September 22, 2022

Repression against non-profit organisations and civil society activists involved in supporting, promoting, and protecting women’s rights and gender equality in Belarus. Review for August 2020-February 2022

This study examines non-profit organisations that position themselves as the ones that unite women, provide them with the necessary assistance and support, as well the ones specialising in the protection of women’s rights and gender equality, including the protection of the rights of such a vulnerable group as LGBTQ+. In Belarus, the right to freedom of association has been practically annulled; there is improper governments`s interference with the right to freedom of association both at the stage of establishing CSOs  and at the stage of their functioning. The repressions affected a number of gender organisations and female activists.  in addition to administrative and criminal prosecution of female leaders and activists of civil society organisations, including gender ones, their representatives were subjected to various forms of pressure: interference in the internal operation of the organisations, inspections, searches, sealing of offices and blocking of accounts, summons to the law enforcement agencies for preventive conversations and interrogations, compulsion to make a decision to liquidate, forced liquidation, discrediting by the authorities, etc.

Due to the repressions, a large number of women activists were forced to leave the Republic of Belarus and to seek residence in other countries. Some of those activists continue their social activities, and some of them, primarily due to welfare reasons, have to look for other employment opportunities. It is extremely important to preserve the potential of gender organisations and their female activists, as well as of other civil society organisations. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account special needs of women activists, such as those related to the existence of minor children.

Lawtrend, 2022



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