CSBR Meetings, Conferences and Workshops
THE LAUNCH MEETING FOR THE INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE RESEARCH ON SEXUALITY IN MUSLIM SOCIETIES
15-18 November 2007, Istanbul, Turkey
Organized by Women for Women′s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways
The CSBR International Comparative Research Meeting was held in Istanbul with 17 participants from Bangladesh, Canada, Indonesia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Pakistan, Palestine, Tunisia, Turkey, and U.S.A. Through the three day meeting, participants presented and reviewed the research proposals for each case study, discussed the research framework, methodologies and approaches. The politicization of sexuality was identified as an underlying theme in all the research case studies. In a nutshell, the research will investigate sexuality in the current political landscapes; the actors and movements shaping that landscape; as well as the evolving discourses on sexuality. Participants expressed that the research papers will themselves constitute a form of resistance to previous and existing discourses by challenging fixed constructions on issues pertaining to Islam, sexuality and gender. The research is envisioned as a tool for positive social change targeting the broadest range of social actors in each national context, as well as an international audience.
THE BRAINSTORMING MEETING FOR AN INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE RESEARCH ON SEXUALITY IN MUSLIM SOCIETIES
24-25 April 2007, Istanbul, Turkey
Organised by Women for Women′s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways
Since its foundation in 2001, many members of the CSBR have expressed the need for a comparative research project on sexuality, and sexual and bodily rights in Muslim societies, as such research is almost non-existent in our countries. Members have also expressed concerns about external/Western researchers imposing their values on our societies/sexuality and work, and identified a common need for an insiders’ research that will further the awareness and analysis of sexual and bodily rights discourses and contribute to the work being done in this field.
On April 24-25, 2007 several CSBR members from Bangladesh, Lebanon, Indonesia, Malaysia, Palestine, Pakistan, Tunisia, Turkey – came together for an initial brainstorming meeting. The meeting included brainstorming sessions on the comparative research framework, research theme and questions, possible titles, possible case studies to be further included, as well as informal presentations of participants’ research topics as proposed case studies, as well as a tentative timeline and budget discussions.
THE COALITION FOR SEXUAL AND BODILY RIGHTS IN MUSLIM SOCIETIES (CSBR) GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING
26-29 April 2007, Istanbul, Turkey
Organized by Women for Women′s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways
The Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights General Assembly / Strategic Planning Meeting, held from April 26th to 29th in Istanbul, was attended by 29 participants from Algeria, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Tunisia, and Turkey. The first day of the meeting was devoted to an in depth discussion around emerging issues, regional concerns, national, regional and international socio-political contexts. On the second and third days, discussions were held on identifying priority areas for the next few years; constructing a working plan; evaluating the Coalition’s contribution to the work of members; evaluating and discussing the Coalition’s structure; and the role and responsibilities of the Coordination Office, WWHR-New Ways.
Click here to read the summary report.
WOMEN, SEXUAL RIGHTS AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: GAINS, FREEDOMS, RESISTANCES
17-19 November 2006, Tunisia
Organized by Association Tunisienne des Femmes Démocrates (ATFD) and Women for Women′s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways
“Women, Sexual and Reproductive Rights: Gains, freedoms, resistances”, the first ever sexual rights meeting in Tunisia, was a landmark conference where questions of sexuality and sexual rights were discussed publicly for the first time. The international meeting, held under very constraining circumstances due to the immense state and police pressure in Tunisia, covered a wide array of issues including sexual rights and human rights violations in the domain of sexuality; the Tunisian case and the international and regional contexts; marginalized groups like sex workers, lesbians; reproductive rights and abortion; law reforms, and discussions on strategies and recommendations to promote sexual rights. The interest in the conference and progressive bedates thoughout the meeting marked a very promising step forward in publicisizing the issue and strengthening the advocacy efforts around sexuality.
Click here for the Conference Summary Report and an interview with Ahlem Belhadj (ATFD)
INCLUSIVE APPROACHES TO SEXUALITIES IN MUSLIM SOCIETIES: CONSULTATION MEETING
16-18 December 2005, Beirut, Lebanon
Organized by Hurriyat Khasa &Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) –New Ways
“Inclusive Approaches to Sexualities in Muslim Societies”, a consultation meeting co-organized by Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR)-New Ways and Hurriyat Khasa, was held in Beirut, Lebanon on December 16-18, 2005. The meeting brought together 14 NGO representatives and academicians from Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Lebanon and Turkey. The consultation aimed at bringing to the forefront issues of non-conforming sexualities and sexual orientation within the broader framework of sexual rights and freedoms, as well as exploring the various forms of alliance, inclusive approaches, and innovative strategies to advocate for sexual and bodily rights in the contexts of Muslim societies.
Click here for the consultation report.
