The Director of Multilateral Cooperation Tri Tharyat, who represented the Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, delivered a women empowerment message during the 49th OIC Ministerial Conference (KTM) held in Nouakchott, Mauritania, on March 16 to March 17, 2023.
“Indonesia urges the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to work together as a unified and flexible organization that benefits the Muslim community and the world,” said Tharyat, as quoted from Kemlu.go.id.
Tharyat also added that the OIC should focus on promoting unity, solidarity, and cooperation to confront various challenges faced by the Muslim community and the world in the present day.
Four key messages
Indonesia delivered four primary focus points at the conference, namely:
- Promotion of women’s rights
Indonesia advocates for the OIC to prioritize women’s rights and make it one of its key agendas.
“OIC must be at the forefront in pushing for the advancement of women’s rights in Islam,” said Tharyat.
- The OIC must play a bigger role in overcoming the situation in Afghanistan
Indonesia recommends that the OIC should press the Taliban Government to retract policies that restrict women’s rights, particularly in education.
Additionally, the country also expressed its willingness to join OIC member states’ scholars in their visit to Afghanistan.
An International Conference on Education for Afghan Women was conducted by Indonesia and Qatar in December 2022, which successfully brought together pledges of international assistance for the education and healthcare sectors in Afghanistan.
- Support for the struggle for Palestinian independence
Indonesia emphasizes the significance of the OIC’s collective efforts to support Palestine by taking concrete measures.
These measures include backing the appeal for an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and promoting the peace process.
- The importance of the OIC strengthening substantial cooperation in the field of development
Indonesia suggests multiple fields of collaboration, such as vaccine development, disaster readiness and management, and the halal industry.
Indonesia further urges the OIC to work together with various entities, including the Center for South-South Cooperation located in Jakarta.
OIC efforts in promoting women’s rights
Presently, the OIC has taken various steps to promote women’s rights within the organization and among its member states, namely:
- In 2008, the OIC adopted the Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women, which aims to enhance the status of women and increase their participation in all aspects of life;
- Established a specialized agency, the OIC Women’s Development Organization (WDO), to address women’s issues, promote gender equality, and develop policies and programs to empower women; and
- Organized conferences and workshops on women’s rights, encouraged member states to ratify international conventions and treaties related to women’s rights and supported initiatives to combat violence against women.
However, there is still much work to be done in this area, and the OIC continues to face criticism for not doing enough to promote women’s rights and gender equality.