Women’s Health Coalition awards Turkish activist
NEW YORK - Doğan News AgencyPınar İlkkaracan, a leading women’s rights activist and researcher based in Turkey, was awarded the prestigious Joan B. Dunlop Prize, presented by the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), “for her exceptional record of work in Turkey and globally to promote the human rights of women and girls,” on Nov. 3.
The Joan B. Dunlop Award, named after the IWHC’s founder, is annually presented to an activist working under difficult circumstances to advance the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls.
İlkkaracan was the third recipient of the prestigious award, following Nigerian activist Adenike Esiet and Indonesian activist Ninuk Widyantoro.
‘A true champion for human rights of women and girls in Turkey’
“Pinar İlkkaracan is a true champion for the human rights of women and girls in Turkey and beyond,” said IWHC President Françoise Girard, who presented the award.
“Her vision, strategic action and determination have transformed Turkish law, benefitting millions of women.
For her courage, integrity and passion, the International Women’s Health Coalition is pleased to call Pinar a partner in the global fight for women’s rights.”
Commenting on the award, İlkkaracan said, “This award is very special to me, at a time when many of the reforms we’ve won for women’s human rights have come under attack. It is a reminder that, despite our current challenges in Turkey, women’s rights have advanced very far in the past 20 years. We will continue to fight for full gender equality and sexual and reproductive rights for all.”
Who is Pınar İlkkaracan?
İlkkaracan is an activist who has founded several organizations, including Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) - New Ways and the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies, a network of 45 academic and non-governmental organizations in the Middle East, North Africa and South and Southeast Asia.
She is also the co-founder of the Berlin Initiative against Violence against Women (BIG) and AZRA, the International Association against War Crimes against Women.
İlkkaracan led the Turkish women’s movement in successful campaigns for gender equality, including the enactment of a domestic violence law and reforms of the national civil and penal codes to more fully respect women’s rights.
In 1995, she developed the Human Rights Education Program for Women in Turkey, which has been implemented in cooperation with the Turkish Directorate of Social Services for the past 20 years and has reached tens of thousands of poor and lower-educated women. The program was recognized as the “Best Tactics in Human Rights” by the Center for Victims of Torture and the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly.