Islamic Relief has shared key recommendations for tackling gender injustice from a faith perspective at this year’s UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York. Attended by delegates from around the world, the event was co-convened with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the second largest inter-governmental organisation after the UN with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents.
Delegates from around the world learned about Islamic Relief’s efforts to empower women and promote gender justice in the Muslim world. Iman Pertek, Senior Gender Advisor at Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), discussed how the organisation has used faith-sensitive approaches and policies in its programmes and advocacy work to bring about positive change. She highlighted key projects implemented by Islamic Relief that have proven the power of engaging faith actors and religious leaders in tackling gender injustice.
Presenting to a standing room-only audience, Pertek was joined by a panel of policy makers, state delegations, intergovernmental organisations and civil society organisations including Syda Bbumba, Former Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in Uganda and OIC Women’s Council member, who commented: “It is important that a global and regional approach to gender-based violence is taken, with zero tolerance to injustices against women.”
At a second event, Pertek spoke about the importance of including faith-based organisations in CSW’s deliberations and in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She shared examples of Islamic Relief’s work including a joint campaign with faith organisations marking an annual ’16 Days of Activism’ which has brought together communities speaking out on gender-based violence and gender injustices.
As well as highlighting Islamic Relief’s Gender Justice Policy, Pertek voiced recommendations to policy makers and national delegations which include the call to recognise that faith can drive positive transformation for dignity in our communities and that faith actors have great potential to influence behavioural change and promote gender justice values.
IRW is joined at CSW this year by Islamic Relief USA who have supported women’s empowerment projects across the world for 25 years. Christina Tobias-Nahi, Director of Public Affairs & Institutional Funding for IRUSA, comments: “IRUSA is pleased to once again join colleagues from our other family offices at CSW as we continue to provide thought leadership on issues of concern to our community and also partner with our many allies on panels to amplify faith voices.”
CSW is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. This year’s theme at CSW62 is to explore the challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls.
For more information on Islamic Relief’s work on gender justice, including details of events, follow the latest updates on the IRW website.