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Gender Discrimination for Religious Reasons in Islamic Countries and International Human Rights Treaties

Series:

Maryam Mosavi

Gender equality rights are fundamental human rights that are recognized in international human rights treaties, which bind states to eliminate gender discrimination formally and in practice. Islam is recognized as the official religion in the constitutional law of Islamic countries; religious scholars have the competence to interpret Islamic law, resulting in creating a series of unequal rights for women based on Islamic law, which often continues in legal structures. Nevertheless, a majority of Islamic countries have ratified the international human rights treaties but have put reservations in place based on Sharia concerning articles on gender equality rights. Therefore, this dissertation addressed that the degree to which international law has accepted gender discrimination for religious reasons.
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Chapter 1 The Definition of Gender Discrimination according to International Human Rights Treaties: Historical Introduction

Extract

The human rights system plays an essential role in protecting and promoting fundamental human rights for all people at the regional and international levels. The principle of equality and non-discrimination is also fundamental human rights because respect for human rights and fundamental rights cannot be achieved when discrimination is permitted. Thus, equality and non-discrimination are, without a doubt, a “fundamental rule of international human rights law”,3which stresses the prohibition of discriminatory acts on grounds and, while doing so, promotes equality.

This part contains two sections. Section A covers the mechanisms of human rights law used to protect and promote fundamental human rights, and Section B addresses the status of equality rights and non-discrimination in international human rights law.

A series of human rights treaties is the source of basic rights and fundamental freedoms in the civil, political, economic, social, and cultural context that all human beings should enjoy without discrimination. These fundamental rights are recognized as “inherent, inalienable, interdependent, and indivisible”; this means they cannot be taken away, that the enjoyment of one right affects the enjoyment of others, and that they must all be respected.4 Human rights law has constructed the following mechanisms to protect fundamental human rights:

First, human rights law is self-explanatory and is comprised of a series of fundamental/societal rights that, at their core, protect the dignity of all humans. They are the rights a person has simply by being human, regardless of their nationality, location, sex, national origin...

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