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ODOS launch in 2009


About the Launch

On 9 November 2009 the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR) organized a historic campaign bringing together a diverse group of nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions and activists across the Middle East, North Africa, South and Southeast Asia. As part of this simultaneous campaign entitled One Day One Struggle, tens of organizations from 11 countries held public demonstrations and meetings to assert that sexual and reproductive rights are universal human rights.

During the 1-Day Campaign that created a milestone event in the history of the sexual and reproductive rights movement, activists held 16 simultaneous yet diverse events, each focusing on the pertinent issue of their respective local and national contexts and all underlining the fact that sexuality is not a private issue but a site of political struggle. The Campaign showed that even if we are in different continents, working on different aspects of the issues related to sexuality, we are united in our quest to realize sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Muslim societies.

Coordinated by Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways, the previous international coordination office of the CSBR in 2009, the Campaign was designed to raise public awareness on sexuality and SRHR in the local contexts, and contribute to advocacy efforts on the national levels to counter the rising conservatism, fueled by militarism, increasing inequalities, the politicization of religion and Islamophobia that have strengthened patriarchal and extremist religious ideologies, which use sexuality as a tool of oppression.

A major goal of the Campaign was also to make the struggles of SRHR advocates in Muslim societies visible at the international level. Contrary to the coverage in Western media, the Campaign once again showed that there is not one single definition or description of “Muslim society.” The variety of issues raised during the Campaign portrayed the huge diversity of practices in different Muslim societies. For instance, advocates in Palestine campaigned against a widespread violation of women’s sexual and bodily rights in the Middle East, namely the so-called “honor killings” which is a practice almost unheard of in Southeast Asia. While homosexuality is still a criminal offence in many countries of the Middle East, the LGBT communities in Bangladesh held panels, discussions and culture shows to bring more visibility to their struggles. Providing a glimpse at the courageous work undertaken by SRHR advocates in these societies, the Campaign shed light on the variety of our struggles that depend on the practices within our specific contexts.

As the first such international campaign from our regions, we hope it has also helped show the strength of our solidarity across continents and will set a precedent to increase awareness and understanding of sexual and bodily rights in Muslim societies regionally and internationally.


Details of ODOS 2009 Activities

On 09/11/2009 hundreds of activists joined forces in their quest to realize sexual and reproductive health and rights in Muslim societies.

Showing the united struggle to assert sexual and reproductive rights as universal human rights, the Campaign addressed a wide array of cutting edge issues, ranging from so-called honor killings to LGBT rights, penal code reform to sexuality in Islam…

16 simultaneous events were held in 11 countries across continents, all underlining the fact that sexuality is not a private issue but a site of political struggle:


  •  Debating Sexual Rights: Open discussion on promoting sexual and bodily rights in Muslim societies
    Organized by: Bandhu Social Welfare Society (BSWS)
  • Launch of a pioneering research: Understanding Sexuality and Rights in Dhaka City                                       
    Organized by: Center for Gender, Sexuality and HIV/AIDS at the James P Grant School of Public Health of BRAC University
  • Discussing the extent of feminist engagement with religion and the place of sexuality and pleasure in the Quran  
    Organized by: Naripokkho
  • A first for the queer members of Bangladeshi society: Jaago (Wake-up)                                                              
    Organized by: Boys of Bangladesh (BoB)
  • Being hijra (transgender) in Bangladesh
    Co-organized by: Rangberong & Sachetana Shilpa Shangha



  • Joint effort against sexual violence and homophobia: Mobilizing to reform the Criminal Code
    Co-organized by: Feminist Workshop (FEMA) & Initiative against Homophobia (HOKI)


  • Struggling for the right to abortion in cases of rape
    Co-organized by: Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) & New Woman Foundation (NWF)


  • New Aceh law violates Islam and women’s right to bodily autonomy
    Organized by: GAYa NUSANTARA


  • Talking of sexuality in Lebanon: A Sexuality Seminar
    Co-organized by: MEEM & HELEM


  • Penal Code Section 498: Out of Date, Out With It
    Co-organized by: All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) & Empower & Sisters in Islam (SIS) & Women’s Aid Organization (WAO)


  •  Building queer-straight alliances: Bring a Straight Friend Along                                          
    Organized by: Organization for the Protection and Propagation of the Rights of Sexual Minorities (The O)


  • My Land, Space, Body and Sexuality-Palestinians in the Shadow of the Wall: A Media Campaign
    Organized by: Muntada (Arab Forum for Sexuality, Education and Health)
  • A Campaign against Femicide
    Organized by: Women Against Violence (WAV)


  • Voicing the Need and Advocating for Reproductive and Bodily Rights of Sudanese Women
    Organized by: Ahfad University for Women (AUW)


  • Which sexuality education today?
    Organized by: Tunisian Association of Democratic Women (Association Tunisienne des Femmes Démocrates – ATFD)


  • Feminists and LGBT Activists Stand Together Against Sexist Courts                              
    Co-organized by: Feminist Collective & LGBT Human Rights Platform
    Initiated by: Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways