“These are just twenty out of the many women
who are being deprived of their freedom.”
— Ambassador Samantha Power at the launch
Throughout September, we will be profiling the individual cases of twenty women political prisoners and other prisoners of concern from around the world. Twenty years ago in Beijing, the world set out an ambitious roadmap for empowering women, advancing gender equality, and promoting women and girls’ human rights, as set forth in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted at that historic conference. We have selected one woman prisoner for each year that has passed since that vital step forward for women’s rights in 1995, though there are countless more. In naming these women, we are sending a simple message to their governments and others like them: if you want to empower women, stop imprisoning them. And we are also sending a message to twenty prisoners and their families, and to others like them: We have not forgotten about you, and we will continue to highlight other cases of concern going forward.