The conference on women and tradition, which took place in Damascus, Syria between the 13th and the 15th of November 2005, has made a number of important proposals, based in general on the following three topics:
Women and Peace Building Women and the Law Women and Tradition
The following proposals were presented to the participants of the conference.
1.Publishing UN documents, concerning:
a) the role of women in peace Building;
b) international human rights law on the treatment of women during wartime and armed conflicts; and
c) the training of humanitarian organizations with reference to similar topics
2. The amendment of the discriminatory articles of the Personal Status Laws in the Arab world - through cooperation with scholars of shariºa law and law experts, and the use of i‚tihÞd in the resolving of new matters taking into consideration the uniqueness of language, time and place - with the aim of reconciling them with international agreements.
3. The amendment of Penal Laws, particularly the laws which grant the right of excuse to a murderer where he has committed murder in the defense of honour and the creation of rights to protect women from domestic violence.
4. The standardization of Personal Status Laws for the purpose of encompassing all groups of the society according to the civil law.
5. To work towards establishing a secular Family Law and a secular Family Court.
6. Establishing Advice- and Refuge Centers for women who have been the victims of violence.
7. Open channels of communication and cooperation, and secure the active support of international organizations dealing - in the field of women’s issues - with small women’s organizations and societies.
8. The necessity of Arab states ratifying an agreement opposing all forms of discrimination against women, and the guaranteed realization of the agreement
9. The necessity of the Arab world to approve the Rome Statute concerning the International Criminal Court in support of the protection of human rights.
10. To formulate an informed political and religious media discourse addressing issues of equality between man and women.
11. To support civil society institutions and women’s organizations in order to strengthen the networks between state institutions and the civil society institutions, and to ensure the importance and activism between the organizations and institutions and the people – particularly the women- of the Arab states and furthermore of all other countries.
12. The participation of women in formulating the legislation - in particular the Personal Status Law - and the constitutions of the Arab states concerning the role of the Arabic parliaments.
13. The continuing communication with the liberal sharºia experts about political and social activities, seen in a wider context.
14. The training and instruction of the public speakers of mosques in order to support a suitable qualification regarding Islam and respect towards women’s rights and the holy rights.
15. Holding conferences in order to
a) gain deeper knowledge in the field of women’s law;
b) achieve a more detailed picture of the matter, and
c) to build up suitable means of changing the law, if necessary.
16. The final proposals of this conference should be distributed to as many different groups of society as possible: in universities, mosques, churches, NGOs and the media