Self-Care and wellbeing are crucial but neglected topics for Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) in the MENA region. Those who choose to become human rights defenders have a high commitment to their work, but are also often overworked, have to deal with a work environment that is consistently intense and at times hostile. Because of their commitment and the nature of their work, WHRDs usually function at full capacity, and are expected to perform without vocalizing their frustrations or seeking support or rest when faced with stress or trauma.
If the pressures of their work go unchecked, WHRDs may experience burnout. Burnout is serious as it undermines the continued activism of individual WHRDs, but also undermines the continuity of the work of their organizations and movements.
For this reason, WHRDs, their organizations and movements need to think about adopting self-care, wellness and integrated security measures in order to mitigate the negative impact of hostile work environments, work overload, stress and trauma. These are critical steps in ensuring that activists and movements continue their critical work in defending rights, while remaining resilient.
At FEMENA we are committed to promoting greater understanding and commitment to concepts of self-care, wellbeing and integrated security. Through our social media campaign, educational and training activities, discussions with experts and activists and development and compilation of resources, we are working with individual WHRDs, their organizations and movements in MENA, to ensure a better understanding of and commitment to critical issues and practices that promote and ensure wellbeing and integrated security. Follow our Campaign on social media instagram, twitter and facebook, in Arabic, English, Farsi and Turkish.