I’m not against CEDAW but CEDAW is against me

    Posted in : Uncategorized:
  • On : May 06, 2009

Please allow me to repeat myself here, I’m not against CEDAW but CEDAW is against me.

Each and every country, nation, religion and even community on this planet has the right to make their own choices based on their own ideology and/or belief. Some people do believe that we human beings descended from monkies, some other people believe that the world’s savior lost his way in a tunnel but he will find his way one day and save us, some other people yet believe that going out of the norm and having a sexual affiliation with the same gender is just normal, some others believe in exorcism and getting possessed. In this world, there is an endless list of beliefs that I consider weird because it doesn’t meet my standards and at the same time many people might find my beliefs weird, such as believing in a book named The Holy Quran that was sent to an illiterate shepherd in the middle of Arabian desert.

For a compiled short list of weird religious practices check out listverse.com or make a use of the great search engine Google.

Having a different belief, ideology or even an opinion is very normal and we should accept the fact that no one will ever be able to get the humanity to agree on the same thing.

Now, it’s one thing to oppose a convention like CEDAW and another thing to have the convention oppose your belief. If you identify yourself as a Muslim then there are some protocols to follow and some protocols that you cannot break or you will be opposing what you have decided to follow. Think of joining a religion as joining a big firm that has its own protocols that you have to follow. Some firms make it mandatory to wear their uniform, others have some dress code that you cannot break or you will be fired. Joining a religion is like getting a job at a big fancy corporation that has many protocols to be followed.

If you had the chance to make the choice and actually study religions and then decide which one you wanted to follow then you would choose the one that convinced you. If you are not convinced maybe you should rethink it because if you are convinced then there are some protocols to be followed and that cannot be customized to fit your personal needs but you have to customize your life based on it.
Speaking of corporations, I was once denied from changing the light bulb from a yellow one into white one because according to the firm protocol it does affect the office design even though it wasn’t healthy at all to spend hours of programming under that dim yellow light. It was against my personal preferences by all means but I had to accept it and customize my preferences based on firm look & feel preferences because I needed the job and I was forced to keep the dim yellow light. I even had an argument about it with the scholar of the dim yellow light protocol aka my manager but there was no way around it.

I believe in Allah-made laws and man-made ones as long as the man made protocols don’t oppose Allah-made protocols and fortunately our constitution does not oppose the wider protocol especially what Islam has directly forbidden.

CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women) is a very interesting convention which should solve all the standing issues regarding the discrimination against women where it exists and with our protocols (Sharia Law). We do have equality in terms of justice – both man and women in Islam have rights and duties and if we switch it to the western gender equality system women will have more duties and less rights, but that’s theoretically speaking basically because we are not applying it as it should be and thus we do have a discrimination.

Indeed we need to work on this issue and it should be given a high priority especially when we have the theoretical solution ready so basically we just need to enforce it and then everyone should be happy but applying all of CEDAW articles isn’t the solution at all.

Thankfully folks at the U.N understand that some countries would have some reservations based on national law, tradition, religion or culture as long as it’s not incompatible with the object and purpose of the Convention.

For example, Australia doesn’t accept the application of the convention because it would require alteration of Defense Force policy which exclude women from combat duties while Austria for example had a reservation on the provision of article
because they do have laws to protect working women and working women at night that apparently conflict that provision.

Canada decided to withdraw the declaration to article
11 (1) (d)
of the Convention, made upon ratification.

So far we have three western white countries with reservations based on their jurisdiction system as accepting CEDAW as whole will require alteration or they believe that taking it as whole might not help in protecting working women or they just can’t make it happen.

Some other countries like Israel had a reservation based on their jurisdiction and religious believes

1. The State of Israel hereby expresses its reservation with regard to article 7 (b) of the Convention concerning the appointment of women to serve as judges of religious courts where this is prohibited by the laws of any of the religious communities in Israel . Otherwise, the said article is fully implemented in Israel , in view of the fact that women take a prominent part in all aspect of public life.

2. The State of Israel hereby expresses its reservation with regard to article 16 of the Convention, to the extent that the laws on personal status which are binding on the various religious communities in Israel do not conform with the provisions of that article.

Another interesting reservations were made by the Singapore government

In the context of Singapore ‘s multi-racial and multi-religious society and the need to respect the freedom of minorities to practise their religious and personal laws, the Republic of Singapore reserves the right not to apply the provisions of articles 2 and 16 where compliance with these provisions would be contrary to their religious or personal laws.

They do respect your religion and your freedom to practice it so I wonder why we are not being consulted whether we agree on lifting the reservations or not? Doesn’t it affect our lives directly? Even if it doesn’t oppose our religious protocols it still affect our lives directly, lets say Muslims are a minority in Jordan, they deserve to have their religious protocols considered, they could have done it in the singaporean way and the flexibility is already given by the folks at the U.N!

I do understand and believe that if you build a family with a certain ideology, believe or personal family law nothing would stop you from applying it but this would open the door to making what you build very fragile because then you would be breaking the authority’s law.

In real life the solution lies in enforcing whatever a country fancies to stop discrimination against women not by signing a convention nor by adopting a theory without enforcing it.

More on this in the blogospher