Muslim Women Creating New Futures: The Campaign for Justice in Muslim Family Laws
Date: Wednesday, 7 October 2020
This webinar, titled “Muslim Women Creating New Futures: The Campaign for Justice in Muslim Family Laws,” highlights the voices of Muslim women activists campaigning for egalitarian reform in Muslim family laws across Southeast Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa. The speakers discuss discriminatory laws in their political and historical contexts, explore key issues and challenges that inform experiences and advocacy strategies in different Muslim countries, and draw inspiration from the collective mobilisation of Muslim women working together to achieve equality under the law.
- Zainah Anwar, Executive Director of Musawah and former Executive Director of Sisters in Islam, Malaysia
- Marwa Sharafeldin, MENA Region Senior Expert at Musawah; 2021-2022 Visiting Fellow, Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World
- Hala Al-Karib, Regional Director of the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA Network)
- Moderator: Salomé Gómez-Upegui, LLM ’18, Women’s Leadership Consultant
This webinar was co-hosted by Musawah and Harvard Law School’s Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World. This webinar is also part of Musawah’s Campaign for Justice in Muslim Family Laws.
1) During the webinar, the speakers referred to the following resources:
Musawah has been tracking positive developments in Muslim family laws globally, comparing the legislative frameworks, case law, policies, procedures and practices in the 12 principal areas of concern relating to Muslim family laws: https://www.musawah.org/mapping-muslim-family-laws/
Resources from Musawah’s Campaign for Justice in Muslim Family Laws: www.musawah.org/campaign-for-justice
Research: Mala Htun, Francesca R Jensenius, Jami Nelson-Nuñez, Gender-Discriminatory Laws and Women’s Economic Agency, Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society, Volume 26, Issue 2, Summer 2019, Pages 193–222, https://doi.org/10.1093/sp/jxy042
Comparative Legal Review of the Impact of Muslim Family Laws on Women Across Commonwealth Asia and Africa: https://www.musawah.org/resources/comparative-legal-review-impact-muslim-family-laws-women-commonwealth-asia-africa/
Dr. Marwa Sharafeldin has written several articles on the gendered impacts of COVID-19 and how they tie in with the need to reform discriminatory family laws in the MENA region. In Arabic: كورونا تنادى بالسهل الممتنع: إصلاح قوانين الأسرة فى العالم العربى
https://www.shorouknews.com/columns/view.aspx?cdate=16052020&id=59b5e0d5-907e-48f4-982a-f6e1938a7ee6 , and in English: COVID-19 and the Necessity of Muslim Family Law Reform in the Arab World: https://www.jadaliyya.com/Details/41211/COVID-19-and-the-Necessity-of-Muslim-Family-Law-Reform-in-the-Arab-World
Book: Lynn Welshman, Women’s Rights and Islamic Family Law: Perspectives on Reform (2004).
SIHA Network has many publications that detail the state of Muslim women’s rights in their 8 member countries in the Horn of Africa. Check out https://sihanet.org/publications/
Between Modernism and Heritage: https://issuu.com/halayassin/docs/between-modernism-and-heritage
Falling Through the Cracks addresses traditions, practices and views related to dowry, domestic violence, divorce and adultery that perpetuate prejudice policies and the violation of women’s rights in South Sudan: https://sihanet.org/falling-through-the-cracks/
Research: Dr Zahia Jouirou, from Tunisia, on inheritance reform in “Combine Independent Judgement and Rationalism!”: https://www.womeninislamjournal.com/articles/2019/2/27/rd3i89bskuo423778ynkc5707027vc
Musawah’s POLICY BRIEF #1: Why Muslim Family Law Reform? Why Now?: https://www.musawah.org/toolkit/policy-brief-why-muslim-family-law-reform/
Dr Zahia Jouirou, Dr Marwa Sharafeldin, and Dr Lynn Welchman spoke on a webinar about pathways to reform in Muslim family laws:
Zainah, Marwa and Hala have previously talked about the Campaign for Justice in Muslim Family Laws in a webinar to launch the campaign, “Why Muslim Family Law Reform? Why Now? Regional Perspectives”: https://www.musawah.org/blog/webinar-why-muslim-family-law-reform-why-now-regional-perspectives/
2) Follow the Harvard Law School Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for their mailing list to get latest updates and event announcements at https://www.pls.law.harvard.edu.