To mark International Women Human Rights Defenders’ Day, we pay tribute to some of the women killed this year because of their activism

In 2017, 44 female activists died, more than half of them murdered for defending their rights. Among the women killed are those who fought to protect their land from the state and multinational companies, or called out injustices or corruption, or stood up for the rights of lesbian, gay and transexual people.

While thousands of men defend human rights, women face particular challenges for their activism. They are targeted for who they are, as women, not just because they are protesting. In countries that view a woman’s role as being in the home, female human rights defenders are more prone to attack than men because they are seen as breaking social norms.

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