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"The Role of Women in the Islamic Society"


30th of September – 2nd of October 2005

Type of the event:

International Conference, pre event of the “Islam and Europe – Mixed or Separated” Conference.


To promote values of mutual respect and understanding between different cultures and religions and to fight against gender discrimination in the Islamic Society, both from outside and inside.


There is a pervasive conception that women in Islam are inferior to men , they are subject to unfair treatment and have no equal opportunities. Therefore usually they do not have a considerable role in the Islamic society and their human rights are violated.
Such a conference aims at separating myth from reality and understanding a different type of societal order guided by values and principles imbedded in Islam. The aim is to discern the fictive literature from the Muslim reality which by its mere discrepancy with the western model seems to engender prejudgements and misconceptions among Muslims and non-Muslims. Lack of understanding generally leads to intolerance and conflicts which undermine the peaceful coexistence and moreover fruitful cooperation between different people of different religions.

We believe that there is a vast and complex reality to explore beyond the shallow generalization on the role of women in the Islamic society. Before drawing conclusions, a closer scrutiny would show that major discriminations arise from outside the Islamic society, making it less feasible for women to integrate in a pluralistic society only for holding beliefs, values and behaviours at variance with those generally accepted as being “appropriate”. Further on disintegration in modern societies between the minorities and the majorities makes it difficult for women to benefit from opportunities that should be available to all, misunderstanding gives further reasons for gender discrimination on account of belonging to a community which allegedly gives less privilege to women.

More respect, a wiser approach, as well as familiarizing with the position of the Muslim woman should be an effective panacea to exclusive and discriminative attitudes and these are effects we estimate to be in line with the results of this event. Tackling down problems as such is possible only by the collective will of downright eye to eye communication and debate.

Target Group:

30 international participants aged between 18-30 both from the member states of Council of Europe and Non-European Countries. We also intend to have a good balance for the group regarding their religion, ethnicity, age and gender. The 30 participants will be chosen from the ones coming to the Conference, on the 2nd of October 2005.

Activities of the conference:

The methodology during the conference will be a combination of formal and non-formal education methods, such as: panel discussions, workshops, round tables, simulations, video sessions and role play games.