Health education and promotion | Events and meetings | Expert consultation on women's health in Islam, 14–15 January 2013

Expert consultation on women's health in Islam, 14–15 January 2013

Print PDF

The WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean and the International Islamic Centre for Population Studies and Research, Al Azhar University conducted an expert consultation on women’s health in Islam, at the WHO Regional Office, Cairo, Egypt, from 14 to 15 January 2013.

The main objectives of the consultation were to: 1) review the current situation and responses to harmful practices influencing women and children’s health, such as female genital mutilation (FGM), early marriage and social barriers to access sexual and reproductive health information and services; 2) develop a draft regional operational framework for preventing harmful practices from an Islamic perspective; 3) agree on a roadmap to implement a regional operational framework for preventing harmful practices through a faith-based communication.

The consultation was attended by religious scholars and leaders, experts in behavioural science from Egypt, Morocco, Oman and Yemen and representatives of the Arab League/Pan Arab Project for Family Health (PAPFAM), Population Council, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UN Women.

During the consultation, experts emphasized that unless harmful practices to women’s and children’s health are addressed, MDGs 4 and 5 will not be achieved. They highlighted the importance of coordinating regional efforts between stakeholders working on child marriage, FGM and social barriers to accessing reproductive health information and services.

One of the key outputs of this consultation was an operational framework to mobilize key stakeholders to address harmful traditional practices hindering women and children health. The operational framework on three key areas: 1) advocacy with/within religious authorities/leaders, health, media professionals, education professionals and policy makers; 2) capacity-building for all stakeholders to create, facilitate, develop and forge political and community-level commitment to fight against harmful practices; 3) communication for behaviour change.

Related links

Gender in health and development programme

Factsheet on FGM