Islamic Relief (IR) held a successful second meeting to further its ground-breaking Gender Justice Declaration Consultation on 4th May in London. The event discussed approaches and initiatives to implementing the Declaration which 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.The half-day event was attended by key academics, senior leaders of women’s organisations in Nigeria, Morocco and Saudi Arabia, NGO representatives and UK-based faith organisations. The session follows on from January’s initial consultation.

The insightful discussions, facilitated by Shahin Ashraf (Global Advocacy Advisor) explored specific areas the Declaration will cover including women’s economic empowerment, female Islamic scholarship and gender-based violence. The group also suggested ways to move the Declaration forward and to build a movement of people engaging with the Declaration through advocacy and research, capacity building and leadership, and engaging with local communities.

The diversity and dynamism of the group provided in-depth insights, as well as, actionable and practical tools of engagement. The success of the event, bolstered with collective enthusiastic and positive spirit, is shaping the future of the Declaration.

Faeeza Vaid, Executive Director at Muslim Women’s Network (UK) said:

“The gender justice declaration is a necessary step to realising Allah’s commands of treating everyone equally, justly and without oppression. Only when our communities get this right, will we be able to see societies that flourish.”

Gender injustice is a key driver of poverty and a fundamental denial of rights. Islamic relief embarked on a journey last year to drive forward its gender justice declaration based on its positions from its gender justice policy. We want to see all people free from cultural and interpersonal systems of privilege and oppression, and from violence and repression based on gender. Inequality is a serious and prevalent form of discrimination in the world. While this affects everyone, it is women and girls who face the most discrimination as a result of gender inequality.

Nuzhat Ali, a writer and educationalist said:

“The gender justice declaration is something that we should all sign up to. It is a show of commitments that should be followed by actions at all levels in all communities to ensure that gender justice does not remain a dream in the twenty-first century.”

Going forward, the consultations will feed in to the wider commitments made by Muslim stakeholders on the direction and implementation of gender justice work across charitable sectors, community, academic and activist sectors both locally, nationally and globally.

Shanza Ali, Gender Justice Declaration Consultant, said:

“Muslim organisations work with some of the most marginalised groups both in the UK and around the world, which is why gender justice in Islamic Relief work is a critical part of ensuring we are helping to build equitable and sustainable societies.”