International: Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR): Sexuality Institute 2008
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 is 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 are:
* 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 is designed as an intense 6 day participatory training with 20 participants. The language of the Institute will be English. Travel and accommodation costs for the participants will be covered by the Institute.
Issues addressed will include 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 will also incorporate 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 will consist of CSBR members with expertise on given topics, and internationally renowned experts in the field of sexuality.
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