On November 9, 2009, a diverse group of nongovernmental organizations will stage bold actions in 11 countries to promote human rights. As part of the historic international campaign “One Day One Struggle”, organized by the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR), over 20 organizations will hold simultaneous public demonstrations and events to raise awareness of how human rights—including sexual and reproductive rights—have been under attack in Muslim societies.
“CSBR was established as a solidarity network for advocates working on various issues related to women’s sexuality in [Muslim societies],” said CSBR’s Pinar Ilkkaracan and Irazca Geray in an interview published on the Association for Women In Development’s website. “We believe that religion is often misused as a powerful instrument of control and sexual oppression, with the goal of legitimizing human rights violations in the domain of sexuality. At the time, there were few organizations consciously addressing the theme, and most were very isolated in their own national contexts.”
Rising conservatism, fueled by militarism, increasing inequalities, the politicization of religion and Islamophobia have strengthened patriarchal and extremist religious ideologies. For instance, last week, a woman in Turkey was asked to get written consent from her rapist in order to have an abortion, which is against all existing legal regulations. In the Sudan, a recent bill annulled the prohibition of female genital mutilation, new legislation in Indonesia’s Aceh now allows for stoning to death as punishment for adultery, while the bodily and sexual rights of Palestinian women continue to be violated in the shadow of the apartheid wall.
During the one-day campaign, hundreds will gather in university campuses in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Lebanon and the Sudan, at press conferences in Cyprus, Egypt and Malaysia, in conference and concert halls in Tunisia and Pakistan and on the streets of Turkey and Palestine, to underline the fact that sexuality is not a private issue but a site of political struggle.
CSBR is a globally renowned solidarity network of progressive NGOs and premier academic institutions in the Middle East, North Africa, South and Southeast Asia, working to promote sexual and bodily rights as human rights in Muslim societies.
For more information, please contact Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways at: [email protected] – Tel: +90 212 251 00 29