In interview specialist upholds self-care for defenders as a political strategy

What is the physical and psychological impact on the lives of women who work to defend rights and fight injustice?

According to Ana María Hernandéz, founder of the Consortium for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity Oaxaca AC, in Mexico, like the women who are direct victims of violence, human rights defenders also need to be taken care of, as they are equally at risk and also experience chronic fatigue.

According to the specialist, organisations and social movements should be alert to symptoms presented by their staff and should also allocate resources to provide them with support. Hernández classifies self-care as a strategic policy and believes it should be carried out within a feminist, holistic perspective, taking into account the personal and collective levels, physical, psychological and mental aspects, as well as energetic and spiritual fields.

“Adopting a self-care approach not only ensures the sustainability of social movements, but also constitutes an ethical-political viewpoint that involves looking at working practices and relationships at the personal and collective level.” She upholds.

In this interview with Conectas, Hernández, from Mexico, talks about the importance of self-care for defenders who have daily contact with statements and testimonies on human rights violations.

See also Ana María Hernandéz’s article co-authored by Nallely Guadalupe with reflections on the experiences of the Mesoamerican Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders (IM-Defensoras) and the Consortium for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity Oaxaca – as part of the IM-Defensoras Impulse Group – during self-care work that has been underway since 2010.

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