International Women’s Day 2022
For a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination: International Women’s Day 2022

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We want a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. We want a world where everyone is valued and celebrated and where we strive together for women’s equality. In 2022, let’s acknowledge women’s achievements and raise awareness against bias: #BreakTheBias.

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) wants you to meet five extraordinarily brave women in Southeast and East Asia to celebrate Women’s Day.

  1.  Maria Ressa (Philippines)

Maria Ressa is the noble prize laureate of 2021 and the CEO of Rappler, a Philippine online news website and a partner of FNF. Ressa was honoured for her efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace. She is positioning herself and speaking out against human rights abuses and corruption carried out by the governments of the Philippines led by President Rodrigo Duterte. As a result, the government tries to silence her and the journalists working for Rappler. FNF is honoured to work with Rappler and Maria Ressa and applauds her fight for press freedom and freedom of expression in the Philippines.

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(2) Presley Wong (Hong Kong)

Brave women showed their courage front and center in Hong Kong`s protests in 2019. One of them was Presley Wong: “Being a women in the front line is honestly quite scary”, she tells FNF. But that didn’t stop her nor thousands of women from Hong Kong who joined the movement for more democracy. Seeing them in the frontline of the protests, the world saw their bravery and courage in support of liberal values. 

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(3) Mu Sochua (Cambodia)

Mu Sochua is a Cambodian politician, a former family minister and a human rights activist. Asked whether she would define herself more as a human rights defender or as a politician, she says: “It is neither nor, it is both. And with the qualified adjectives liberal and democrat”. She is in exile, a consequence of being outspoken, of defending and believing in freedom, in justice, in human rights and in dignity. Sochua is not only focusing on Cambodia, but on other human rights issues and on democracy in other parts of the world as well.

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(4) Emily Lau (Hong Kong)

Emily Lau is a well-known politician and former Member of Parliament for the Democratic Party in Hong Kong. She has been a leading advocate for human rights and press freedom for decades. Emily became a politician and political activist because she wanted to represent the people of Hong Kong and support them in their fight for more democratic representation. Unwavering in her efforts, she spend 25 years in the Legislative Council, Hong Kong's parliament.

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(5) Leila M. De Lima ( Philippines)

Leila M. de Lima is a Senator and a human rights activist in the Philippines, who has been incarcerated since 2017, due to fabricated charges. “I am Leila M. de Lima, Senator of the Republic of the Philippines and a political prisoner, and I remain unconquered!”, she writes from her cell. Leila is a lawyer and a former Head of the National Human Rights Commission of the Philippines. Up until the day she was arrested, she was fighting for the rights of victims of President Duterte’s “war on drugs”, which has claimed thousands of lives. From prison, Leila continues to fight.

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