There has been no respite in the attacks targeting women’s rights and their leadership. Civic space has never been worse since the launch of CIVICUS Monitor in 2018. 118 countries now face serious civic space restrictions. Only 2.1 percent of the world’s population lives in countries with open civic space. Intimidation, protest disruption, and detentions of protesters were the top violations documented in 2023.

These repressive strategies are extensively used to push back against women’s and LGBTQI+ people’s rights. Gender and sexuality remain at the centre of a culture war waged by a well-organised and funded international network of anti-rights forces leveraging these issues for political advantage

Leading up to International Women’s Day on March 8th, CIVICUS Secretary General Lysa John (she/they) penned an opinion piece for IPS Inter Press Service highlighting the need for feminist leadership in the struggle for justice and progress: 

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