26 RABI UL AWWAL 1436 H.
(19 JANUARY 2015)

As part of the activities of the 10th Session of the Parliamentary Union of OIC Member States (PUIC), the Fourth Session of the Conference of Muslim Women Parliamentarians was held at the Hilton Hotel in Istanbul, Republic of Turkey, on 19 January 2015.

1.    The 4th Session of the Conference of Muslim Women Parliamentarians, attended by a large number of women parliamentarians, was opened in an atmosphere of hope that the Conference would attain its objective of advancing the status of women in the Muslim world to become key actors in decision-making in the political and social fields, and in all their life-related activities.
2.    Pursuant to Rule 2-7 of the regulations of the Muslim Women Parliamentarians Conference, the outgoing Chair-person, H.E. Mrs. Laleh Iftikhari, started the Opening Session with a welcome statement. She then invited the member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey to assume the duties of the Chairperson of the 4th Session of the Conference.

Statement of the Chairperson of the Fourth Session:
In her opening statement, H.E. Mrs. Ilknur Inceoz, member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and the Chairperson of the 4th Session of the Conference of the Muslim Women Parliamentarians, welcomed the participants wished them success in their deliberations and that the Conference would produce good results that would contribute to improving and advancing the position of women. She said that the fact that the Conference takes place annually reflects the importance attached to women and the efforts aimed at enhancing opportunities of equality. In the first part of her statement, the Chairperson reviewed the Turkish experience over the past 12 years during which important achievements were made towards the prevention of violence against women, the expansion of education and employment opportunities, and the protection of family. She addressed the Istanbul Convention on preventing violence against women and stated that Turkey was the f?rst country to sign the convention, and that 15 parliaments have so far signed the convention. She listed a set of laws which protect women, including the law on veiled women, employment contracts, child custody and child care, and dwelt on the efforts of the Turkish Ministry of Family Affairs to promote equality between men and women.
In the second part of her statement, the Chairperson addressed the risks facing the region such as the cases of Palestinian refugees, the injustice and massacres perpetrated by Israeli authorities against women, children and old people, and the critical humanitarian conditions caused by the conflict in Syria, knowing that around two million Syrian refugees moved to Turkey alone, on whom the Turkish Government spent over US$ 5 billion, waves of refugees fleeing to Europe, and refugees living under harsh cold weather conditions in Iraq and Lebanon. H.E. the Chairperson called for cooperation and for exerting concerted efforts to find solutions to these problems. She then mentioned the events which took place in Paris and condemned the defamation of the Prophet (PBUH), saying that there are sacred lines which should not be crossed, and maintained that Paris events should not be linked to Islam, a religion of equality and mercy, and insisted on the need to raise our voices loudly to express this stance.

Election of the Members of the Bureau:
1.    Pursuant to Rule no. 7-3 which stipulates that the Conference shall elect a Bureau composed of two vice-chairpersons from among the heads of delegations and representing two different geographic groups.

The Bureau was elected as follows:
1.1.    Chairperson of the Conference:
            H.E. Mrs. Ilknur Inceoz, Member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.
1.2.    Vice-Chairperson on behalf of the African Group:
          H.E. Mrs. Hayatu Aicha, Cameroon National Assembly
1.3.    Vice-Chairperson on behalf of the Arab Group:
          H.E. Mrs. Farah Al-Zubaidi, Member of the Iraqi Parliament
1.4.    Rapporteur:
           H.E. Mrs. Fato? G?rkan, Member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey

2.    Adoption of the Agenda:
The Agenda was adopted.

3.    Statement of H.E. the PUIC Secretary General:
In his exhaustive statement, His Excellency the Secretary General thanked the Grand National Assembly of Turkey for hosting the Session and for its good organization of the Conference. He expressed hope that parliaments would join their efforts to make further achievements which would contribute to the promotion of the role of Muslim women in all areas of development, and the progress pursued by the states of Member Parliaments.
He also commended the efforts exerted by the Republic of Turkey in terms of promoting the role of women, noting in particular the conferences organized by the Ministry of Women Affairs and the international forum titled "Women Victims of Wars", which was held on 10 November 2014 in Gaziantep. His Excellency then expressed thanks to Dr. Laleh Iftikhari – Chairperson of the 3rd Session – and expressed his hope that the conference will issue significant recommendations and that the participants would work together to put them into force.

