Barcelona, Spain: II Int Congress on Islamic Feminism calling for gender justice Print E-mail

and opposing  sexist interpretations of the Sacred Text

See Conference Details

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Pakistan -- Friday, November 03, 2006

Greater rights new jihad for Muslim women

BARCELONA: Muslim women from around the world gather in Barcelona Friday to issue a call to a battle for equal footing in the Islamic world – one aimed at fighting against polygamy, domestic violence and a “macho” interpretation of Muslim Sharia laws.

The three-day international congress underscores a new reality: that “Islamic feminism” – the name of the Barcelona meeting – is gaining a tenuous foothold in the Muslim world. “We realised that a number of Muslim women’s groups have been created in recent years to fight against discrimination and defend (their rights) within an Islamic context,” said Abdennur Prado, a leading organiser of the Barcelona forum, first launched last year.

The advocates – mostly well-educated, urban women versed in the Quran – argue Islam must not be a pretext for cultural practices denigrating women, dictated by men with a monopoly on interpreting the Muslim holy book. AFP

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 |  Friday November 3, 2006

Muslim women want equal rights

Barcelona (Spain), Nov. 2: Muslim women from around the world gather in Barcelona on Friday to issue a call to a battle for equal footing in the Islamic world, one aimed at fighting against polygamy, domestic violence and a “macho” interpretation of Muslim Sharia laws. The three-day international Congress underscores a new reality: even as religious intensity is growing in parts of the Muslim world, “Islamic feminism,” the name of the Barcelona meeting, is gaining a tenuous foothold.

“We realised that a number of Muslim women’s groups have been created in recent years to fight against discrimination and defend (their rights) within an Islamic context, such as in Malaysia, Nigeria and Pakistan,” said Abdennur Prado, a leading organiser of the Barcelona forum, first launched last year. The advocates, mostly well-educated, urban women versed in the Quran argue Islam must not be a pretext for cultural practices denigrating women, dictated by men with a monopoly on interpreting the Muslim holy book.

The meeting must “contribute to consolidating Islamic feminism as a transnational movement by putting in place a network of grassroots organisations working on the question of women’s rights in Islam,” Mr Prado said. Professors, Islamic experts, members of non-governmental organisations and Spanish feminists are among some 400 participants expected to attend the conference, organised by a local Muslim organisation, La Junta Islamica Catalana.