OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC), in observing the ‘International Women’s Day’, called upon all stakeholders in the OIC Member States and the international community to allocate judicious resources and institutionalize effective policy initiatives for women empowerment allowing them to realize their potential and capacity as active agents of change for sustainable development. Also, it urged Member States to follow up on the recommendations of OIC Ministerial conferences on Women’s role in development.
The Commission reaffirmed that Islam in its teachings has laid the foundation for spiritual and substantive temporal equality of men and women based on their needs and circumstances. Islamic history is replete with instances where women have excelled men in erudition and accordingly have played commendable role in the development of their respective societies. It was a noble Muslim woman ‘Fatima Al- Fihriya’ who founded the ‘University of Al-Qarawiyyin’ in Morocco in 859 A.D which is one of the oldest universities of the world.
Women make up half of the world’s population and despite increased global emphasis on women empowerment, a lot more is needed to enable them to enjoy their due rights and be equal partners in the planning and development of equitable societies. IPHRC emphasized that any meaningful women empowerment can only be possible through investment in women education and emancipation where, if needed, positive discrimination may be considered.
Since its inception, IPHRC has adopted women’s rights as one of its top priority areas of work. In its efforts to promote women’s rights within OIC Member States and beyond, IPHRC has decided to hold a thematic debate on “Impact of Women Empowerment on Sustainable Development of Member States” during its upcoming 9th Regular Session, to be held in Jeddah in May 2016. IPHRC reiterated its willingness to work with the OIC Member States and global community towards women empowerment through sharing of best practices and technical expertise.