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International Women's Day: Amina Bouayach is chosen among five women human rights defenders #IStandwithher

Photo from the OHCHR website

Mrs. Amina Bouayach, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Council (CNDH), was chosen among five women leaders to share her experience, journey/story as part of the #IStandwithher campaign on the occasion of the International Women’s Day (IWD) 2021 which is being celebrated this year under the theme “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner built on its #IStandwithher campaign to highlight the tremendous efforts of women and girls around the world to shape a more equal future and better recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, through the lens of women who lead.

Given her rich and electric career in journalism, politics and human rights, she was identified among the defenders of human rights who demand a more equal post-pandemic world. A world that fights discrimination and recognizes the value of human beings. Mrs. Bouayach and her colleagues are constantly pushing for quotas for women in political representation. She is also focused on advocating for equal access to education for women and girls in Morocco, the abolition of child marriage and the improvement of the human rights of women and girls with disabilities.

She was the first woman to head a non-governmental organization in Morocco and the first women who chair the Moroccan National Human Rights Institution.

In her message to the #IStandwithher campaign, Mrs. Bouayach stressed the importance of persistence in her fight to defend human rights. “One important thing I have learned throughout this is the value of conversation and consultation,” she explained. "What guides me is persistence, which helps convince others and move forward and implement my ideas," she added.

Besides, she also believes that countries should act collectively, instead of their interests. “When you take a universal approach, you can find answers to the most complex questions of humanity.”

Within the same context, Mrs. Michelle Bachelet, High Commissioner for Human Rights, highlighted, in her video statement, the importance of the meaningful participation of women leaders to better recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Their contribution is essential to face many challenges today. Women still hold less than 25% of seats in national Parliaments and less than 30% of senior management roles. “The world needs all of its best talents,” she explained.

The #IStandwithher campaign chose five women leaders who have participated in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic: Cleo Kambugu, Activist for transgender and sexual minorities, Director of programs for UHAI EASHRI, Uganda, Amina Bouayach, CNDH Chairperson Morocco, Mitzi Tan, Convenor, Youth advocates for climate action, the Philippines, Editar Ochieng, Leader of Feminist for Peace Rights and Justice Center, Kenya and Maria de Luz Padua, Secretary-General of the Union of Domestic Workers, Mexico.

Link to the full article

Link to the video of Ms. Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner