Make Equality A Reality For All Muslim Women
118 women’s rights and human rights organizations and activists from the Muslim world, including Equality Now and Musawah, have written to the leaders of Muslim-majority countries urging them to stand in unity against the persecution of women's rights defenders. Add your voice today.
We write as over 100 women’s rights and human rights organizations and activists from the Muslim world, who are deeply concerned over the crack down on women’s rights activists in some countries. We respectfully request leaders of the Muslim world to raise their voices to support equality for women, to recognize the critical role that women’s rights defenders play in this regard, and to condemn the imprisonment and torture of women human rights defenders.
The repression and persecution of civil society organizations and activists, including a crackdown on their funding, is a worrying trend. In particular, we are concerned about the treatment of Iranian women’s rights activists, including Nasrin Sotoudeh, an internationally renowned lawyer who was reportedly sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes, and Narges Mohammadi, sentenced to 16 years in prison.
Similarly, we are alarmed by the arbitrary detentions of Saudi women’s rights activists, including Loujain Al-Hathloul, Aziza Al-Yousef, Eman Al-Nafjan, Nouf Abdelaziz, Hatoon Al-Fassi, Samar Badawi, Nassima Al-Sadah, Amal Al-Harbi, and Shadan Al-Anezi. These activists have been accused of being a threat to national security. In fact, the opposite is true, it is well documented that the level of gender equality in a country correlates with the level of peace and security.
We - activists, scholars, and advocates for justice - need the leaders of Muslim countries to recognize and promote the message of equality that is inherent in Islam and guaranteed in many of our constitutions. We need political leadership from across the spectrum to make equality a reality for all Muslim women so that we can contribute fully and freely to the development of our societies. A first step is to support women’s rights activists and organizations.
We urge you, as leaders of Muslim countries, to stand in unity against the persecution of women who raise their voices for equality. We urge you to join us in calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the women’s rights activists named above by Iran and Saudi Arabia.