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


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 3 International Monitoring Mechanisms of the Implementation of Women’s Human Rights


International human rights treaties set out legal obligations on states parties to protect and promote fundamental human rights. In this regard, ratification or accession by states on paper cannot guarantee that will be enjoyed the protection of human rights in practice. Therefore, the nine core international human rights treaties constitute a crucial mechanism for monitoring the implementation of each treaty.327 The violation of human rights obligations by states parties will be ←105 | 106→identified through these mechanisms. There are various procedures for monitoring under an international Committee known as the ‘treaty-monitoring body’. These procedures include submitting reports periodically, engaging in dialogue with the treaty body established, advising, and making recommendations. Some states have accepted to be bound by petitions procedures within an Optional Protocol.328

These monitoring procedures of treaty bodies have developed in practice and strengthened over time. In other words, they have made a significant contribution to the development of human rights. For example, the reporting process has indicated to which degree states parties have met their obligation under human rights treaties, which aim at “strengthening the capacity of states to fulfill their reporting obligation”.329 Moreover, individual complaints concluded as the progressive development of international instrument monitoring, which has resulted in individual relief for victims; though it is in accord with the approaches of the Committee, it is not legally binding.330

However, the role of the Committees has highlighted, on the one hand, their jurisprudence in the interpretation and application of human rights referred...

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