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International Women's Alliance Condemns Religious Fundamentalism, Extremism

At a weekend meeting in Copenhagen regarding the status of women's rights around the world, the International Women's Alliance called for an end to religious fundamentalism and extremism.

"Fundamentalism -- be it Christian, Jewish, or Moslem ... is a constant threat to women," the Alliance asserted. "It is a major obstacle to accomplishing our goals of equality between the sexes," said the group's head, Pat Giles.

The International Women's Alliance listed the "ratification and application, without reserve" of CEDAW, the Convention to Elimination All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, as one of the group's primary goals.

Afghanistan's Taliban regime is an example of just how pernicious religious fundamentalism can be for women. Claiming to be carrying out the will of God, the repressive Taliban regime has exacted its own, harsh interpretation of Islam on Afghan women. Under the brutal regime, women are banned from working, attending school, and even leaving their homes without a male relative to chaperone them.

An Afghan refugee who has lived in Denmark since 1997 and participated in last weekend's conference urged "international solidarity to help Afghan women repressed on a daily basis by the Taliban regime."

Media Resources: AFP - August 24, 1998



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