Islamic nations ‘must address gender issues’

A COMPREHSENSIVE curriculum detailing the issue of gender equality is required in Islamic countries, experts said yesterday.

It would help religious scholars understand the concept of gender equality and abide by Sharia laws at the same time, they said.

Cairo University Law College professor Dr Ahmed Kamal Abu Al Majd said that many Islamic nations were hesitant when it comes to women’s issues.

“People are hesitant and confused because they cannot accept change and are stuck with tradition, most of which are not Sharia compliant since Islam stresses equality,” he told a conference on Gender Mainstreaming in Development at the Gulf Hotel’s Gulf Convention Centre.

Meanwhile, Bayt Mal Al Quds Agency director general Dr Abdelkabeer Al Alawi Al Madghari said that some Muslim women, who are keen to take part in their country’s development, are put off due to a series of disappointments.

“The answer is to study Islamic societies through people’s interpretation on women. We should try to steer this society, controlled by traditions and culture, towards a better understanding of gender equality,” he said.

“Islamic countries must also take the initiative to spread the correct ideas about the role of women in society through the media.”

Mr Al Madghari said that other means include spreading gender culture in schools, propose laws and regulations that ensure women and men have equal rights and duties. The speakers cover topics on gender mainstreaming in Islam and in national plans and policies, indicators and statistics on gender, ways to raise awareness on gender and co-operation in financing and implementation


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