JEDDAH, by HABIB SHAIKH | Published — Tuesday 11 March 2014
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) celebrated International Women’s Day at its headquarters on Sunday.
This is the first time that the organization held an event to mark the occasion in support and appreciation of women and their role in society.
The OIC event focused in particular on Muslim women and the challenges they face, whether at home, at work or in society.
The OIC is mandated to explore opportunities for women to take part in the development of Muslim society and enhance their capacity in order to enable them to play an active role in all walks of life in its 57 member states.
Invitees were briefed on the various programs, projects and activities undertaken by the OIC to empower women and advance their status during numerous presentations made by the organization’s different departments.
The OIC highlighted its programs, projects and activities in various fields, such as education, health, humanitarian, economy and human rights domains, in support of women in the Muslim world.
The celebration included a photo and caricature exhibition and a short film highlighting the obstacles to women enjoying their full rights. The event also highlighted achievements and success stories of women in those states.
Ambassador Abdullah Ali, assistant secretary-general for Political Affairs, welcomed invitees from the diplomatic corps, intellectuals and media personalities on behalf of Secretary-General Iyad Madani.
Ali said that the anniversary demonstrates the interest and honor devoted to Muslim women by expressing collective pride in their distinctive status and roles, confirmation of their legitimate rights and unwavering support for their contributions as full-fledged partners in construction, development and progress in the Muslim world.
The event was celebrated under the slogan “Equality for women is progress for all,” reflecting an approach that has become a prerequisite for women’s empowerment.
The event also sought to address the conditions of economic vulnerability, social exclusion and injustice under which Muslim women live, which include deprivation of education and the right to a decent life.
Ali said that the OIC believes that helping women improve their status and strengthening the role of legislative bodies will guarantee women protection against discrimination and violence and would ensure their participation in the development and decision-making process.
Member states had adopted an action plan for women’s advancement based on political commitments and pledges made by the Extraordinary Islamic Summit Conference in Makkah in 2005.
Source: Arab News