Asia: ASEAN Progressive Muslim Movement Recommendations

WLUML Networkers

The following, and attached, are recommendations from the Regional Meeting held in Jakarta, 16-17 October 2009. Islam in Southeast Asia has long been recognized as humane, tolerant, diverse, plural, metropolitan, progressive, and empowering of women. It is thus a matter of urgent concern that the rapid growth of Islamic extremism is now changing the landscape in Southeast Asia, with serious consequences for all living in the region, as well as for the rest of the world. Leaders of ASEAN member states are urged to be cognizant of this regressive trend, which will have serious impacts not only on women’s rights, human rights, but also on the stability and development of the region as a whole. The conservative and monolithic values that underlie this trend are intolerant of the diversity that characterizes Southeast Asia. Such extremist attitudes result in acts that marginalize women and also use terrorist tactics to eliminate diversity.

B. Background
1. A Regional Meeting was held in Jakarta on 16-17 October 2009 with the aims of raising awareness about certain interpretations of Sharia laws and the impact of these on Muslim women in ASEAN as part of the ASEAN community. This Meeting was also conducted to raise awareness about processes related to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR).
2. Thirty Muslim participants, female and male, from five ASEAN countries with significant Muslim populations attended the Meeting and participated fully. These participants are from civil society organisations, religious institutions and academic institutions. There were four observers from development agencies and international NGOs.
3. The Meeting recognizes that while member states of ASEAN still have diverse records on human rights, it appreciates that ASEAN itself, as a rules-based regional organization under the ASEAN Charter obligations, has increasingly paid attention to human rights. The workshop congratulates the leaders for their diligence and welcomes the launch of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights Commission (AICHR).
4. The Meeting endorses that the ASEAN Commission on Women and Children (ACWC) must be an independent body that follows the human rights principles in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of Children which provide for women and children to be protected from interpretations of religion that violate their human rights.
5. The Meeting notes that Muslims live in all ASEAN countries, numbering an estimated 231,291,000 and comprising an estimated 41.3019 per cent of ASEAN’s total population. This constitutes 14.7401 per cent of the world’s total Muslim population. And, of course, women constitute half of this sizeable Muslim population in ASEAN.

To read the full recommendations, please see attached pdf document

The Meeting participants thank Komnas Perempuan (Indonesian National Commission on Violence Against Women), ‘Aalimaat, the Institute of Women’s Empowerment and Maruah (Singapore) for convening the Regional Meeting on 16-17 October 2009 in Jakarta. The ASEAN Progressive Muslim Movement was formed as an outcome of the Meeting by participants representing the organisations listed below. These Recommendations to ASEAN member states are submitted by the ASEAN Progressive Muslim Movement.

1. ‘Aalimaat
2. Aisyiah
3. Fakultas Hukum Universitas Katolik Parahyangan
4. Indonesian Conference on Religion and Peace (ICRP)
5. Koalisi NGO Hak Asasi Manusia
6. Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Asosiasi Perempuan Indonesian untuk Keadilan (LBH Apik)
7. PEKKA (Indonesian Women Headed Household Programme)
8. Relawan Perempuan Untuk Kemanusiaan (RPUK)
9. Semarak Cerlang Nusa CREST
10. Solidaritas Perempuan
11. Universitas Pancasila
12. Yayasan Bunga Riau

13. Sisters in Islam

14. Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE)
15. Maruah (Singapore)

16. Working Group on Justice for Peace

The Philippines:
17. Initiatives for Peace in Mindanao
18. Nisa ul-Haqq fi Bangsamoro
Regional and international organisations:
19. Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law Development
20. Institute for Women’s Empowerment
21. Women Living Under Muslim Laws

ASEAN_Recommendations_20Oct09.pdf105.64 KB