The following information is taken from a relatively new Muslim organization dedicated to equality and justice in the Muslim family. The name of the group is Musawa.

Musawah was initiated in March 2007 by Sisters in Islam, a Malaysian non-governmental organisation that is committed to promoting the rights of women within the framework of Islam, and a 12-member international planning committee of activists and scholars from 11 countries. The committee came together to consolidate information, experiences, and ideas that have been used by NGOs and activists in countries around the world to advance equality in the family. Women’s groups have been conducting these advocacy efforts for decades (see the background papers for more information).

Individuals and NGOs from more than 30 countries around the world are involved with or supporting Musawah by conducting consultations and research on the situation in their countries, holding national consultations on equality in the family, contributing to the conceptual framework that guides Musawah’s work, and sharing information with organisations in other countries. National Profiles on why and how equality and justice are necessary and possible in the local context are available for many of these countries.

Framework for Action:
We hold the principles of Islam to be a source of justice, equality, fairness and dignity for all human beings. We declare that equality and justice are necessary and possible in family laws and practices in Muslim countries and communities.

RECOGNISING THAT:

The teachings of the Qur’an, the objectives of the Shari‘ah, universal human rights standards, fundamental rights and constitutional guarantees, and the realities of our lives in the twenty-first century, all demand that relations between Muslim women and men in both the private and public spheres be governed by principles and practices that uphold equality, fairness and justice;

All Muslims have an equal right and duty to read the religious texts, engage in understanding God’s message, and act for justice, equality and the betterment of humankind within their families, communities and countries;

Many laws and practices in Muslim countries are unjust, and the lives of all family members, especially women, are impaired by these injustices on a daily basis;

Human affairs constantly change and evolve, as do the laws and social practices that shape relations within the Muslim family;

Islam embodies equality, justice, love, compassion and mutual respect between all human beings, and these values provide us with a path towards change;

The reform of laws and practices for the benefit of society and the public interest (maslahah) has always been part of the Muslim legal tradition; and

International human rights standards require dignity, substantive equality and non-discrimination for all human beings;
We, as Muslims and as citizens of modern nations, declare that equality and justice in the family are both necessary and possible. The time for realising these values in our laws and practices is now.