12 Women on the Barricades

The campaign #12 Women on the Barricades is developed in collaboration with illustrator Jenny Jordahl. We present 12 portraits of women standing on the barricades of other women, focusing on the greatest human rights challenges facing women in Europe today – and what needs to be done to overcome them.

Mother of three against injustice

Mother of three and political prisoner, Anastasia Shevchenko, has been put under house arrest since January 2019, only because she has been on the barricades for human rights In Russia. When her daughter Alina died, Anastasia’s case sparked angry protests in Russia under the name of "March of Mothers’ Fury"

Challenging the oligarch strongman of Georgia

The human rights lawer Anna Dolidze has for 20 years been fighting for democracy. "Today we have façade justice, façade law enforcement bodies, façade democracy, façade governance", says Anna Dolidze recently, thereby challenging Georgia’s behind-the-scenes ruler

Fights for human rights in Russia’s most dangerous region

In the North Caucasus, women who experience family violence are practically lawless. But Malika Abubakarova is not intimidated by this, or the many threats she gets for helping the victims. When she wins in court, it gives many hope.

Error 404 – children not found

The journalist Lena Klimova was only planning to write one article about being gay in Russia. This suddenly made her the spokes person for thousands of children and youth. In the spring of 2020 her book "404 – Page Found", will be published by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.

The journalist who couldn’t be silenced

Khadija Ismayilova's sharp pen and disclosures of corruption and financial abuse has made her a feared opponent for the Azerbaijani regime. For this she has experienced jail and threats, and is today not allowed to leave the country.

A woman's place is on the barricades

Olena Shevchenko was on the barricades during the Euromaidan with the goal of a democratic Ukraine that put human rights first. Now she continues the fight for LGBT-people and other marginalized groups who are facing increasingly aggressive attacks from right-wing extremist groups.

The voice against nationalism

Sonja Biserko is head of the Serbian Helsinki Committee. She has been a counterpart to
war horror and nationalist rhetoric in the former Yugoslavia for more than 20 years. Even when she has received threats from all sides, she has never given up the fight for war criminals to be held accountable.

No longer alone in the fight against violence

Galina Ustinova has dedicated her life to changing the law and views of women in Belarus. The goal is to stop discrimination and gender-based violence. Known as "Europe's last dictatorship", Belarus has changed little since the fall of the Soviet Union. But where the change exists, we see Galina's footprint.

On the barricades of Hungarian democracy

A very ordinary day at work for Márta Pardavi, the head of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, includes fighting for Hungarian democracy and the people's right to demonstrate. Fighting against violations of asylum seekers' rights, overcrowded prisons and racially motivated violence.

Revolutionary women

Human rights activist Gohar Shahnazaryan fights for women's rights, and for women to play a role in Armenia, following the velvet revolution in 2018. The new political leadership has not taken women and other politically vulnerable groups seriously.

Give Hande a voice

Hande Kader fought for the rights of LGBT people in Turkey, Europe's most dangerous country for transgender people. She criticized the regime for human rights violations and the media for silence. Her fight was just about to begin before it was over. She was killed in 2016, only 23 years old.

Defending those who need it the most

“Almost anyone can take on the easy cases. I’m not afraid of the difficult ones”, says Aiman Umarova. The human rights lawyer from Kazakhstan has defied grave threats and harassment in order to fight against sexual abuse of women, and for the rights of stigmatized groups.



Hilde Sandvær

Communication AdviserEmail: [email protected]Phone: +47 95 72 21 08Twitter: @HSandvr
Read article "Hilde Sandvær"


Mina Wikshåland Skouen

Senior Adviser, LGBTIEmail: [email protected]Phone: +47 90 82 50 76
Read article "Mina Wikshåland Skouen"


Inna Sangadzhieva

Senior Adviser, Russia and BelarusEmail: [email protected]Phone: +47 97 69 94 58
Read article "Inna Sangadzhieva"