By Nadine Marroushi – Mar 14, 2013
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s largest organized Islamist movement, criticized a United Nations report that aimed to end violence against women and girls, saying it violates principles of Islamic law.
The Brotherhood, the movement from which Egypt’s President Mohamed Mursi hails, sent a 10-point critique of a document they say was adopted at the March 4-15 session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women that was held in New York.
“The Muslim Brotherhood calls on leaders of Islamic countries, their foreign ministers and representatives in the United Nations to reject and condemn this document,” the group said statement. It urged the UN “to live up to the clean level of family relations as established by Islam”.
The 57th session of the commission had the “elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls” as its priority theme.
The Brotherhood described the theme of the conference as “deceptive,” saying it violates Islamic principles. The UN document seeks to destroy the family institution, which Egypt’s constitution confirmed as the basis of society, the group said.
Among the 10 points the Brotherhood said it opposed, were resolutions to ensure women’s rights to lodge complaints of marital rape, promote equal inheritance rights and equal rights between men and women within the family and allow Muslim women to marry non-Muslims. It also criticized recommendations to abolish the need for male permission for travel, work or use contraception.
The Brotherhood also criticized what it said were UN recommendations to give a woman the right to choose the gender of her partner, raise the age of marriage and legalize abortion.
A 2008 study by the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights said 62 percent of men acknowledged sexually harassing women, and 53 percent said women who are harassed “bring it on.”
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in October said Egypt’s transition to democracy will be in part measured by the status of women in the nation.
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