Womens’ International day: KU, KCSDS join hands at a round table

SRINAGAR: On the eve of Women’s International Day, KCSDS and KU jointly organised a Round Table Conference to high light the “ Challenges to Women’s Socio- Economic Empowerment in Kashmir”. Prof Hameedah Nayeem prefaced the exercise in the backdrop of priorities before the UN Commission on the Status of Women, a spokesperson for the KCSDS said.

Out of 12 draft conclusions, Prof Nayeem spelt out three which are most important in the Kashmir context include reaffirmation of its commitment to Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, sustainable development goals (end all forms of violence against all women and girls in private and public spheres and its recognition that structural barriers to women’s economic empowerment can be compounded by multiple and intersecting forms of inequalities and that these are exacerbated in conflict and post conflict situations.


“We need to refer to these because they provide international framework and a comprehensive set of measures for realising the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all women and girls throughout their life cycle,” Prof Nayeem said. “Violence in Kashmir is not only endemic as elsewhere but deliberately perpetrated by the state agencies to keep women in line. Whereas women are taking great strides in different parts of the world and have a reason to celebrate today, here we could only mourn the objectification of women; Instead of taking strides towards wholesome selfhood they have been reduced to objects for fulfilling ‘national interests’ by the dominant state.”

In his comprehensive presentation, the spokesperson said  Justice Bashir Kirmani dwelt at length on how our culture is derived from Islam but Muslims have deviated from the core vision of Islam that gives a complete independent selfhood to women which no other system gives them.

“Those systems reduce women to a class along with other deprived sections of society and seek their empowerment only through that way,” Justice Kirmani was quoted saying. “But Islam is the lone system in the world that recognises her complete individuality. Hence the panacea for all social evil practices, structural or notional, or violence in the domestic or public space is to rediscover that vision which  could grant them human status and dignity and end all forms of degraded treatment they are meted out.”

The presentation was followed by a heated discussion and young bright women scholars grilled the speaker about the subtle patriarchal nuances of his speech and about how men routinely misinterpret Sharia law for establishing their dominance over their women and society instead of questioning such misuse, meekly legitimise the same.


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