International Women’s Day: March 8

On Friday, March 8th, mark International Women’s Day by celebrating women human rights defenders and taking action to end gender-based discrimination and violence.

“In Canada and around the world, women and non-binary people disproportionately experience discrimination and violence because of who they are. The sizable task of holding those responsible for these human rights abuses to account is largely left to women human rights defenders. These courageous advocates work to create a more just and equal world, often while dealing with their own lived experiences of discrimination and violence, and sometimes despite great personal risks to their safety.” (from on International Women’s Day)


TAKE ACTION: Demonstrate Solidarity with Forced and Coerced Sterilizations of Indigenous Women in Canada
TAKE ACTION: Call on Provinces and Territories in Canada to End Sterilization without Consent

Saudi Arabia
TAKE ACTION: Send a Message of Solidarity to Jailed Saudi Women Human Rights Defenders
TAKE ACTION: Write to Government Officials about Nassima al-Sada, Saudi Woman Rights Defender in Solitary Confinement

You can also take action by supporting the many women human rights defenders who were part of our Write For Rights campaign this past fall. Read their stories below and learn how you can take action in their support.



Women human rights defender Marielle Franco advocated fearlessly for the rights of black women, LGBTI people, and young people in Rio de Janeiro. She condemned unlawful killings by police. In March 2018 she and her driver were shot dead, part of a pattern in Brazil, where at least 70 human rights defenders were killed in 2017. 



Women human rights defender Pavitri Manjhi is taking a stand. She is the elected head of her village council in the Adivasi Indigenous community of Bhengari, and has inspired other women to take up leadership roles in their community. The community risks being forced from their land to make way for two power plants. They could lose their farms and livelihoods. Pavitri is leading the fight.



Women human rights defender Atena Daemi dreams of an end to the death penalty in Iran. She has criticized the country’s execution record on social media. She has handed out leaflets. She’s taken part in a peaceful protest against the execution of a young woman. These simple actions take great courage in Iran.