History for women is like an ocean of tears, for they have long suffered from oppression, discrimination, and being considered inferior, despite the fact that religions have honored women and granted them many rights. The majority of those who follow these religious have failed to implement this, and so women have remained captive to the traditions that aim to marginalize their role. Until now women have been facing a reality of being discriminated against in most aspects of their lives, whether this is socially, educationally, legally, or in the workplace. Following humanitarian development, society should institute laws that ensure justice for women. To this effect, I would like to pay my respects to, and express my appreciation of, the UN General Assembly resolution that was passed last Friday, establishing the new “UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women” which is better known as “UN Women” and which will work to promote the rights of women, bridge the gap between women and men, and put an end to discrimination against women in various parts of the world, confronting enforced marriages, human trafficking, the crime of rape, and other violations.
Anybody who believes that women have gained all their rights in the majority of countries in the developed world would be mistaken, for the studies and statistics continue to indicate that some features of discrimination against women exist even in the most advanced countries. However what mollifies the situation in these countries is the existence of laws that women can invoke and utilize when necessary. It seems that this time the international community is more serious about exerting pressure through this organization to protect women in all parts of the world, and ensure that they receive the same security and rights that everybody is entitled to. UN Women will attempt to put a stop to human trafficking – something that distorts the image of society – and the phenomenon of forced marriage, as well as other violations committed against women.
I must also pay my respects to the great religion of Islam that established women’s rights more than 1,400 years ago, giving rise to a suitable psychological climate to produce stunning women figures like Khadija Bint Khuwaylid, Fatima al-Zahra, Aisha, Hafsah [Bint Umar], and Asmaa [Bint Abu Bakr], and others. I am extremely saddened by what happened following this era when women’s status returned to the pre-Islamic times, and women were deprived of their humanitarian rights and their freedom and appreciation.