Framework for Action

Our Framework for Action


Increasingly, women are claiming for themselves the right to shape the interpretations, norms and laws that affect their lives. Over the past few decades, women activists, scholars, and rights groups in Muslim contexts have built on the efforts of earlier generations to push for recognition of equality between men and women and to protect positive legal provisions where they exist.

Musawah emerged to highlight these efforts and further explore, develop, and share a broader, holistic framework for promoting concepts of justice and equality in Islam, and the Muslim family in particular. The Musawah Framework for Action argues for reform from multiple approaches:

  • Islamic sources, including Muslim jurisprudence,
  • International human rights standards,
  • National laws and constitutional guarantees of equaity, and
  • Lived realities of women and men.

The Framework offers the possibility that these various approaches, which Musawah views as having equal value, can be in harmony with each other. As such, women can locate their activism, their feminism, and their demands for justice and equality in both Islamic and human rights frameworks, choosing how to emphasise the different approaches in their advocacy strategies according to their specific needs and contexts.

The Framework for Action was developed through a series of meetings and discussions with Islamic scholars, academics, activists and legal practitioners from approximately 30 countries, in preparation for the launch of Musawah in February 2009. It is a working document that guides the work of Musawah.

Download the Framework in English, French, Arabic, Bahasa Malaysia and Farsi.


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