8 Quotes to Get Charged Up for 2019

Women human rights defenders and activists embody courage every time they stand up to those not only trying to deny their rights, but to also deny their right to speak out. Mobilizing, resisting, and contending with threats and pressure from repressive governments and policies is incredibly difficult work. What keeps women human rights defenders and activists charged up to continue forward? We spoke with women human rights defenders from around the world about what inspires and sustains their work. As we look ahead to 2019, let’s take inspiration from these bold women and stay charged up for the work ahead of us all.

Salome, Kenya

Solidarity is the key, so call out—shout!—and somebody will hear you. There are no big problems when they are shared. But if you keep quiet they become a burden.  So let’s learn to reach out and believe that somebody will hear you.”

Zainah, Musawah, Malaysia

Have a circle of supportive family and friends. You’re doing difficult work and you know that they are not going to judge you. You know that they will always be there to support you. They’ll never say ‘why did you do that?’ No questions, you know, but just unconditional support and being there.”

Shoba, Malaysia

“Every day I learn a new lesson. Before I go to sleep, I try to recap and say ‘What was my message for today? What did I learn from today?’”

Shreen, Sri Lanka

My father has been my inspiration, because he was the basis for me to even start any humanitarian work…He tried to help people, and got me to assist in his work at a very early age. He made me sit in on his political discussions and encouraged me to express my views. I’ve been continuing that since.”

Hannah, The Gambia

My chief role model is my grandma. My grandma had never been to school. But my grandma was able to make sure that all of her kids went to school and they became responsible citizens, even though her husband passed on very early. Yet she was able to sustain her family and all of them did what they could for our country.”

Nedal, Bahrain

Never give up. Never give up. Never give up, because this is what they want. I know that we’re facing horrible times, I know everybody’s depressed. If we stop working, this is what they aim for.  So continue working!”

Salome, Georgia

We, as activists, are the ones who make activism. So if there is no us, then there is no activism. It is very important to remain  safe and sane.”

Bayan, Syria

What has inspired me to keep up my work is my belief in the future of Syria. No matter how tired or weak I become, I will continue my work. My hope is that Syrian women will play an active role in rebuilding Syria and make their own decisions.”