CSBR Meetings, Conferences and Workshops
COALITION FOR SEXUAL AND BODILY RIGHTS IN MUSLIM SOCIETIES (CSBR)
2nd SEXUALITY INSTITUTE 2009
11-18 September 2009, Istanbul, Turkey
The Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR) is pleased to announce the 2nd CSBR Sexuality Institute 2009 was held between September 11th and 18th 2009 in Turkey. The 19 participants were from Palestine, Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, Morocco, Canada, UK, Kazakhstan, Phillipines and Turkey.
COALITION FOR SEXUAL AND BODILY RIGHTS IN MUSLIM SOCIETIES (CSBR)
1st SEXUALITY INSTITUTE 2008
16-23 August 2008, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR) Sexuality Institute 2008 was held between August 16th and 23rd 2008 in Malaysia. The Institute brought together leading NGO representatives, researchers, practitioners and policymakers for a holistic interdisciplinary program combining history, theory and politics of sexuality with applications of advocacy, and fieldwork. The CSBR Sexuality Institute was designed as a comprehensive curriculum on sexuality and sexual rights in Muslim societies with an in depth discussion of sexual and reproductive health and rights at the global level.
The realization of sexual and reproductive health and rights is an integral part of gender equality, development and social justice. However, sexuality continues to be a contested domain and site of political power struggles across the globe. Increasing global militarism, conservatism, and nationalism over the last decades provoked a serious backlash on sexual and reproductive health and rights, both at the United Nations level, as well as on national contexts. In Muslim societies, many issues around sexuality remain a taboo, while human rights violations in the domain of sexuality continue to be legitimized through the misuse of religion, tradition, and culture. The post 9/11 context, with increased Islamophobia and the rise of political Islam, poses further challenges for researchers, practitioners and advocates in Muslim societies.
As a Coalition actively working to promote sexual, reproductive and bodily health and rights in Muslim societies, the experience of CSBR has revealed that the limited erudition and expertise on sexuality issues in our contexts constitute an obstacle to advancements in this field. Given the current debates and polarizations, it is more pertinent than ever to strengthen critical insight into historical and contemporary aspects of the power struggles around sexuality, enhance knowledge and capacity on sexual health and rights, and build an inclusive and affirmative discourse on sexuality in Muslim societies. As such, the CSBR Sexuality Institute provides a unique opportunity to create a better understanding of sexuality in Muslim societies and further the efforts to advance sexual, reproductive and bodily health and rights.
The Institute was designed to advance participants’ knowledge, understanding and advocacy skills for sexual, reproductive and bodily health and rights, while strengthening their theoretical background and analysis of sexuality in Muslim societies and introducing CSBR’s holistic and affirmative discourse on sexuality. To this end, the aims of the CSBR Sexuality Institute were:
- To develop a deeper theoretical understanding of sexuality through a historical overview and analysis of current issues and debates at the global level;
- To provide a comprehensive and holistic understanding of sexuality in Muslim societies through a discussion of the history, legal frameworks, current discourses and issues;
- To enhance participants’ sexual rights advocacy skills on national and international levels;
- To increase participants’ capacity as leading advocates, practitioners and researchers on sexuality issues at national, regional and international levels
About the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR)
Founded in 2001, the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR) is an international solidarity network of organizations, researchers and academics working to promote sexual, bodily and reproductive rights as human rights in Muslim Societies. CSBR includes members from Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Tunisia, Turkey, and Yemen. Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways (www.wwhr.org), the co-founder of the Coalition, acts as the international coordination office of CSBR. As the only international network working on sexual and bodily rights in Muslim societies, CSBR has played a pivotal role in terms of advocacy, activism and research on sexual and bodily health and rights in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia.
CSBR has succeeded in creating an alternative discourse and progressive spaces around sexuality and sexual rights in Muslim societies. Advocating to eliminate customary practices and discriminatory attitudes related to women’s sexuality, such as honor crimes, sexual violence, marital rape, sexual harassment, discrimination based on sexual orientation, restrictions on women’s mobility, forced/early marriages, CSBR has catalyzed and supported advocacy efforts on national levels, such as supporting campaigns for penal and civil code reform in countries like Turkey, Morocco and Palestine, while also working at international platforms and the UN. CSBR has pioneered the very first international meetings on sexual and reproductive rights in countries such as Lebanon and Tunisia, where previously sexuality was not an issue for discussion, and launched international campaigns and actions on sexual rights and freedoms, human rights violations, reproductive rights, and the right to organize in many countries, including Malaysia, Lebanon, Egypt, Pakistan, Palestine, and Iran. More information on CSBR is available at http://www.wwhr.org/csbr.php.
Organization of the Institute & Faculty
The Institute was designed as an intense 6 day participatory training with 20 participants. The language of the Institute was English. Travel and accommodation costs for the participants were covered by the Institute. Issues addressed included a conceptual and historical framework of sexuality; contemporary discourses and debates around sexuality and sexual rights in Muslim societies; shariah and sexuality; sexual diversities; sexuality and human rights; sexual health; sexual health and rights advocacy. The Institute also incorporated sessions focused on application and experience-sharing including a session on CSBR; a roundtable featuring presentations and discussions of participants’ work on sexuality; and a panel with Malaysian activists.
The faculty consisted of CSBR members with expertise on given topics, and internationally renowned experts in the field of sexuality.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.