2022 - 16 Days of Activism

The 2022 Nobel Women's Initiative's contribution to the global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence Campaign features interviews with women activists about their experiences advocating for peace and women’s rights in conflict zones. In Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Myanmar, Sudan, Syria, Iraq and Ukraine, these human rights defenders  pursue peace as one pathway to reducing sexual and other forms of gender-based violence.

Mèaza Gidey Gebremedhin: “I always need to fight for myself, for my place in this world, and to help others.”

“It's really important that people understand the distinction between gender-based violence in normal settings and a weaponized one…When it is weaponized, the state is involved with its full apparatus. Implicitly or explicitly, soldiers are ordered to rape. Rape and the trauma of the victim become weapons in the aggressor’s arsenal of destruction in the service of a broader strategy or political objective.”

Amira Osman Hamed: "Don't let them terrify you."

“Let us unite for our rights, for our dignity, for our free will, for a peaceful world…Let’s unite to defend our causes all over the world, to condemn the violence against women under the name of customs, traditions, and religion. Let’s make our main course of action so that every human can live with honor and dignity.”

Nadia Murad: "We don't get anywhere by pacifying with politeness."

A Q&A with the Yazidi human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

“Conflict undoubtedly deteriorates women’s rights, but women are not safe from violence in peacetime. Sexual violence does not begin or end when conflict does. So, when we advocate for peace, I think it is crucial to demand justice and equity – not just the absence of conflict. This means addressing the root causes that make women vulnerable—systems of poverty and patriarchy—and empowering women to participate in peacebuilding and development.