At this year’s UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), Islamic Relief helped shape the current global policy framework on women’s empowerment and gender equality by hosting, and taking part in, a number of events.

Here’s what we said:

  • 1. “We have, and always will, champion women’s rights”

In the opening session, delegates heard from the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who declared himself a “proud feminist,” to much applause. As well as urging delegates to raise their voices for women’s equality, he said: “Progress for women and girls means changing the power dynamics and ending discrimination against women and girls.”

His comments echo Islamic Relief’s commitments to ending gender inequality.

Read more about why we took part.


  • 2. “A faith-sensitive approach to gender justice is needed”

We shared key recommendations for tackling gender injustice from a faith perspective. 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 some of our key projects that have proven the power of engaging faith actors and religious leaders in tackling gender injustice.

Read about the comments we made at two key events.


  • 3. “We are pioneering an Islamic Declaration on Gender Justice”

The Declaration is a call to action against gender inequality from an Islamic faith perspective, and seeks to tackle discrimination and harmful practices, especially against women and girls in Muslim communities.

Islamic Relief developed the Declaration in partnership with humanitarian agencies, faith leaders and community organisations who are committed to tackling what is one of the greatest injustices of our time.

Read more about the Declaration and the thinking behind it.


  • 4. “We are tackling harmful practices like Early and Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting”

At a launch event, Islamic Relief shared its strong organisational commitment to ending harmful practices which disproportionately affect women and girls around the world. Islamic Relief is leading the way in taking steps to eradicate FGM/C completely and advocating for a minimum age of 18 for both men and women to give full and free consent to marriage. Building on the organisation’s Gender Justice Policy launched in 2015, the policies provide an Islamic humanitarian perspective on giving women and girls their God-given rights, with Islamic Relief’s interventions based on the principle of ‘do no harm.’

Read more about the gender-based violence policy papers

Read our learning report on Islamic Relief’s pilot GBV project in the Somali region of Ethiopia


  • 5. “Islamic Relief is playing an instrumental role at an international level on issues around gender justice.”

Islamic Relief is committed to establishing gender justice and offering its expertise in providing faith perspectives on gender issues, especially in Muslim communities. This is part of our effort to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 5 – gender equality.

Read all our policies here


Islamic Relief took part in the UN’s annual two-week conference hosted by the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), 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 and summaries of the events, follow the latest updates on the IRW website.