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Empowerment of Women Lauded
an article by Mohammed Rasooldeen, Arabnews (abbreviated)

The 7th session of the Parliamentary Union of Islamic Countries (PUIC) that concluded in Indonesia on Tuesday commended the action taken by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for empowering women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Shoura Council Chairman Dr. Abdullah Al-Asheik, attended the event chaired by Speaker of Indonesia's House of Representatives Marzuki Alie.



click on photo to enlarge

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono also made the keynote address at the inauguration of the conference held in Palembang, South Sumatra.

In one of the resolutions made on the final day of the conference, the heads of legislative bodies said allowing Saudi women to participate in the Shoura Council and granting them voting rights at the municipal council elections, is a major social and political move in empowering women.

Commending King Abdullah's action to empower women, the resolution further pointed out it as a progressive and bold measure. It also noted that under the wise leadership of King Abdullah, the Saudi government had paved the way for women to work according to Islamic law. It also praised King Abdullah's initiative for the interfaith dialogue, which has attracted millions of people of all religions toward a common cause.

In their final statement, the delegates said the issue of Palestine is the core of the conflict in the Middle East. “Member states must take an unified stand at all international forums to restore the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people by recognizing their country as full-fledged member of the United Nations. Jerusalem must be made as their spiritual capital,” the resolution added.

The conference also announced the formation of a permanent parliamentary committee to try to resolve the Palestinian issue. The committee will consist of 13 members from the PUIC and its first meeting will be held in Turkey. The parliamentarians called on the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to freeze Israel's membership for its actions ignoring international laws and conventions.

The participants also expressed satisfaction toward Indonesia's move for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq to help restore security and stability in the country.

Rejecting the International Criminal Court’s decision on the issue of an arrest warrant to Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, the house said Sudan should be protected from foreign threats and the security and stability of the country must be maintained.
The statement also called for the need for immediate action against piracy that has become a threat to international navigation.
In his speech during the inauguration of the conference on Monday, Yudhoyono said: “We must project Islamic teachings in their best forms. But this message will only be effective if we as Muslims implement Islamic values, given that it is the most advanced civilization in the 13th century. It means we must establish cooperation and build togetherness. Our capabilities must be able to respond within a culture of peace and tolerance” . . .

DISCUSSION

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Prospects for progress in women's equality , what are the short and long term prospects?

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The following figures, very revealing, come from the website of the American White House.

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This report was posted on February 11, 2012.