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‘Women should be empowered within Islamic paradigm’

ISLAMABAD: An international women conference, organised at the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI), declared its resolve in setting priorities and developing strategies for women empowerment within the framework of the Islamic paradigm.

This was the crux of the recommendations, presented at the concluding session of the two-day conference on “Emerging Role of Women in Muslim Societies: Opportunities and Challenges” held at the Quaid-i-Azam Auditorium, Faisal Mosque, on Sunday.

The participants said Islam was a complete code of life imparting guidance in all aspects of life including women issues. They called upon the Muslim governments for establishing women and family development ministries. They urged them to curb the dominance of western paradigm, terming it contradictory to Islamic values.

The conference called upon the academia of Muslim countries to develop and implement compulsory family-focused curriculum and abolish local discriminatory customs against women.

Law Secretary Barrister Zafarullah Khan said there was no gender discrimination in the Islamic paradigm and endorsed the recommendations of the conference. He said, “We associate fake values with Islam, which result in violation of economic, social and other fundamental rights of women.” He emphasised legislation for women rights and implementation of the Islamic paradigm.

Riphah International University Pro-Chancellor Dr Hassan Muhammad Khan called for establishing societies that recognised the role of women. He was of the view that Muslim countries should devise strategies to cope with contemporary challenges. He lauded the efforts of the organisers for highlighting such an important issue.

IIUI Rector Dr Masoom Yasinza announced that the IIUI was mulling over establishing a medical college for women. He said the IIUI was already implementing the recommendations of the conference and a separate campus for 14,000 female students of Muslim countries was a visible example. “No sane society can deny the role of women in its progress as women can play a vital role in economic and societal development,” he maintained. He urged the media for an appropriate portrayal of women within the limits granted by Islam.

IIUI Vice President (Academics) Dr Mumtaz Ahmed said the IIUI was an equal opportunity provider, which negates sectarianism and gender discrimination. “We are committed to women empowerment,” he said while lauding the active participation of Muslim women in the conference.

International Muslim Women Union Chairperson Dr Kausar Firdaus, who presented the recommendations, said the governments should make legislation for flexible working hours for women with provision of the day care, ensuring three-month maternity leave and allowing women to compete for government jobs until the age of 40.

“Educational Opportunities and Preferences” and “Women at Work” were the themes of the second day of the conference.

During various sessions on the second day, the wife of Saudi ambassador, Johra Abdullah al-Areefi, and Women Development Secretary, former IIUI Vice President Parween Qadir Agha were the chief guests, while former IIUI Director (Female Campus) Dr Ameena Nasir and National Assembly Member Asia Nasir were the guests of honour. Asian Region International Muslim Women Union President Dr Samia Raheel Qazi and International Muslim Women Union Secretary General Dr Mazahir Mohammad Ahmed Osman presided over the sessions.

M Safdar and Dr Nabi Bux Jumani, Dr Tahira Amjad, Dargam Nadia, Dr Kauser Firdos, Dr Nabeelah Lubis, Bilal Mahmood, Nargis Zaidi, Asma Mushtaq, Dr Anwar Ali Shah, Yasmin Khakwani, Dr Shahnaz Kauser and Samina Najeeb spoke. Online

Daily Times