GENDER, SEXUALITY AND LAW REFORM IN THE MIDDLE EAST, NORTH AFRICA, AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
31 March – 3 April 2005, Istanbul, Turkey
Organized by Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways
“Gender, Sexuality and Law Reform in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia” brought together together 40 participants from Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Great Britain, Indonesia, Italy, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Palestine, Pakistan, Tunisia, Turkey and Yemen. The recent success of our three year campaign for the Reform of the Turkish Penal Code from a Gender Perspective and the momentum in the MENA and South/Southeast Asia regions towards much needed legislative reform on sexuality issues were the driving force for the meeting, where participants exchanged experiences of advocacy for law reform in the domain of sexuality, and discussed challenges and strategies to promote legal reform in the domain of SRHR.
Click here for the meeting summary report and program.
SEXUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN MUSLIM SOCIETIES IN SOUTH / SOUTHEAST ASIA
23-26 September 2004, Jakarta, Indonesia
Organized by Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways and Women’s Health Foundation
“First South/Southeast Asian Conference on Sexuality and Human Rights in Muslim Societies”
Twenty-five NGO representatives and researchers from Muslim societies in South and Southeast Asia met in Jakarta, Indonesia to discuss pivotal human rights issues related to sexual and bodily rights, sexual politics, power and gender in Muslim societies. The three-day meeting, organized by Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR)-New Ways and Women’s Health Foundation, brought together prominent activists, scholars and NGO representatives from Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines and Turkey, who are working towards the realization of sexual and bodily rights in Muslim societies in the region and in the Middle East. The participants called upon their states and the entire Muslim world, to take all possible legal, social and political measures to eradicate human rights violations related to sexual rights and bodily integrity.
Click here for the conference summary report and press statement.
SEXUAL AND BODILY RIGHTS AS HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
29 May – 1 June 2003, Malta
Organized by Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways and the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies
A workshop on Sexual and Bodily Rights as Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa, co-organized by Women for Women’s Human Rights – New Ways and the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies, was held in Malta from May 29 to June 1, 2003. Twenty-two representatives of NGOs from Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Turkey, Pakistan, Malta and the USA participated in the three day meeting. The workshop was designed to exchange information, knowledge and experience in the area of sexual and bodily rights and thus provide a broader regional framework for the ongoing efforts. Furthermore it aimed at strengthening the growing network on sexuality in the Middle East and North Africa and promoting regional efforts, while maintaining the significance of national contexts and peculiar characteristics of individual cases. The objective was to establish and/or strengthen the organic and inherent links springing from commonalities in the societies’ social, religious, legal and political structures and develop and/or elaborate on strategies to promote sexual and bodily rights as human rights.
Click here for the Workshop report, Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies.
DECONSTRUCTING MASCULINITY AND FEMININITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND MAGHREB
22-23 November 2002, Beirut, Lebanon
Organised by Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways and the Lebanese Council to Resist Violence Against Women (LECORVAW)
The meeting entitled “Deconstructing Masculinity and Femininity in the Middle East and Maghreb” aimed to expand and strengthen the regional network for sexual and reproductive rights that emerged out of our Istanbul meeting on “Women, Sexuality and Social Change in the Middle East and Maghreb”, deconstructing traditional norms of masculinity and femininity, and raising public consciousness and breaking the silence on issues related to sexuality in Lebanon. The roundable with 33 participants from Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia, Lebanon, Syria and Pakistan included discussions on the continuing necessity to deconstruct traditional notions of masculinity and femininity and the importance of paying attention to the role of men, as well as women, in doing so. “Sexual rights” was identified as the main area requiring further work and collaboration for activists in the region. The impact of political movements, especially fundamentalism(s), on the control of women’s bodies, and constructions of masculinites/femininities was identified as a common thread influencing the work of the participants in different countries, to varying degrees. All participants agreed that working for the promotion of sexual rights required addressing the issue simultaneously on several levels: the individual level, the structural/institutional level and the policy/legal level.
WOMEN, SEXUALITY AND SOCIAL CHANGE IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND THE MEDITERRENEAN
28-30 September 2001, Istanbul, Turkey
Organized by Women for Women′s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways
Women, Sexuality and Social Change in the Middle East and Mediterranean was a landmark symposium bringing together women from the Middle East and Maghreb region for the first time to discuss issues related to women’s sexual rights. Nineteen women activists, academicians and representatives of national NGOs from Algeria, Egypt, France, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, and Yemen and a representative of UNHCHR/UNFPA participated in the meeting. The discussions during the symposium were centered around the repressive common mechanisms imposed upon women’s sexuality in the Middle East and the Mediterranean; the mechanisms developed by fundamentalist religious groups to control women’s sexuality and the effects of these mechanisms on the society; the link between sexuality and democratization in the region, and strategies to eradicate traditional practices such as virginity testing, honor crimes, forced and early marriages, sexual harassment and marital rape, which constitute violations of women’s human rights.
The meeting revealed that there is a big need for exchange of information, a common attempt to deconstruct fundamentalist notions of female sexuality and the development of networks and alliances for common strategies and action among women in the region.This symposium established the basis of our bi-regional solidarity network, The Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies.
Click here for the Symposium press statement.