On this page, we would like to highlight the active work that is being carried out by the #ImamsForShe Champions. Hailing from Bahrain, Burundi, Tunisia, the United Kingdom and the United States, these 31 #ImamsForShe champions are raising awareness about the plight of women and girls in their communities, calling for their communities to ameliorate their status.
Spotlight on the United NaTIONS
Star-Studded Panel at csw62
On March 19, 2018, MPV hosted a side event entitled “#ImamsForShe: Engaging Imams for Sustainable Gender Equity and the Empowerment of Women and Girls” at the 2018 meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The event’s theme explored and explained the relationships between faith narratives and the human rights and empowerment of women and girls, including challenges and best practices.
MPV’s Ani Zonneveld moderated an all-star panel, featuring Lopa Banerjee, Chief of UN Women’s Civil Society Division; Karima Bennoune, UN Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights; Naureen Shameem, Human Rights Program Coordinator for the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID); Bilquis Tahira, national director of Sharika - Partnerships for Development and National Director for MenEngage, Pakistan; Imam Bukuru Elie Khalfan, MPV Partner, #ImamsForShe Champion, and President of the Alliance des Imams du Coridor Nord pour le Développement Humanitaire; and a video presentation from Anesie Ngirimana, a youth participant in our #ImamsForShe workshop in Burundi.
Workshop at CSW60
In March 2016, MPV hosted a parallel event at the Commission on the Status of Women Session 60 featuring three workshops: on female genital mutilation and cutting, early and forced marriages, and access to education.
SPOTLIGHT ON TUNISIA
In consultation with known leadership trainers, human rights experts, and religious authorities, MPV created a workshop for trainers (a training of trainers) on leadership strategies, convening 25 people of diverse backgrounds and demography from youth leaders to retirees. This training was based on a new values-based toolkit that MPV is currently developing.
In February 2016, MPV convened 30 progressive Imams and scholars of Islam in Tunisia toward mobilizing a movement against the rise of misogynistic beliefs stemmed from the spread of political Islam and Daesh.
Spotlight on Burundi
Radio Show “La Femme en Islam”
Imam Khalfan, president of MPV’s Burundi partner Alliance des Imams du Corridor Nord Pour le Developpement Humanitaire (AICNDH), began hosting a weekly radio show “La Femme en Islam” in May 2017, discussing the intersections between Islam and human rights, and debunking common religious narratives that promote misogyny and abuse of women’s rights. The show was broadcasted on national radio station "Radio Television Nationale du Burundi" (RTNB), and consisted of weekly broadcasts of 30 minutes. Each episode featured a guest human rights defender -- a #ImamsForShe Champion -- who presented on relevant issues that are prevalent in the community. The talks were uploaded on CDs and distributed, free of charge, to the community in the Northern corridor. The show received a tremendous amount of written feedback, mainly through e-mails and text messages.
AICNDH hosted two #ClubsForShe camps between May 18-21, 2017 and December 29-31, 2017. #ClubsForShe sports camps are designed to sensitize young women to their rights through cultural events, sports, storytelling, debates and presentations. The goal of these camps is to encourage and train young women to engage issues such as women's rights and Islam, early and forced marriages, FGM/C, girls and young women's access to education, gender-based violence and discrimination, and capacity-building for youth in matters of human rights.
The first camp targeted 30 girls from the Kayanza, Ngozi, Kirundo and Muyinga provinces with the central theme of women’s rights and development. The second camp targeted 32 girls from the same provinces under the theme of women’s equality. In total, 64 girls received training in human rights, learning key concepts, how to debunk socio-religious narratives that deprive women of their rights, building a case against FGM/C as promoted by radical imams, and how to defend and promote their rights in their communities and family. The themes discussed during this training fell under human rights (overview), human rights and Islam (theological explanation of human rights traditions in Islam), gender-based violence, a women’s sexuality decision-making, women’s empowerment, sexually-transmitted infections and AIDS, a woman’s right to choose a spouse, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
In October 2015, 26 Imams of the Alliance des Imams du Corridors Nord Pour Le Developpement Humanitaire (AICNDH) in Burundi affirmed their support for the #ImamsForShe initiative by signing this declaration.
In various mosques across the Northern region of Burundi twelve khutbahs (speeches) were delivered from November 6, 2015 until January 22, 2016 on four topics:
How the Prophet Muhammad treated his wives.
Importance of access to education for Muslim women.
The role of women in the humanitarian development.
Women's human rights in Islam.
Between April and June 2016, AICNDH hosted a series of conferences at universities and schools in Burundi.
Spotlight On Malaysia
#ImamsForShe expanded to Malaysia in 2017, with the work of MPV’s sister organization Komuniti Muslim Universal (KMU), taking on the name #UlamaBersamaWanita. In its first year, #UlamaBersama Wanita focused heavily on the dissemination of infographics and informational booklets. In total, these educational materials reached 10 million people!