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26 May 2019

Emerging Role of Women in Muslim Society - Opportunities and Challenges

An International Women Conference enlightened thousand of participants on emerging role of women in Muslim societies. The event was a culmination of joint efforts of Iqbal International Institute for Research & Dialogue, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Riphah International University and International Muslim Women Union. Around 100 delegates from 30 Muslim countries participated in the conference whereas 99 percent delegates comprised of women scholars and panelists— an impression of empowered women in Muslim Societies. Eminent scholars and panellists shared their scholarship on emerging role of women in Muslim societies. Dr. Mumtaz Ahmad highlighted major challenges of the Muslim societies in the contemporary times and encouraged women’s participation to taken up the challenges.

“Women need to be educated and must be brought up in an environment that tackles social issues faced by the society. Gender based discrimination in the Muslim society has to be removed.” He said.

Dr. Kausar Firdaus, Chairperson International Muslim Women Union, enunciated that Muslim societies to think globally and act locally. She also explained the cultural transformation that has increased role of women in Muslim societies to meet the challenges. Dr. Anis Ahmed, Vice Chancellor, Riphah International University, Islamabad, gave his illuminating thoughts on the alarmingly diminished role of women in the Muslim societies that directly impacted social growth.

“By marginalizing women we were strangulating the potentials of the Muslim society. We were left to march far behind in the development of the contemporary world. Role of women in the society is written in the footnotes, we must change this perception. Role of women in the society is of paramount importance.” He elaborated.

Senator Raja Zafar ul Haq, Secretary General World Muslim Congress, felt the need to investigate the sinister allegations of exploitation of the female gender in the Muslim society and combat the western propaganda.  Dr. Saud Al – Fateh Al Badawi, Founding Mother International Women Union, Sudan, inspired the participants with her zeal despite being in her 80’s. She said that the golden Islamic rules were overlooked by Muslim societies and Muslims remained more to talk then to walk any extra miles.

Ihsan Abd Allah Khogali Elgabshawi, Ex General Secretary International Muslim Women Union from Sudan, Senator Mumtaz Md Nawi from Malysia, Mr. Khalid Rahman, (Director General Institute of Policy Studies Islamabad, Siti Mariah, Ex Parliamentarian from Malaysia, Johra Abdullah Al Areefi,  Wife of Abdulaziz bin Ibrahim Al-Ghadeer, Ambassador of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Ameena Nasir, Higher Education Consultant, Dr. Samia Raheel Qazi, President Asian Region International Muslim Women Union, Parween Qadir Agha, Former Federal Secretary of Women Development and Ms. Asia Nasir, Member National Assembly of Pakistan shared their views on the agenda.

Shamreeza Riaz has contributed to this story from Islamabad, Pakistan