International: Call for proposals: “Family Law Reform and Women’s Rights in Muslim Countries"

Rights & Democracy
Rights & Democracy is issuing a call for proposals for the conference “Family Law Reform and Women’s Rights in Muslim Countries: Perspectives and Lessons learned” to be held in Kabul, Afghanistan, April 2008.
The objective of the conference “Family Law Reform and Women’s Rights in Muslim Countries: Perspectives and Lessons Learned” is to share the experience of family law reform and to analyse the relevance of these experiences to the Afghan context.
Presentations will focus on the sharia argumentation that led to changes in family law in Morocco and in Egypt. The conference aims to enhance participants’ understanding of Islamic argumentation, and to build their capacity to make use of these arguments within the context of the Afghan family law reform process. Issues related to gender equality from an Islamic perspective, the integration of sharia principles in the family law reform processes, and how it has had an impact on women’s rights both from a quantitative and qualitative perspective, should also be addressed.

Rights and Democracy is looking for two speakers to present papers at a national conference in Kabul, Afghanistan. We are looking for speakers with a strong background in gender analysis of Islamic laws, with an expertise in reformed family law in Morocco or in Egypt, and a knowledge of issues related to women’s human rights in Muslim countries. The participation of the speaker to the one-day workshop is required, as well as for shorter presentations in Kabul University, for a private presentation to a group of women Members of Parliament, and to the drafting committee of Family Law in Kabul. The speaker also has to provide a copy of the Egyptian or the Moroccan family law in English or in Arabic. The two languages of the conference are English and Dari.

The conference is part of the CIDA-funded project “A Measure of Equality for Afghan Women: Rights in Practice”. The project aims to support Afghan civil society to advocate for the adoption of a new equitable family law and the implementation of the national marriage contract. The conference will facilitate the exchange of knowledge, stimulate discussion and generate ideas to support the law reform process in Afghanistan.

Rights & Democracy will cover the cost of transportation, accommodation and allow a per diem for daily expenses for a maximum of 6 days. In addition, a set honorarium will be offered. The speaker is requested to travel to Afghanistan during the 1st or the 2nd week of April. R&D will provide a proper letter of invitation and the speaker will be responsible for getting a visa, if required.

A letter of interest, an abstract and a resume should be submitted to Rights & Democracy’s Kabul Office no later than February 15, 2008, 9 AM (Afghanistan time). The selection of the accepted speakers will be announced by email on February 25th. The complete paper should be submitted in English before March 20th, 2008, along with a copy in English or in Arabic of the Egyptian/Moroccan Family Law and should comprise of 15 to 30 pages.

Rights & Democracy (the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development) is a Canadian institution with an international mandate. It was created by an Act of Parliament in 1988. Rights & Democracy is an independent organization, which promotes, advocates for, and defends the democratic principles and human rights set out in the International Bill of Human Rights. In cooperation with civil society and governments in Canada and abroad, Rights & Democracy initiates and supports programmes to strengthen laws and democratic institutions, principally in developing countries.