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

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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.

Maryam Mosavi is an Iranian woman who grew up in an Islamic country and finished her bachelor’s in law based on Islamic law, it was difficult to understand that religious reasons used as a justification to impose discrimination against women. She studied international law in her master’s degree, therefore it has motivated her to address the tension in gender issues between Islamic law and international law. She came to Germany to do a Ph.D under appropriate circumstances for doing an educational project while understanding Western values, which are more engaged with international human rights.