Women's Empowerment and Leadership Development for Democratisation

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Indonesia: Regional Conference: Justice and equality in Muslim families in diverse context

Published Date: 
Wednesday, April 29, 2015

From 27 February to 1 March, AWARE co-organised a regional conference in Yogyakarta, Indonesia to discuss “Working towards Justice and Equality in Muslim Families in Diverse Contexts”.

This conference was a collaboration between AWARE, Solidaritas Perempuan (SP) in Indonesia and the regional women’s rights group The Institute for Women’s Empowerment (IWE), and supported by the UN Women Fund for Gender Equality and Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women from Netherlands.

The conference featured participants from Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, aiming to share and develop strategies for achieving justice and equality in Muslim families in diverse contexts.

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How can we promote justice and equality in the everyday reality of Muslim families in diverse contexts?

Muslim families are impacted by many factors, including interpretations of religion, customary rules, social and cultural traditions. These bring about changing realities, posing challenges for Muslim families in terms of relations within the family, as well as relations with the State and with society at large. Unfortunately, justice and equality for all family members are often overlooked, with negative consequences for girls and women.

The conference thus served as a safe space for advocates of justice and equality to share and develop strategies for promoting justice and equality for all members of Muslim families by equipping advocates to:

  • Address differences of opinion about human rights in Muslim contexts
  • Understand contestations and struggles between individuals, families and communities over issues of justice and equality
  • Analyse the roots of injustice and inequality – factors, actors and disempowering actions
  • Strategise effective ways and means for overcoming challenges to and maximising opportunities for promoting justice and equality for all members of Muslim families.

We also held a press conference with the Indonesian media in which we put forward the following recommendations to the Indonesian state and citizens:

  • To spread and increase awareness of the values of justice and gender equality to stop violence against women
  • To re-interpret religious texts that go against the values of justice and gender equality to bring about the realisation of human rights
  • To ask the government and legislative to promote, protect and fulfil human rights based on the constitution
  • To call on community leaders, religious leaders and academics to join and advance the cause of voicing values of justice and gender equality in both the public and private sphere
  • To invite the entire community to ensure that religious interpretations are just and gender-equitable.
Culturally Justified Violence Against Women