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100 years ago British women finally won the right to vote.*

The incredible work of the suffragettes – ordinary women who stopped at nothing to get their voices heard – paved the way for a century of women’s rights work in the UK.

The suffragette spirit is alive and well in the UK today. Women across the UK are still fighting for our rights. They stand up to racism, say no to sexism, call out homophobia, challenge corruption, help the vulnerable and much more.

We’ve scoured the country to find these women human rights defenders and we want to celebrate their work. You helped by nominating hundreds of amazing women whom we’ve added to our Suffragette Spirit Map.

(*Women over 30 who owned property)

Click a point on the map below to find out more about each woman.

Human rights defenders

We’re standing up for human rights defenders across the world.

People like lawyer Azza Soliman, who has been persecuted by the Egyptian government for almost 30 years. Her crime? Simply fighting for the basic human rights of Egyptian women.

She has been put under surveillance, intimidated, arrested, and now faces years in prison on dubious charges. Her freedom is further limited by an asset freeze and travel ban.

Help Azza today by telling President al-Sisi that he must drop these charges and restore her freedom immediately.


Why is Amnesty running this project?

The Suffragette Spirit project is a vital part of our global BRAVE campaign which calls for increased recognition and protection of human rights defenders.

Across the UK and around the world human rights defenders are at the forefront of defending and furthering human rights for us all, making our world more just and fair. But in many parts of the world they are coming under increasing attack at an alarming rate and scale.

We know of at least 281 human rights defenders that were killed in 2016, simply for standing up for what they believed in – and initial research shows 2017 is set to have been the deadliest year yet.

Women in particular face danger because of a so-called ‘double-discrimination’ – they’re attacked for both their sex and for being a campaigner.

It’s time for all of us to speak up for their right – and ours – to defend human rights.

Who is a human rights defender?

Our definition of a human rights defender is:

  • a person who, individually or in association with others

  • acts to defend, promote and protect human rights

  • at local, national, regional or international levels

Who is not a human rights defender?

A person cannot claim to be a human rights defender if they:

  • Resort to or advocate violence

  • Deny the universality of human rights

  • Take action that undermines the rights of others.

How did we decide who’s on the map?

People across the UK have nominated women human rights defenders who have inspired them with their amazing work. All nominees then went through a due diligence and consent process before being added to the map.

Who is involved?

The Suffragette Spirit project is supported by:


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Supported by the players of:

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