Filomena Barros Dos Reis
Filomena is an activist and advocate for East Timorese women’s justice and has dedicated her professional life to campaigning for political change on behalf of Timorese women.
She stated that following the conflicts, “everywhere women were wearing the black clothes of mourning […] I wanted to see women smiling, not crying like they always were during Indonesian times.” Filomena, therefore, decided to join the women’s human rights organisation, FOKUPERS; a small group of committed activists who acted on behalf of those who were voiceless.
In this role, Filomena gave human rights training sessions throughout the country for the women who needed them and counseled them through their trauma following violent conflicts. She also took part in FOKUPERS’ first investigation into an August 1983 massacre and has stressed the importance of Western audiences knowing and acting on the information they disclosed.
Now, Filomena has joined another organisation fighting for justice on behalf of East Timorese women, ETAN. She has also spoken in New York regarding the atrocities that these women endured and has raised awareness for perpetrators of violence to be prosecuted.