The year 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA), an extensive document that was the outcome of the UN’s fourth World Conference on Women in September 1995, held in Beijing, China. Its aim was to advance the rights and improve the lives of women globally through the establishment of ‘Gender Equality’ in all spheres of life: political, economic and social, and to incorporate gender perspectives into policies and laws at all levels within states. It was hailed as the most visionary agenda for the empowerment of women and girls internationally and the “most comprehensive global policy framework and blueprint for action” to realize gender equality and the human rights of women and girls everywhere. The BPfA was adopted by 189 countries, including the majority of governments in the Muslim lands, who agreed to implement its commitments and promote its agenda amongst their nations. The aims contained within the declaration were promoted heavily within states.
Over many decades, the concept of ‘Gender Equality’ contained within the BPfA and other international agreements has become a marker internationally of civilized, progressive states, and a measure of how well nations treat their women. It is seen as a universal value that all people should embrace regardless of their cultural or religious beliefs, despite the concept being a Western-born construct that is founded upon the Western secular man-made doctrine. Indeed, gender equality came to be viewed by many as the unquestionable means to empower all women, improve their quality of life, and achieve development within nations. Consequently, any culture or ideology at odds with gender equality, was condemned and labelled as anti-women, backward and oppressive. The Islamic social and family laws have been the main target of this accusation by gender activists, secular governments and UN agencies. Hence, successive regimes in the Muslim world sought to reform or abolish these Islamic provisions in their lands, under the false guise of securing women’s rights and achieving modernization and progress. However, in truth, the intensive imposition of the Western concept of gender equality within Muslim-majority states and upon Muslim communities world-wide was simply another means employed by colonial Capitalist states in their ideological struggle against Islam to prevent its rise in the Muslim world as a political system: the Khilafah (Caliphate) based upon the method of the Prophethood, which would challenge their hegemony and threaten their interests in the world. Indeed, there has long been a marriage between feminism and colonialism.
Twenty-five years on from the BPfA, and its intensive agenda to further the cause of gender equality globally, the political, economic, environmental and social problems facing women across the world, including the Muslim lands, are worsening by the day. The promise of bringing empowerment and improvement to their lives has not been delivered. Therefore, this March, the Women’s Section in the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir have launched a global campaign entitled, “Beijing+25: Has the Mask of Gender Equality Fallen?” which will culminate in a book launch on the subject in women’s seminars to be held in April in various countries across the world, by the permission of Allah. The campaign seeks to: challenge the dominant narratives related to ‘Gender Equality’ and its claims of advancing women’s rights and the progress of nations; clarify whether gender equality is truly a universal value; examine the reasons for the failure of gender equality policies in improving the lives of women; explain the true ideological and systemic root causes of the multitude of problems facing women today; expose the true agenda of the BPfA and other international women’s agreements; and the campaign will explain how Islam’s unique comprehensive blueprint of detailed principles, laws and systems as implemented by its political system, the Khilafah (Caliphate) based upon the method of the Prophethood, would provide an alternative and correct vision to raise the status of women, secure their rights, elevate their standard of living and achieve true progress within a state. For all those who genuinely wish to build a more prosperous, just and secure future for women across the world, we invite you to follow and support this important campaign.
The campaign can be followed at: http://www.hizb-ut-tahrir.info/en/index.php/hizbuttahrir/19097.html
and the Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/WomenandShariah2
Dr. Nazreen Nawaz
Director of the Women’s Section in The Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir
Thursday, 17th Rajab 1441 AH
Issue No: 1441 AH / 015