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Co-creating the AWID Forum and Online WHRDs Tribute

“They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” - Mexican Proverb

At the 2012 AWID Forum in Istanbul we launched our first Tribute to Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs), Feminists and LBTQI activists who are no longer with us.

We are grateful for their significant contributions to our collective struggle to live in a world free from gender based discrimination and violence, where all identities are respected and celebrated.  Every year since 2012 AWID Forum, through the online version of the Tribute, AWID commemorates and celebrates WHRDs who have fought tirelessly for their human rights and for those of others.

While numerous WHRDs and activists have passed away due to accidents, illnesses and natural disasters, many of them honored in past Tributes were one too many killed or disappeared due to who they are, their work and activism.

Let’s continue building together the collective memory of our struggles and movements

AWID again calls for your participation and for the 2016 Tribute invites you to join us in co-creating the Tribute in two ways.

  1. Send us details of women human rights defenders  who are no longer with us, for inclusion in our Online Tribute which will be unveiled on November 25th 
  2. For those who will be joining us at the AWID Forum in Brazil we have a specific request as well…

[September 2016] WHRDs Tribute at the Forum: Honoring and Celebrating their lives and struggles

At the AWID Forum, a painted mural will feature names, portraits and stories of activists and WHRDs no longer with us. If you are attending the Forum, we invite you to join us in creating a sacred space to honor the memory of the activists and WHRDs dear to your heart and your movement by bringing with you their names, photos, stories and poems.

Join us for a ceremony to commemorate and celebrate activists and WHRDs who have passed away or have been killed for due to their identities and activism. The unveiling of the mural will be accompanied by ritual, music, and dance as we honor their memory, and celebrate the courage and passion of activists and WHRDs struggling for justice world-wide every day.

Watch the WHRD Tribute Mural in the making by artist Pia Love.

[November 2016] Online WHRDs Tribute: In Memory of Courage, Persistence, and Strength

AWID will launch the 2016 Online Tribute to WHRDs as part of our contributions to the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence campaign which takes place every year from November 25 – December 10, 2016. We invite you to submit stories (biographies and photos) of feminists, WHRDs and LGBTQI activists from your country or region who are no longer with us.

Some of the WHRDs we featured last year include:

  • Diana Sacayan, a trans activist from Argentina to whom we pay tribute for her contributions in the fight against transphobia and homophobia. Diana was brutally murdered.
  • Suzette Jordan from India whom we honor for her courage and persistence as a social activist and anti-rape campaigner.
  • Joan Kagezi, a lawyer and leading prosecutor from Uganda, killed for her work.
  • Sabeen Mahmud, a leading human rights and social activist from Pakistan. Also killed for her activism.

Please send your contribution to . Deadline for submissions is October 17, 2016.

The biographies and photos you send will be added to our online exhibit, shared with our partners, as well as highlighted through social media and email communications during the 16 Days of Activism.

AWID especially encourages submissions concerning groups routinely rendered invisible, such as young women, disabled women, sex workers, LGBTQI, and indigenous women.

Guidelines and Criteria for Submissions to the WHRD Online Tribute

1. Please provide a short bio of the woman and/or LGBTQI activist you want profiled that is:

WHRD Tribute (Credits: Howl Arts Collective | Thien V.) 610x470
© Howl Arts Collective | Thien V.
  • maximum 150 words in length;
  • includes the first and last name of the WHRD or LGBTQI activist;
  • birth date and date of death/disappearance;
  • country of origin;
  • a short description and nature of the work she carried out;
  • an explanation of the circumstances of their death or disappearance
  • In the case of a WHRD who was killed or disappeared please give us an update on where the case stands today (has there been an effective investigation? Has anyone been prosecuted or brought to justice? Does the case remain in impunity?);
  • a link to any urgent action that might exist online with regards to the case

2. Do include a photograph with the following specifications:

  • 4 inches X 6 inches or 10.16 centimeters X 15.24 centimeters
  • Resolution of 1200×1800 pixels (minimum)
  • If the picture is scanned, a resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch) or above
  • If the picture was taken with a digital camera, a resolution of 6 MP (megapixels) or above
  • The size of the attachment you send us should not be more than 5 MB (megabytes).

NOTE: By sending this photo you are giving AWID permission to use the photograph. If applicable please add to whom the image should be credited to.

Please note that pictures downloaded from websites may not be of good quality for printing or audiovisual use and may infringe copyright. We encourage you to send us pictures from your cameras, albums, personal collections or with prior permissions from partner organizations.

If you have any questions please let us know by writing to

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