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Terre des Femmes - a women's rights organisation you should know!

Aktualisiert: 10. Juni 2021

Four decades ago, in early 1981, an article about the fate of women in the Middle East, published by a German magazine, caused a group of committed women to act – the idea of founding a women’s rights organisation in Germany was born. Its name TERRE DES FEMMES (women’s earth) makes a deliberate allusion to terre des hommes, an international human’s rights organisation (the French word homme meaning both human being and man). By choosing the French word femmes, the founders emphasised the organisation’s principle that humanity’s other half, womankind, also has a right to live equally, self-determined and free. The year 2021 marks our 40th anniversary in fighting women’s rights violations worldwide.

According to the “Declaration of Human Rights” of 1948, women hold the right to live a self-determined life in freedom and dignity. Yet, to this day women worldwide are restricted and confined in their existence:

· in their freedom through traditional customs, taboos, domestic oppression

· in their educational development as a result of education being inferior or denied altogether

· through discrimination in the workplace

· in their physical integrity through genital mutilation

· in their personal integrity through dehumanising and sexualised portrayals of women in the media, in advertisements and in social media.

TERRE DES FEMMES is fighting these restrictions and human rights violations against women happening all over the world. We believe that patriarchal disadvantage and discriminate against girls and women. TERRE DES FEMMES commits to a self-determinated and free life of girls and women all over the world. Our goal is to reach an equal relationship between men and women. TERRE DES FEMMES is especially active in fighting against trafficking of women, female genital mutilation, domestic and sexualised violence against women, forced and early marriage, crimes of honour and sexual violence against women.

Through public relations, international networking, and promoting specific projects, TERRE DES FEMMES informs the public about the specific maltreatment and discrimination of women.

Apart from distributing information material, we give lectures and interviews, work on radio programmes, organise information stands, film presentations and exhibitions on diverse topics related to violations of women’s rights. Many subjects are highlighted through extensive campaigns and protests. In the past years TERRE DES FEMMES has been able to draw the public’s attention to many subjects concerning women’s day to day life through successful social media campaigns or tv-spots. We addressed issues like popcultural misogyny in songtexts and social media or everyday sexism.

Our annual Women’s Worlds Film Festival focuses on women’s rights in different cultures and opens up new perspectives on the related topics. In contrast to other women’s film festivals that exclusively show films by female filmmakers, Women’s Worlds, as a thematic festival on human rights for women, offers a screen for films by female and male artists. The festival is accompanied by special activities like discussion rounds, exhibitions and workshops.

In 2019, TERRE DES FEMMES hosted its third charity art auction in Berlin Kreuzberg, selling art by established artists as well as young talents who do not only impress with the high quality of their artistic work but also reflect the current zeitgeist. The choice of artists was characterised by its diversity as well as its equal distribution of gender. With the help of famous auction house Sotheby´s, we were able to enlist well-known artists such as Rosemarie Trockel and Norbert Bisky and offer an exciting mixture of contemporary positions from drawing, painting, photography and sculpture by 49 artists. 100% of the proceeds of the charity art auction went directly to the charitable work of TERRE DES FEMMES and were used to fund our work worldwide. By purchasing a piece of art, buyers were given the opportunity to invest not in only in art but also in an equal, self-determinated and free future for girls and women. Our next charity will most likely take place in autumn 2022.

articly by: TERRE DES FEMMES, 04.06.2021


donations can be made to:

Ethik Bank IBAN DE88 8309 4495 0003 1160 00 BIC GENODEF1ETK


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