In solidarity with Natalie Jeffers... and all women human rights defenders
The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) stands in solidarity with Natalie Jeffers, Founder of ‘Matters of the Earth’ and member of Black Lives Matter UK (BLM UK).
Over the last week, Ms Jeffers has been targeted by a segment of the UK press who are attempting to distort and delegitimise her work, in addition to the critical issues raised by BLM UK around the climate change crisis and institutional racism in the UK.
We view these attacks on the person of Ms Jeffers with alarm and concern, and recognise this as part of a systematic and historical pattern of attacks on high profile women who defend human rights. Attacks like this are intended to delegitimise the work of activists and movements.
Lydia Alpizar, Executive Director of AWID states:
“ Natalie Jeffers was a recent participant at the Black Feminisms Forum, and the 13th International AWID Forum that recently took place in Bahia, Brazil. The AWID Forum is an important convening of over 1800 feminists and women human rights defenders from around the world, including a range of participants from grassroots activists to human rights and United Nations policy makers.
We are pleased that Natalie was able to participate in these forums, and that she brought to the table her critical insights around the intersections of climate justice, race and women’s rights. We urge the media houses that are attempting to discredit Natalie’s work to focus on the critical issues that have been raised by BLM UK such as the 3,172 known migrant deaths in the Mediterranean in 2016; the estimated 200 million climate migrants that will exist by 2050 according to UNHCR; the 57% increase in reported racist attacks post Brexit, and the 187 environmental human rights defenders killed in 2015.
We, at AWID, remain in solidarity with Natalie Jeffers and all women human rights defenders who are under attack.”