Organizations Fighting Against Sexual Abuse in the Arab World
By: Dani Meyer/Arab America Contributing Writer
According to the UN, one in three women across the world have experienced some form of physical or sexual abuse. Though data is hard to find due to a lack of research, this number is alarming. The Arab world tends to be on the high end of those numbers.
More women are starting to speak out about their experiences with sexual abuse and assault. It is more important than ever for women in the Arab world to be aware of the resources available to them – and for women in other parts of the world to be aware of and support these organizations.
1. Es2al Mo7amek
An Egyptian organization, they provide Egyptian women with legal assistance, and answer questions that women may have about their situation. Es2al Mo7amek provides free legal counsel and spreads awareness about legal issues. They focus on sexual assault and harassment issues, but their pro bono legal services are available for a variety of cases.
A Tunisian organization, they are a non-profit that provides assistance to people impacted by gender-based violence, which predominantly affects women. Providing resources for sexual abuse and domestic violence, they have a daycare, a shelter, and vocational training, and are helping survivors in all aspects of the process of leaving an abuser. They also have advocacy campaigns and programs that are aiming to raise awareness of the issues of sexual abuse in Tunisia.
3. L’Association Démocratique des Femmes du Maroc
Created in 1985, this organization works in Morocco, and its main function is lobbying the government for equal rights. However, they also provide resources for survivors of sexual abuse. They are a feminist NGO that promotes gender equality, gender justice, and women’s rights in Morocco.
4. Dubai Foundation for Women and Children
The Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC) is the first licensed non-profit shelter in the UAE for women and children victims of domestic violence, child abuse, and human trafficking. It was established in July 2007 to offer victims immediate protection and support services in accordance with international human rights obligations.
5. SOS Women in Distress
SOS Women in Distress is located in Algiers. They are a women’s shelter and an NGO that advocates for women’s rights. The center hosts divorced women, abused women, single mothers, social event, as well as female victims of terrorism.
ABAAD– Resource Center for Gender Equality is a UN ECOSOC accredited organization that aims to achieve gender equality as an essential condition to sustainable social and economic development in the MENA region. With the purpose of ending gender-based violence, ABAAD adopts a holistic care approach to provide protection and support services to GBV survivors/right holders during times of peace, war and disasters.
7. The Arab Women Organization of Jordan
The Arab Women Organization of Jordan (AWO) is a non-profit advocacy woman NGO established in 1970. AWO advocates for the recognition of women’s rights as human rights and for the promotion of legal and political reforms that catalyze positive change. They work to support and empower women and girls.
KAFA (enough) Violence & Exploitation is a feminist, secular, Lebanese, non-profit, non-governmental civil society organization seeking to create a society that is free of social, economic and legal patriarchal structures that discriminate against women. They provide resources for people affected by domestic and sexual violence, as well as legal services.
9. Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality & Equality
The Women’s Islamic initiative in Spirituality & Equality (WISE) advocates for women’s equality as an essential part of the Islamic faith. Founded in 2006 in New York City as a faith-based global network and social justice movement by 200 leading Muslim activists and leaders from 25 counties. WISE has worked against female genital mutilation in Egypt, ran a domestic violence awareness campaign in Pakistan with Bedari, and worked with NEDCO, an NGO in Afghanistan to train Imams on women’s rights.
10. Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights
The Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights (ECWR) is a civil, independent, non-governmental, non-partisan, not-for-profit organization in Egypt. It supports Egyptian woman in obtaining full rights and equality with men.
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