Happy International Women's Day!
Thank you to all our phenomenal colleagues around the world who are taking part in the #BettertheBalance movement on #IWD2019 and promoting the positive work we are doing to transform the world for women and girls in our programmes.
Here is an summary of some of the activities we are taking part in at Muslim Aid as part of International Women's Day around the world, we have published a web story which you can read more about here: https://www.muslimaid.org/balance-for-better/
International Women's Day
Muslim Aid Somalia is marking International Women's Day with the global theme of Better the Balance, Better the World in an campaign raising awareness on women's voices and rights with the Puntland Ministry of Women Development and Family Affairs which stands to improve the status of women in society and to eradicate socio-economic and cultural injustices, through cross cutting policies and programmes, mainstreaming gender issues in the wider community. The Minister proposed Muslim Aid to invite women to get involved in politics, business, medicine and other sectors to promote strong and successful women role models to students from the universities across the Garowe district; and where possible arrange for mentoring across these cohorts to promote positive participation of women and girls in their local community and nationally. The Ministry of Women and Family Affairs will utilise the campaign to call on the authorities, private sector, and others to do more in enhancing access to key opportunities for women and girls in all sectors in order to realise the goal of gender equality. The conference will encourage specific changes within institutions, workplaces including within the private sector, education institutions, civil society organisations and government institutions to promote gender equality. It will also promote gender awareness among men and boys to engage in advocating on behalf of women to ensure an integrated approach.
Muslim Aid has been challenging gender based violence in countries like Somalia where we run the Gender Based Violence One Stop referral center in partnership with UNFPA named Maatokaal (meaning helping the vulnerable). The project was sensitively named to avoid the women using the facilities facing any stigma associated with GBV. The project, which is in partnership with UNFPA, has had a great impact. The programme enabled us to provide 1, 180 women who are survivors of gender based violence medical, psycho-social support and legal aid as well as dignity kits to overcome deep cultural entrenched practices and bring the perpetrators to justice under newly enacted sexual offenses law. Three hundred survivors also benefited from our livelihoods training program.
UN Commission on the Status of Women
11th - 18th March
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is an annual event run by UN Women at the United Nations headquarters in New York, next week Muslim Aid's Global Advocacy Manager Lotifa Begum will be travelling to New York at the UN between 11th - 18th March. Each year, experts, activists, frontline workers, government officials and international bodies come together to share, listen and agree on key priorities on what is necessary to advance the rights of women globally. Active participation of civil society plays a critical role in ensuring women and girls bring their stories and experiences to develop shared learning of ongoing issues, good practice and solutions, which inform local national and international decision making mechanisms.
This years' theme is social protection, public services and sustainable infrastructure. These three aspects are central to the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which Muslim Aid has been working towards in our work to promote gender equality. Muslim Aid is ensuring the inclusion of women and girls in education, livelihoods, maternal healthcare, access to water and sanitation and in tackling gender based violence in countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sudan and Somalia and Myanmar. Muslim Aid is a signatory to the first ever ground breaking Islamic Gender Justice Declaration led by Islamic Relief Worldwide which calls for faith leaders and institutions to commit to upholding the rights of women and girls around the world.
Muslim Council of Britain's Women's Conference
Sunday 31st March 2019
We are also partnering up with the Muslim Council of Britain on Sunday 31st March for the Muslim Women's Conference at the University College London, a day long programme with a series of workshops to tackle gender inequality faced by Muslim women. You can sign up and attend by booking your ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mcb-womens-conference-tickets-54062955756. The event will have 200 women from Muslim communities, activists and mosques to join us in this movement to eradicate gender inequality, especially at a time when it is regularly fuelled by ignorance and misinterpretation of the faith.