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SEXUAL RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS

International Campaign to Promote Sexual and Bodily Rights across Muslim Societies

Tuesday 9 November 2010


On November 9, 2010, the 2nd international “One Day One Struggle” Campaign to promote sexual and bodily rights in Muslim societies will take place in 12 countries across Middle East, North Africa, South and Southeast Asia. With diverse, groundbreaking actions and events, almost 50 participating Human Rights organizations, Universities and Municipalities will simultaneously call for public attention to issues like Right to Information, Sexuality Education, Sexual Health, Bodily Autonomy and Sexual Rights of Individuals, LGBTTQ Rights, Sexual Diversity and Islam, Sexuality and Shari’a as well as the struggle to stop sexual rights violations ranging from Polygamy to killings of women, gay people and transsexuals.

Hundreds will gather at panels, workshops, video and film screenings, theater performances, photo exhibitions and press release hearings in Bangladesh, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Pakistan, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia and Turkey to assert that sexual and reproductive rights are universal human rights based on the inherent freedom, dignity and equality of all human beings.

Launched by the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR), “One Day One Struggle” is a unique effort to underscore the joint struggle against the violation of sexual and bodily rights in Muslim societies.

Human rights, including sexual and bodily rights and freedoms continue to be under fierce attack in Muslim societies. Rising conservatism fueled by militarism, increasing inequalities, the politicization of religion and Islamophobia have strengthened patriarchal and extremist religious ideologies that use sexuality as a tool of oppression. This has manifested itself in various forms over the last year, be it as the revocation of the permit for the regional Asia Conference of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association (ILGA) by the police in Indonesia, or the harassment of conference participants by radical Islamist groups, or political pressure on a women’s group promoting women’s rights in Islam in Malaysia, or women like Sakineh Ashtiani being sentenced to death by stoning in Iran, or killings of hundreds of women and transsexuals in Turkey under the pretext of honor and morality.

Despite the differences among Muslim societies in terms of the progress made or the backlash encountered regarding sexual and bodily rights at the national levels; we believe that in the post 9/11 social and political context, religion is misused as a powerful instrument of control and sexual oppression with the goal of legitimizing human rights violations in the domain of sexuality. This indicates us that sexuality is not a private issue but rather a site of political, social, and economic struggles for equality, human rights, democracy and peace at the national and international levels.

“One Day One Struggle” was conceptualized in response to this context and launched on November 9, 2009. Over 20 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) successfully staged bold actions in 11 countries to promote sexual and reproductive rights in the scope of the 1st international campaign organized by the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR). The 1st Campaign succeeded in stirring international public attention and was very positively reviewed by national and international media and organizations who defined it as a historical and timely event. The ongoing human rights violations, as well as the international public appraisal of the 2009 campaign, have encouraged CSBR to continue this initiative and organize the 2nd “One Day One Struggle” on November 9, 2010.

With doubled number of participant organizations from twelve countries, this year we raise our voice even more strongly to claim our sexual and bodily rights and to carry on our struggle against violations of our rights and freedoms.

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. www.wwhr.org/csbr.php

For more detail please contact Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) - New Ways at: newways@wwhr.org - Tel: +90 212 251 00 29

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