CEDAW and Muslim Family Laws: In Search of Common Ground

MUSAWAH / Sisters in Islam
Publication Date: 
March, 2011

This report is based on a Musawah research project on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (‘CEDAW’ or ‘the Convention’) that examined States parties’ justifications for their failure to implement CEDAW with regard to family laws and practices that discriminate against Muslim women. The research project reviewed documents for 44 countries with Muslim majority or significant Muslim minority populations that reported to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (‘CEDAW Committee’ or ‘the Committee’) from 2005 to 200. This report documents the trends identified in this review, along with responses from Musawah based on its holistic Framework for Action and recommendations to the CEDAW Committee for a deeper engagement and more meaningful dialogue on the connections between Muslim family laws and practices and international human rights law.

Download the report

About MUSAWAH:  
Musawah is a global movement of women and men who believe that equality and justice in the Muslim family are necessary and possible. Musawah, which means ‘Equality’ in Arabic, builds on centuries of effort to promote and protect equality and justice in the family and in society. Musawah is led by Muslim women, who seek publicly to reclaim Islam’s spirit of justice for all. Musawah acts together with individuals and groups to grow the movement, build knowledge and advocate for change on multiple levels. Its launch at a Global Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in February 2009 brought together over 250 participants — women and men, activists, scholars, and policy makers — from 47 countries, including 32 countries that are members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC). For details, visit the Musawah website at: