HYDERABAD: Islam provides equal opportunities to women and the problems faced by the women are no different from those faced from other communities, participants at a colloquium on ‘Mainstreaming the Indian Muslim Women - The Way Forward’ said here on Tuesday.
The colloquium was organized by the Centre for Women’s Studies, Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), in collaboration with National Commission for Women (NCW)- New Delhi, on Tuesday on the university campus. Participating in the discussion, Dr Shahida, head of department of Women’s education, MANUU, said that Islam strongly believes in gender equality.
“When the religion itself supports gender equality, I am surprised to see why we are talking about mainstreaming of Muslim women,” she said, adding there is a huge gap between what Islam teaches and what the community practices. Khaleeq-ur-Rahman, a social activist, opined that mainstreaming of Muslim women should be forgotten and the way forward should be discussed.
Responding to the objections raised by the participants, Shamina Shafiq, member, NCW, said that the topic of discussion is mainstreaming issues of Muslim women. She questioned how issues could be solved until they are brought to the mainstream.
She stressed that they are not limiting their talk only to mainstreaming of Muslim women, but situation of women from marginalised sections of the society are also being discussed. Stating that problems faced by women are universal, regardless of geographic differences, she said solutions might vary.
“Because of religious or geographical identities, solutions might be different,” Shamina said. Taking forward the discussion, Lalitha Kumaramangalam, chairperson, NCW, corroborated that problems faced by women are similar across communities, countries and religions.
“It is not any religion that marginalises women, it is in the practice of religion that mistakes happen,” Lalitha said.
“In India women don’t get nutrition they deserve, they are not educated as they should be, they do not get enough recognition,” she said.
Other members of the NCW stated that understanding the problem is important to solve it and that time has come to end paying lip service to the problems.