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Jakarta Post

Women encouraged to speak up on religion

  • Ati Nurbaiti

    The Jakarta Post

Kuala Lumpur   /   Mon, February 16 2009   /  02:43 pm

Mutual encouragement against being intimidated to speak up was part of Sunday's discussion among scholars and activists at a global meeting in Malaysia on women's rights. "As citizens, we are all affected *either by policies or religious rulings*," said Madhu Mehra from India. So whether believers or not, whether learned in religion or not, said the lawyer, "we all have a right to speak up", including on religious issues. Since the start last Friday of the ongoing Musawah, the gathering on the global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family, women had raised concerns of being dismissed or intimidated for speaking up, particularly on issues that went against positions of religious authority. Accusations of being kafir, or a nonbeliever is a common allegation, they said, apart from physical intimidation and assault. Francis Lessing of the US-based Cat...