Saturday, November 23, 2013

Life Stories Use as a Tool of Advocacy in the Right of Women in Islam

Life stories of women documented on Qiwamah and Wilayan in The Gambia has been used to advocate for the rights of Women in Islam.
The first ever in the Gambia, Qiwamah and Wilayan is Musawah’s initiative to make knowledge and advocacy strategies relating to family laws and practices and women’s rights in Islam more accessible. 
It’s a groundbreaking analysis of family law, based on fieldwork in family courts, and illuminated by insights from distinguished clerics and scholars of Islam, as well as by the experience of human rights and women’s rights activists.
Through this life stories, GAMCOTRAP, a women’s right NGO,   during the weekend gathered women from the Kanifing Municipality on the project “creating awareness and documenting issues on the, life stories of women on Qiwamah and Wilayan in the Gambia”,  implemented in collaboration with the New Field Fund of Tides Foundation that supports the advocacy to reach out to hundreds of women.
This advocacy targets 150 women leaders, women of reproductive age, religious leaders and village heads.  It was a moment filled with emotions as some of the participants reveal some of their stories.
During the discussion, Dr. Isatou Touray, executive director of GAMCOTRAP talked about the contradictory attitudes towards Muslim family law, and the ways in which justice and ethics are conceived in the Islamic tradition. “If you are not a victim, then your next door neighbor has been victimized” she said. “Most of the time, traditions decides the life of the woman and not based on religion.”
She emphasizes that nowhere in the Quran is a woman obliged to undertake domestic household duties. “We should not leave it to others to tell us what our own religion tells us what to do. We should participate, like other Muslims across the world.”
Amidst cheers from the participants, the women said it’s their responsibility to defend their rights and also to save their children.  Most of them said that are aware that they are taking care of their families and spending on them precious time and money.
“Women are really suffering, because society see it abnormal to talk about our marriage life that affects us” Fatou Keita, a participants said. “Society accept us to stay in our marriages, because women are groom to accept all kinds of treatments from men”
“We are not merchandise to be take over when our husband die” another participant said. We should choose the man we want if we decide to remarry again. It’s our right.”
In the typical Gambian society, women are being abused, divorced for not bearing a child. And some of the participants couldn’t agree more that early marriage is one of the reasons that cause this.
  “We are being abuse for not bearing children. Once you fail to conceived, society point fingers to the woman not putting consideration that early marriage is a key factor” she added.

Author: Binta A.Bah

No comments:

Post a Comment