Women for Women’s Human Rights(WWHR) is an independent women’s non-governmental organization that advocates for women’s human rights, equality and non-discrimination in Turkey and on the international level. It was founded in 1993 with the aim of promoting women’s human rights in Turkey and around the globe. Its name was inspired by the affirmation of women’s rights as human rights in the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna the same year. WWHR supports the active and widespread participation of women in the establishment and maintenance of a democratic, egalitarian and peaceful social order as free individuals and equal citizens on both the national and international level.

Over the years WWHR has become a well-known women’s organization not only in Turkey but across the globe. With the persistent activism, advocacy work and networking efforts it has carried out ever since its founding, it has contributed to numerous legal reforms, an increased rights awareness and the realization of women’s human rights in Turkey, as well as working for the advancement of sexual and bodily rights in Muslim societies, and promoting women’s human rights at the United Nations (UN) level.

What issues do we work on?
  • Investigating the problems women experience in the sphere of human rights and potential solutions;
  • Influencing decision-making mechanisms on the national and international levels;
  • Developing and implementing national and international training programs on women’s human rights;
  • Developing publications and tools to support women’s initiatives in their organizing and struggle against gender discrimination;
  • Contributing to the establishment of effective solidarity networks between civil society organizations with a focus on democracy, gender and human rights in Turkey, on the regional level (the Middle East/North Africa and South/Southeast Asia) as well as across the world.

What are the distinctive characteristics of our work?
  • Taking a holistic perspective on women’s human rights, and working on the various issues concerning women (such as violence against women, education, economic rights, legal rights, sexuality, reproductive rights, and the rights of the girl child) with attention to their interrelated nature;
  • Combining various methods in our efforts including action-research, publishing, training, influencing decision-making and policy development mechanisms, forming pressure groups and lobbying;
  • Working on the local, national, regional and international levels.

Women for Women’s Human Rightswas granted the Leading Solutions Award by the Association for Women in Development (AWID) in 1999, for its contributions to advancing gender equality and social justice. In 2007, it became the recipient of the Gruber Foundation International Women’s Rights Prize for its efforts in bringing together women from Turkey and other Muslim countries in a coalition to increase awareness of sexual, bodily and reproductive rights, as well as for contributing to legal reforms to safeguard women’s human rights and the achievement of gender equality in Turkey and elsewhere. WWHR has also held NGO consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UN since 2005.