders have continued to fight for equality. Right now, lawyer Azza Soliman is risking her own safety and freedom to speak out for victims of torture and domestic abuse in Egypt, while Aura Lolita, who campaigns for indigenous people’s rights and land in Guatemala, was threatened and assaulted by armed men last year.

But you don’t need to travel thousands of miles to meet the women making a positive contribution to society. In fact, there’s probably one living in your street.

women human rights defenders

Gemma Chan wants to champion the everyday heroes working to make a positive impact in their local communities

Actress and Amnesty International supporter, Gemma Chan says: ‘To commemorate the 100-year anniversary of women’s suffrage in Britain, Amnesty International is calling upon Marie Claire readers to nominate the incredible women who are working to make a real difference in their local community today.

‘Ordinary women from all walks of life – from students to shopkeepers – are doing extraordinary things. They might have stood up to bullies, helped the homeless, aided refugees, campaigned for better access to healthcare or challenged bad business practices.

‘Every time these women have spoken up, set up a petition, sent a letter to their MP or proudly displayed their placard on the picket line, they’ve taken steps towards making life better for others – to ensure that you and I, as well as future generations, enjoy a fairer, more equal world.’

To celebrate the amazing achievements of these often unsung heroes – and continue the suffragettes’ legacy – nominated women human rights defenders will be displayed on Amnesty International’s Suffragette Spirit Map of Britain, which will launch on International Women’s Day on 8th March, 2018.

So, over to you! Who is your 21st century suffragette? Help to put her firmly on the map by visiting the Amnesty International website now to make a nomination.

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