Suffocating the movement—shrinking space for women’s rights (2018)

Nationalism, extremism, and conservative values limit the space for activists to advance women's rights. The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation’s report "Suffocating the movement—shrinking space for women's rights" was one of the very first reports on the gendered aspects of shrinking civic space and it reveals how gender equality and democracy are at risk in many parts of the world.

The report is based on a survey of 123 women’s rights activists from 32 countries in the MENA region, Africa, Europe, and the South Caucasus.

It also includes excerpts from in-depth interviews with women’s rights activists from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Azerbaijan, Egypt, the United Kingdom, Lebanon, Poland, Serbia, and Sweden. From the study, most women human rights defenders report that governments in various countries are so afraid of losing power that they become paranoid and civil society is seen as the enemy. 

Furthermore, they report how growing nationalism and a focus on traditional gender roles prevent women from being politically vocal. And that civil society is being suffocated by restrictive laws, blocked funding, travel bans, and arrests. The women activists featured in this report also speak of the price they must pay for going against the norm, the shaming, the sexual harassment and the attacks. 

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