Ayse Gül Altinay, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Gender and Women’s Studies Center at Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey, was one of the cooperation partners of Women’s Museum Istanbul to organise the the first Asian and European conference of women’s museums “Feminist Pedagogy: Museums, Memory Sites, Practices of Remembrance” in Istanbul in October 2018.
She was sentenced to 25 months in prison earlier this week. She is one of over 1200 Academics for Peace who three years ago signed a statement “We will not be a party to this crime” appealing for an end to violent state-sponsored persecution of Kurdish citizens of Turkey. In this, her fourth, judicial hearing, Altinay was charged with “willingly and knowingly supporting a terrorist organization as a non-member.
International Association of Women’s Museums, IAWM stand in solidarity for Ayse Gul Altinay and presently, in Turkey 700 signatories of the statement “We will not be a party to this crime” have been or are still on trial. They all need our support.
In many regions of Uganda, rural women live below the poverty line, and food is scarce. Women must work on farms simply to keep enough food on the table to feed their families.
With the goal of empowering rural women and helping to address these needs, Action for Rural Women’s Empowerment (ARUWE) was founded in 2000 in Kampala. It offered courses to rural women about food security, income generation, health, literacy, and more—critical issues for women in the region, who had few resources available to them.
“The rural women had issues that were inhibiting them from actively participating in their social development,” says Agnes Mirembe, Action for Rural Women’s Empowerment’s current Programs Manager.
But when the organization began, it had little funding and no international support.
Fast forward to today, 13 years after ARUWE received its first grant from Global Fund for Women in 2004: ARUWE now helps many communities within the central and north-eastern regions of Uganda. In addition to offering trainings on organic sustainability farming and business management, ARUWE teaches the rural women it works with about their rights—health, land, and economic rights.
“Some of the women we are working with have just finished voting election exercises, and we have two that are working on local level councils,” explains Agnes. “There they can represent and talk about the issues that the women are really struggling with. It’s a beautiful thing to have leaders come out of the people that we are working with.”