Promoting new women leaders and ‘invisible women’ human rights activists in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia and Russia


The overall objective of the action is to recognise, support and promote the emerging role of women Human Rights Defenders (W/HRDs) and Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) working for women’s and girls’ rights across Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, and Georgia.

The action will do this by strengthening the skills of these women and women’s organisations. Leadership training will be provided in the region to build skills in advocacy, lobbying, and litigation, in order to increase the visibility of these individuals and groups in local, national, regional and international forums. The activities will involve co-operation across the region and provide networking opportunities to create links between those working for women’s rights, even in remote areas, and in addition to joint capacity building activities, an online platform will be created to promote the sharing of ideas, regardless of location. Travel grants will also be provided to support advocacy actions at national, regional and international level.

The action also includes welfare support addressing medical and psycho-social needs, via rehabilitation and anti-burnout training, and a fund for emergency grants to help with situations such as legal assistance or temporary relocation.

Finally, the action will look to bolster the protection of W/HRDs in the region by providing training to lawyers working for women’s and girl’s rights to improve access to the European Court of Human Rights strengthening the lawyers’ capacity to appeal to the different international treaties and conventions.


1) To strengthen the leadership skills of young women HRDs through capacity building; promoting networking and the sharing of ideas; and participation in national, regional, international forums.

2) To support “invisible women’s” groups through targeted training and capacity building in advocacy, lobbying, developing strategies of change and media campaigns to raise awareness on specific issues they face

3) To improve knowledge of lawyers working for women’s and girls’ rights on ECtHR procedures to make use of international mechanisms for the protection of W/HRDs

4) To provide anti-burnout trainings and rapid response for psycho-social, medical and legal support for women HRDs and Human Rights Defenders working for women’s and girls’ rights “at risk”.

Target audience:

- Young/emerging women human rights leaders, with a focus on activists from the regions and remote areas

- ‘Invisible women’ human rights defenders denotes women activists who are actively defending rights within their own communities, but who are not involved in the wider HRD movement

- Lawyers working for women’s and girl’s rights

- W/HRDs and Human Rights Defenders working for women’s and girls’ rights (men and women) who are at risk due to their professional activities

Donor: European Union

Partners: Irex Europe, Sfera, 34Mag, Human Rights House Tbilisi

Timeframe: duration 26 months

Geographic Coverage: Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia and Russia