On the International Women’s Day: ISESCO calls for improvingwomen’s situation, empowering them, protecting their rights and ensuring their active participation in societal development
Every year on March 8, the world celebrates the International Women’s Day, in application of the resolution of the UN General Assembly issued on 1975. This occasion is an opportunity to shed light on the situation of women in different countries and the challenges facing them; provide recommendations, proposals and ideas likely to improve their situation; counter the violation of their civil, economic and social rights; empower them; and engage them socially as active contributors in the development of a social structure where understanding, complementarity, peace and coexistence prevail.
On this occasion, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) highlighted the great significance of the International Women’s Day, calling on Member States’ governments, non-governmental institutions and civil society organizations to exert more efforts at all levels to preserve women’s rights by activating legislations that preserve women’s dignity and shield them against human rights violations. The Organization also called for spreading the cultural values and rights-based concepts likely to help them overcome the obstacles hampering their access to education and professional training; promote their active participation in the different economic production sectors; and provide other forms of support to ensure the success of women in urban and rural areas alike.
In addition, this international day is a great opportunity to point out the obstacles standing between women and their civil, economic, social and cultural rights. This, in turn, would cause challenges to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in most developing countries, chief among which is the UN’s keen interest in women empowerment and continuing efforts to address the political, economic and social challenges in the world.
In this connection, ISESCO called for launching national campaigns to support women’s initiatives to empower women and preserve their legitimate rights by adopting national action plans and strategies to promote women’s status and address the violations they are subject to, especially women immigrants, workers and refugees; displaced women; and women with special needs. ISESCO also highlighted the pivotal role of national human rights councils and institutions, the civil society and religious institutions in mobilizing support, raising awareness and providing services in dealing with issues of women equity.
Moreover, ISESCO called on legislative councils and rights-based institutions in Member States to promote the legal framework and rights-based foundation for addressing women’s issues in all regions, while focusing on remote cities and villages lacking services, and incorporating positive modern concepts in school curricula across all educational levels, including higher and post-graduate education.
Likewise, ISESCO listed a number of challenges facing women in the Islamic world, including gender discrimination in education and job opportunities in both public and private sectors; murder, kidnapping and forced disappearance; and cases of insult, rape and harassment. The Organization also referred to discriminatory social norms; marrying off under-aged girls; female genital mutilation (FGM); employment of under-aged female domestics; and gender-based violence against women, which is a world issue that still exist and is considered as a violation of human rights and an impediment to peace and development.
ISESCO concluded by underscoring that the development of the Islamic world hinges upon empowering women and widening the prospects of their participation, on an equal footing to men, in serving their societies.