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Summer 2010, I pursued an ethnography project interviewing over 40 women human rights activists and advocates across the world. For ten weeks, I traveled across four European countries, Iceland, the Netherlands, France, and Turkey, speaking to them about what motivate, inspires, and drives them. I wrote story-portraits of the people I met, their work, and about the organizations all over the world that are combating gender discrimination, the gender wage gap, human trafficking, sexual assault, rape, interpersonal violence, racism, homophobia, and striving for the upward mobility and empowerment of women and individuals worldwide.

I hoped to capture on paper the subjective experience of each individual, how they evaluate their country’s progress toward equality, how they feel empowered, and what drew them into the work they do. The goal is to build a more comprehensive understanding of how human rights are being approached on a world scale. This project is now a website, filled with the incredible voices of women who’ve made rights work their life passion, to see their accomplishments and struggles, and their vision for the future. Visit


Written by carolinashley

June 28, 2010 at 11:59 am

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