Each year the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers highlights sixteen women, men and organizations that standout in the fight against gender violence. Representing December 10th, is:
Women for Women’s Human Rights-New Ways
Independent women’s rights activist NGO
Founded in 1993, Women for Women’s Human Rights – New Ways (WWHR) contributed significantly to successful legal reform campaigns in Turkey resulting in the recognition of women’s sexual and bodily autonomy and rights in the Penal Code; full gender equality in the Civil Code; enactment of protection orders; and ministerial bans on virginity testing.
The organization also initiated the Coalition for Sexual & Bodily Rights (CSBR) and the Sexuality Institute, which is a network among activists in Muslim societies advocating for the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights as human rights.
WWHR was awarded the 1999 Leading Solutions Award, by the Association for Women in Development, in recognition of its contributions to advancing gender equality and social justice. In 2007, WWHR and CSBR won the Gruber Foundation’s Women’s Rights Prize, in acknowledgement of its contributions to furthering the rights of women and girls.
Since 1996, WWHR has published a number of books, booklets, articles and reports elucidating various aspects of women’s sexuality, rights and articulations with Muslim and Turkish societies.
One in particular received world attention in 2003, entitled: Women and Sexuality in Muslim societies. Through analysis, research, literature, and personal stories, this book illustrates human and women’s rights, and demonstrates that the sexual oppression of Muslim women is not the result of an “Islamic” vision of sexuality, but rather a combination of political, social, and economic inequalities with complex historical antecedents. It is a testament to how religion is often misused to legitimize violations of women’s human rights.
In 1999 WWHR was recognized in it’s advocacy and lobbying efforts toward the adoption of a protection order of against domestic violence in Turkey.
Since 2005, WWHR – New Ways has had consultative status with the Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UN.
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