4.    Report of the Bureau of the Conference on the progress made toward the implementation of Tehran Declaration on the Muslim Women Parliamentarians
Her Excellency Mrs. Laleh Iftikhari, Chairperson of the 3rd Conference for Muslim Women Parliamentarians, submitted the report of the bureau, in which she detailed the efforts exerted to implement the previous resolutions, particularly the Document on Muslim Women's Rights and the introduction thereof in international forums and conferences held in several states and regional groups. She condemned the acts of violence committed by extremist groups against women, and denounced the defamation of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). She also wished the elected chairperson further success.   

5.    The women participants made interventions regarding paragraphs 5,6, 7 on the Agenda:
-    Women capabilities to resolve local and regional problems and conflicts.
-    Protecting women and children in conflict-hit areas or areas under occupation, particularly Palestine and other countries witnessing conflicts.
-    Preventing acts of violence against women and children and the exploitation of women in derogatory publicity and commercials.
The valued interventions by the women participants resulted in the following recommendations:

Recommendations of the 4th Conference of Muslim Women Parliamentarians:
1-    Calling for involving women and benefiting from their capabilities in resolving international and regional conflicts and issues, considering that they are the most affected by the catastrophic consequences of wars and conflicts.
2-    Protecting Muslim women and children in occupied territories and conflict-hit areas, particularly in Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, Cameron, the African Central Republic and other areas of conflicts in the Muslim World, and providing material and psychological support to lessen their sufferings and reintegrate them in their original societies, and making visits to them in refugee camps.
3-    Preventing acts of violence against women and children and the exploitation of women and children in undignified work, such as forcing them to practice prostitution and begging, and renouncing the acts of violence and terrorism committed against them, particularly those committed by the Israeli occupation authorities and terrorist groups such as Daesh, Boko Haram and others, which cannot be associated with Islam or to its tolerant teachings.
4-    Unifying the legal systems and the Social Status laws relating to women and children in order to achieve convergence and coordination and share successful experiences and draw up legislations that promote women status and to preserve their rights and obligations.
5-    Urging the implementation of the Document of Muslim women, this was passed by the previous conference of Muslim Women Parliamentarians.
6-    Urging the creation of a network for Muslim women parliamentarians by establishing centers in each parliament council to facilitate contact between women parliamentarians and advance work and collaboration among them.
7-    Encouraging cooperation and contact between the Conference of Muslim Women Parliamentarians and regional associations and unions with a view to sharing experiences.
8-    Enacting laws and legislations to prevent defamation of divine religions, and issuing a statement by the Conference to condemn and renounce the defamation of the best of human beings, Prophet Muhammad (BPUH).
9-    Date and venue of the 5th Conference of Muslim Women Parliamentarians.
According to Rule No. 2 of the Regulations, the date and venue of the next annual conference shall correspond to the 11th PUIC Conference.

Intervention by the General Secretariat:
At the end of the conference, H.E. Ambassador Siddig Yousif ABU-AGLA, Director of Cabinet, expressed thanks, on behalf of the PUIC Secretary General, to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey for hosting the Session and the good organization of the Conference. He further indicated that the Conference, now in its fourth year, has made many accomplishments, and is expected to make more accomplishments in the coming years through the recommendations and resolutions adopted in this Session. He explained that the General Secretariat is accustomed to providing Member Parliaments with detailed memoranda on the resolutions, and that the General Secretariat requests again to be informed of the results of the process of following-up on the implementation of the resolutions.

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