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By A Staff Writer
The Iran Culture House organized an international seminar on “Islam and Dignity of Women in the Present world” on April 19 at the Mumbai Press Club. This synchronised with the birthday of Hazrat Fatimeh(May Allah be pleased with her), the daughter of the Prophet.
Dr. Rashida Bhavnagariwala, professor from the Burhani College, spoke about the Western influence on women in India and their disastrous consequences in the society. Uzma Naheed of Iqra Welfare Trust, Mumbai compered the program and averred that Islam had given many rights to women unknown historically. For example, right to divorce and right to consent in marriage were two precious rights given to women by Islam which needed to be preserved in the Muslim societies. Dr. Malika Mistry of Poona College stated that the rights of women given in Islam were all inclusive and nothing more was needed to maintain the dignity of women. For example, female infanticide was abolished by the Prophet in Arabia 14 centuries ago. Today in India, it is a grave problem. Referring to Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, she said about 20 million women were missing from the population of India. This is mainly due to female foeticide and infanticide. Another serious problem facing Indian society is rape. Unless every man sees his mother or sister in another woman, this problem cannot be solved.
Mrs. Siddiqeh Hejazi, President of Womens’ Affairs, Islamic Culture and Relations Organization, Tehran – Iran delivered the Chief Guest’s address. She explained that rational thinking and freedom were very important for maintaining dignity of a person whether man or woman. Islam guaranteed both these rights to women. “So if dignity is to be maintained, women should not be used as commodities and sex objects in the advertisements. Women should be assured of freedom to develop their personalities fully”, she said.