LA-based women's rights group to convene in Istanbul

September 19, 2013

WVN to convene in Istanbul

The women's rights group Women's Voices Now (WVN), based in Los Angeles, will hold a four-day Istanbul conference from Sept. 25 to 28 as part of a global tour it has launched to raise awareness on women's issues, the group announced in a press statement on Sept. 16.

Los Angeles-based non-governmental organization Women's Voices Now (WVN), was initiated to bring awareness about women's issues in the Middle East as part of the Global Tour, will be in Istanbul on September 25 and 28.

WVN said the conference is being held in cooperation with Marmara University, Sabancı University's Gender Forum and the Saturday Mothers Foundation. The conference theme is "redefining honor and demanding justice from the Turkish state." WVN will also be meeting with local civil society groups and hosting a reception between two lecture events, which are open to the public.

The two events, one on Sept. 25 and the other on Sept. 28, "will take place at Marmara University's Göztepe campus and Sabancı University's Minerva Palace in Karaköy, respectively, and will feature lectures by well-known academics and activists on Turkish women's issues, such as Dr. Zeynep Beşpınar and Professor Ayşe Durakbaşa, who will speak after the screening of two short films, 'In the Morning' and 'Saturday Mothers of Turkey,'" the statement said.

"We will use the films to talk about important factors that affect women, such as the role of the citizen and the concept of honor -- who defines it, how it affects male/female relationships and the development of society, etc.," explained WVN Executive Director Heidi Basch-Harod.

The WVN's 2013 global tour started in Jerusalem, where the group networked with local women's rights groups. The Jerusalem event was followed by conferences elsewhere in Israel, the West Bank, and Morocco.

In its own words, WVN is "a nonprofit organization seeking to empower women living in Muslim-majority societies by promoting free expression through film and discussion."