HE Assistant Foreign Minister Lolwah bint Rashid Al Khater
HE Assistant Foreign Minister Lolwah bint Rashid Al Khater participated on Wednesday in the 'Women in Islam: Understanding the Rights and Identity of Women in the Islamic World' conference, which was the held on the sidelines of the 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
The conference is organized by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which chairs the current 48th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The inaugural and the high-level part of the conference is chaired by HE the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Bilawal Bhutto Zardari with the participation of HE President of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly Csaba Korosi, HE Executive Director of UN Women Sima Bahous, HE Chair of the Bureau for the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) Mathu Joyini.
In a speech at the conference, HE renewed the State of Qatar's emphasis on the importance of empowering women in all fields, pointing out that the Constitution of the State of Qatar enshrined the principle of equality for all citizens in terms of rights and obligations, in addition to equality of all before the law without discrimination. HE noted that the State of Qatar carried these values through its regional and international efforts to achieve this goal and support projects that aim to improve the lives of women around the world.
HE stressed the need for the international community to work closely to ensure the establishment of societies that empower Muslim women and help them achieve their rights in both Muslim-majority and non-Muslim-majority countries, pointing out that this conference is undoubtedly a first step in the right direction towards change, but we must guarantee continued progress.
HE Assistant Foreign Minister stressed the that the status of women is a question that must be answered outside the scope of politicization, pointing out that what we are witnessing today is the transformation of women's issues from a legitimate concern to a politicized and controversial topic, and a war of identities between the various parties, forgetting the essence of the issue, which are the rights established by the Islamic religion and law, before international treaties touched upon them.
HE said that the challenges facing women around the world are almost similar in essence, as women have to deal on a daily basis with discrimination, violence, invisible barriers and much more, noting that these problems are exacerbated in particular for Muslim women as their rights are politicized under many pretexts.
HE Assistant Foreign Minister noted that Islamophobia, as a phenomenon and discourse, has continued to escalate unchecked over the past few decades, pointing out that it was included in populist national narratives that were used as a weapon targeting Muslims and encouraging their erasure from the social fabric of their societies, explaining that Muslim women feel the effects of this sharply.
HE touched on a UN report in 2021 on 'Countering Islamophobia/Anti-Muslim Hatred to Eliminate Discrimination and Intolerance Based on Religion or Belief' issued by the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, which indicated that Muslim women are more vulnerable to discrimination and hate crimes, and often face double punishment for being women and Muslims, and sometimes triple punishment if they belong to ethnic minorities.
She said that Muslim women play a vital role in society but are often wrongly portrayed as either oppressed or dangerous due to stereotypical media representations, noting that this misrepresentation affects every aspect of a Muslim woman's life and affects her ability to lead a decent life.