The International Women’s Health Coalition held its 2015 Annual Dinner at the Metropolitan Club in New York on November 3. The dinner honored the Ford Foundation for its founding support of IWHC and its deep commitment to human rights, equality, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, accepted the honor and thanked IWHC for advancing women’s rights around the globe and empowering young feminists to advocate at the highest levels of government:
“IWHC’s inspiring work—with governments, civil society organizations, and community leaders—is a shining example of how to tackle women’s issues from all angles. It has made the world a more accepting, uplifting, and fairer place, and lifted the sights and lives of women and girls.”
Darren has been connected to the Ford Foundation nearly all his life, beginning with Ford-sponsored education programs like Head Start and Pell Grants. After a decade on Wall Street and eight years in Harlem at the Abyssinian Development Corporation, a Ford grantee, he was recruited to the Rockefeller Foundation, where he rose to vice president for US and international programs. He joined Ford as vice president in 2010, and was named president in 2013. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and numerous boards.
Pinar is a leading women’s rights activist and researcher based in Turkey. She has founded several organizations, including Women for Women’s Human Rights, the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies, and the International Association Against War Crimes Against Women. She led the Turkish women’s movement in successful campaigns to enact a domestic violence law and reform the national civil and penal codes to more fully respect women’s rights. Pinar has participated in many UN conferences as part of the Turkish delegation, helping to secure global agreements on gender equality and sexual and reproductive rights.
Joan B. Dunlop Award
At the dinner, IWHC presented the third annual Joan B. Dunlop Award to Pinar Ilkkaracan for her exceptional record of work in Turkey and globally to promote the human rights of women and girls.
IWHC President Françoise Girard presented the award to Pinar, acknowledging her advocacy in Turkey and at the United Nations. “Pinar is a true champion for the human rights of women and girls in Turkey and beyond,” said Françoise. “Her vision, strategic action, and determination have transformed Turkish law, benefiting millions of women. For her courage, integrity, and passion, the International Women’s Health Coalition is pleased to call Pinar a partner in the global fight for women’s rights.”
“This award is very special to me, at a time when many of the reforms we’ve won for women’s human rights have come under attack,” Pinar said. “It is a reminder that, despite our current challenges in Turkey, women’s rights have advanced very far in the past 20 years. We will continue to fight for full gender equality and sexual and reproductive rights for all.”
View photos from the dinner below.