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Stakeholders Deliberate on Musawah

Sep 30, 2008, 8:05 AM | Article By: Nfamara Jawneh

Stakeholders in the country on Friday took part in a one-day national consultative meeting at the Head office of the Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices (Gamcotrap) in Bakau.

The forum was meant to introduce the participants to Musawah (equality).

According to Dr.Isatou Touray, Executive Director Gamcotrap, Musawah is a global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family. Its overall goal she said, is to provide support for national and regional initiatives that are pushing for equality and justice in Muslim family laws and practices by sharing information, tools and analysis of justifications for reform and by ensuring visibility on the issues.

Musawah she said declares that change is necessary because many Muslim family laws and practices are unjust and do not respond to the lives and experience of Muslim families and individuals. She stated, "Musawah declares that change is possible through a framework of equality and justice that is consistent with Islamic teachings, universal human rights principles, fundamental rights and constitutional guarantees and the lived realities of women and men today".

She revealed that the movement and its declaration of practices will be launched at a global meeting to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in February 2009.

Other speakers at the meeting included Dr. Omar Jah, Aja Maimuna Savage, Imam Baba Leigh and Mrs. Adelaide Sosseh Gaye. They both welcomed the initiative and principles of Musawah. Speakers also acknowledge the various forms of injustice that women are facing in our societies, which thus calls for change.

Hon. Sidia Jatta, board chairperson of Gamcotrap advised women to seek for knowledge. He described knowledge as the fundamental tool to effect change. He asserted, "Change is brought by people who are committed, courageous, determined, sincere and organised".