The U.N. Commission has issued a draft on the Status of Women, a statement which has been lobbying since 1946 for the progression of the equality of women. The Commission is calling for the “elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls”.
However, countries such as Egypt, Iran and Russia along with the Vatican are “threatening to derail the women’s rights declaration by objecting to language on sexual, reproductive and gay rights.”
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood in specific has proposed an amendment to the declaration on its website saying that articles “contradict established principles of Islam, undermine Islamic ethics and destroy the family, the basic building block of society, according to the Egyptian Constitution”.
“The Muslim Brotherhood calls on leaders of Islamic countries, their foreign ministers and representatives in the United Nations to reject and condemn this document.”
The Brotherhood claims that adoption of the document would “lead to social disintegration”. The movement objects to permitting Muslim women to travel, work and use contraception without the approval of male relatives.
How does one thing link to the other? How will these things cause a direct threat to societal values? How will women who work, travel freely, and use contraception crumble the moral fabrics of a society?
Even more alarming is the fact that according to the ‘Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies’, this position is favoured by many other Arab governments.
The sad part in all of this is that these people are not representing the real Islam. Many Islamic scholars have failed to understand Islam correctly over the years. And many have spread misconceptions regarding different aspects of Islamic beliefs concerning women, marriage, and sexuality.
Believe it or not, this is the list of articles that need amendment according to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt:
1. Granting girls full sexual freedom, as well as the freedom to decide their own gender and the gender of their partners (ie, choose to have normal or homo- sexual relationships), while raising the age of marriage.
2. Providing contraceptives for adolescent girls and training them to use those, while legalizing abortion to get rid of unwanted pregnancies, in the name of sexual and reproductive rights.
3. Granting equal rights to adulterous wives and illegitimate sons resulting from adulterous relationships.
4. Granting equal rights to homosexuals, and providing protection and respect for prostitutes.
5. Giving wives full rights to file legal complaints against husbands accusing them of rape or sexual harassment, obliging competent authorities to deal husbands punishments similar to those prescribed for raping or sexually harassing a stranger.
6. Equal inheritance (between men and women).
7. Replacing guardianship with partnership, and full sharing of roles within the family between men and women such as: spending, child care and home chores.
8. Full equality in marriage legislation such as: allowing Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men, and abolition of polygamy, dowry, men taking charge of family spending, etc.
9. Removing the authority of divorce from husbands and placing it in the hands of judges, and sharing all property after divorce.
10. Cancelling the need for a husband’s consent in matters like: travel, work, or use of contraception.