Ambassador Elisabeth Millard
Senior Area Advisor for Europe and Eurasia
New York, New York
October 25, 2021
The United States finds the report on repression against women and girls in Belarus deeply concerning. The Lukashenka regime’s consistent escalation of violent tactics to not only crush, but dissuade, dissent seemingly knows no bounds.
We are concerned, in particular, by targeted repression and intimidation towards women Belarusian activists, including threats to remove children from their custody in retaliation for their political activism, and other forms of insidious gender-based violence and coercion.
Belarusian women are the backbone of Belarus’s pro-democracy movement. The strength and leadership of opposition leaders like Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya and Mariya Kalesnikava), and the selfless acts of bravery exhibited by the Women in White are inspiring. Thousands of other women have peacefully protested in the face of severe repression, and hundreds remain unjustly detained.
Let me close by posing a question: How can we continue to highlight abuses and specific threats faced by women activists in Belarus?