2023 FREEDOM CHALLENGE
You - our rangatahi - are today’s agents of change.
Your voice is powerful.
Your knowledge is powerful.
Your existence is powerful.
We here at Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand want to support and equip you in your activism journey, so that you can use your power to seek meaningful change. To raise awareness, to inspire action, and to be beacons of hope.
That’s why we created the annual Freedom Challenge!
Freedom Challenge is a call to action for young people across Aotearoa New Zealand. It is an opportunity for rangatahi to apply their leadership, creativity, and visions for justice by standing together against a pressing human rights issue.
Each year, we launch a campaign that is important and relevant to youth.
This year’s Freedom Challenge theme is RAISE HER VOICE - the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, and seeks to challenge the Taliban's brutal gender persecution.
2023 THEME: RAISE HER VOICE
If you were a woman or girl in Afghanistan right now, your voice and freedoms would be under attack.
The Taliban, a religious extremist group in Afghanistan, is slowly erasing the rights of women and girls in all parts of life. This war on women is so extreme that it counts as a crime against humanity.
The Taliban is trying to erase women and girls' right to education, consent, work, resistance, independence and freedom and forcing them to live in the shadows of society.
But many women and girls are raising their voices to fight for their rights and for their lives. They are boldly speaking out against the Taliban’s war on women, despite risk of arrest, torture, or worse.
Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand is asking you to stand in solidarity with Afghan women and girls
See below for resources to help you. Once you have registered, we will also send out physical resources.
Erasing her freedom
Women and girls cannot move around freely. Girls cannot go out to play and women cannot visit shared spaces like cafes, parks, bathhouses or gyms. They must stay home unless absolutely necessary and are banned from travelling more than 72 km without a male chaperone.
Erasing her education
Women and girls are all but banned from education beyond primary school. Some schools and universities that educate women or girls have been closed, some only allow women in certain classes, and others have banned women or girls from taking exams.
Erasing her career
If a man can do it, SHE can’t. Women are banned from a range of mahi, from engineering to veterinary practice, unless a man is unable to do the job.
Erasing her voice
Women and girls cannot hold political positions. They cannot protest without prior approval – and most requests are immediately denied. Female TV personalities must cover their faces when on screen.
Erasing her consent
While forced marriage is not new in Afghanistan, some women and girls are forced to marry a member of the Taliban to be released from detention. There has been a rise in non-consensual marriages because women cannot be financially independent.
Erasing her rights
Rights under attack include freedom of association, expression, non-discrimination, equal protection, peaceful assembly, privacy and public participation, including within sports teams.
Freedom Challenge FAQs
WHO CAN REGISTER?
WHAT CAN I DO?
WHEN IS IT?
“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.”
- Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani Education Activist
FREEDOM CHALLENGE: REWIND
You are never too young to take a stand for human rights.
For nearly two decades, rangatahi across the motu have taken up the Freedom Challenge and helped create lasting change.
Below are a handful of wins, amongst many, that prove that when youth like you stand together and take action, we are able to take one (or more!) steps closer to justice.
The action you took in our 2021 “Please take me to a safe place” campaign contributed to the New Zealand’s Government’s 2022 announcement to stop imprisoning people seeking asylum here in Aotearoa New Zealand.
FREEDOM CHALLENGE: PAST THEMES
“Please take me to a safe place” Ending the imprisonment in criminal justice facilities of people seeking asylum in Aotearoa New Zealand
Shouting out for Climate Justice Calling for action against the human rights impacts on communities amidst the climate crisis
Lives hanging in the balance Challenging Iran’s use of the death penalty against child offenders
Stand up for the BRAVE Standing in solidarity with Azza Soliman (Egypt), Tashi Wangchuk (China) and Tep Vanny (Cambodia)
The Great Palm Oil Scandal - #NotInMyTrolley Speaking out on labour abuses in Indonesia's Palm Oil plantations
Ignite Minds Not Bombs Supporting the rights of kids in Yemen to access education
Double The Quota Encouraging the New Zealand government to double the annual refugee quota
Thumbs down for detention and torture of digital student activists in Azerbaijan Calling for the release of 8 student activists
Chalk like an Egyptian: Stand up for women's rights Standing against sexual and gender-based violence in Egypt through street art
Stop bulldozing people’s lives: End forced evictions Focusing on housing rights in Cambodia and in Israel & the Occupied Palestinian Territories
Be a lifesaver: Keep the heartbeat for human rights Protecting the freedom of expression of at-risk communities in Zimbabwe and Colombia
Free the speech: Make some noise for Myanmar students Standing with Khun Kawrio, Khun Bedu and Khun Dee De – who were imprisoned for holding peaceful protests in Myanmar
Kids against camouflage: Keeping children out of conflict Turning the spotlight on the plight of child soldiers in Liberia, Colombia and Sudan
Don't play games with human rights Taking advantage of the Beijing Olympics to ask China to improve its human rights record
Shut down repression, reboot human rights Fighting repression of internet freedoms in China and Egypt by advocating for detained journalist Shi Tao and blogger Kareem Amer
Human rights defenders are the real superheroes Focusing on human rights heroes in Zimbabwe, Colombia and Rwanda