Hibaaq Osman is the founder of Karama, ('dignity' in Arabic) - a network of women activists working in nine countries in the middle east and north Africa to end violence against women on their own terms. Tired of attending international conferences where Arab women were being discussed as victims, and reading reports which excluded their views and experiences, she started the organisation both to empower women to confront the violence within their own societies, and to provide accurate information to the international community.
Karama's approach to tackling violence against women goes beyond drawing attention to the impact it has on women physically and emotionally. The network takes into account the root causes and social consequences of the violence by highlighting the impact it has on different sectors of society - political, economic, health, education, religion and media.
As Hibaaq says "We do not have the luxury of choosing which subject - female genital mutilation or 'honour killing' - we'll focus on each week, the violence against women is at the core of society and affects us all".
This podcast is part of openDemocracy's '16 days' series covering the annual 16 days against gender violence. Related podcasts include the UN's John Holmes on confronting sexual violence worldwide, Faustina Fynn Nyame on halting the 'preventable pandemic' in Ghana, Takyiwaa Manuh on domestic violence in Africa and Afaf Jabiri on taking on the Jordanian government.
Download or listen now to all the podcasts here.