Using a Dutch vessel as a mobile base treading in international waters, Women on Waves provides abortion services to women living in countries where the practice is illegal.

Women on Waves

Women on Waves is a nonprofit that blends social activism, contemporary art, political propaganda, and media manipulation to empower women internationally. Targeted at women living in countries where abortion is illegal, WoW helps women obtain safe and legal abortions by operating from a Dutch vessel on international waters. The first WoW gynecological vessel, A-Portable (2001), was designed by Dutch Atelier van Lieshout, and works to creatively exploit legal loopholes as avenues for social justice. Balancing art and activism, trained professionals educate women about the ease of self-induced abortions and provide abortion pills and straightforward instructional pamphlets on their website and hotline. Collaborating with local organizations, WoW sparks public debate, rampant media attention, and religious, political, medical, and ideological controversy. The most recent expedition (Spain, 2008) grasped the attention of protesters, journalists, and politicians, exemplifying the media's invaluable role in this project. In addition to being featured in the 2001 Venice Biennale, WoW has communicated with women in diverse countries such as Pakistan, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Portugal, Argentina, Chile, Poland, and Ireland. Gomperts has also received several accolades honoring her work.

Founded by Rebecca Gomperts, 1999. The Netherlands.