بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Beijing +25: Did the Mask of Gender Equality Fall?
Talk 1: Beijing and the Politicization of Women's Issues
by Zeineb Djebbi - Hizb ut Tahrir / Wilayah TUNISIA
How similar today is to yesterday, in the eighteenth century, Mary Wollstonecraft wrote about the emancipation of women, demanding their rights in the French Revolution of promises that men obtained and women did not. Years passed, and the ideas, outputs and consequences of the French Revolution were internationalized, and became, like any other Western intellectual system, a global affair and global thought. Today we watch and hear the countries of the world, including the Islamic countries, review the progress made in implementing the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action based on what has been accomplished in implementing the outputs of the Beijing Conference and other international conferences that monopolized the victory for what has been called women's issues.
The Western feminist thought stemmed from the culture of separating religion from life (which stemmed from the womb of the French Revolution) in political and societal conditions particularly in the West. It was characterized by the marginalization of women in society, women were second-class citizens. Feminism has looked at the history of women from a purely Western perspective. The history of the West, its oppression of women and its depiction of women as a source of evil and the source of vice has become a history of all humankind and a measure of all countries, even those which we do not even know their location on the map, and we do not know anything about their culture. As usual, the West marginalized, but rather eliminated every heritage not from its heritage, and every culture not from its own culture (it did not evaluate cultures in terms of the most correct and appropriate, but rather from the point of imposing the identity and civilization on the colonies). Therefore, feminism made the western anti-woman heritage a legacy of all women, and the period before the liberation of women was linked to the era of female slavery and the post-modern period with the liberation of women. This liberation was taken as the most important feature of the development of humankind and a measure of the advancement of nations, and here we are following the discussions about the pre-Beijing conference and its aftermath as if it is a crossroads and a crucial point in the history of women.
The term Feminism was first proposed in the 1880s by the French Hubertine Auclert, who, through her newspaper La Citoyenne, demanded the emancipation of women and the granting of their rights as promised by the French Revolution, and criticized, like other women of the privileged class in France, the domination and the male authority in which women only witnessed vilification, humiliation, marginalization and ill-care. Ironically, France, the revolution was brutally abusing women in colonies, and the feminists of the West over the years did not go out in the streets of the capitals of the West in support for their sisters, the women, and they were not affected by the humiliation of women in Algeria under the shadow of French colonialism, and they did not condemn what women in West Africa experienced from enslavement.
This schizophrenia in dealing with feminist affairs has continued for decades, as the feminist movement remained sheltered under the shadow of authoritarian colonial regimes. Feminists in Egypt (Kinanah), for example, are keen to demand the implementation of the provisions of the international conventions on women's rights, and they work through the National Center for Women, which is known for its support for the regime that governs with the oppression of women and men. They claim to work to free the woman while turning a blind eye to the prisoners of conscience who disagree with them.
Feminists are calling on the West to impose the concept of gender and its globalization and accept the oppression and humiliation of women across the world, under the umbrella of the gains of the dominant current world order, where girls and women are prevented from learning and from working in government offices if they adhere to their inherent right of women wearing whatever costume they wants.
In order to impose intellectual hegemony, Western countries put women's issues under the umbrella of human rights, avoiding the stark contradiction between the globalization of the Western women's struggle for centuries in order to obtain some rights and the specificity of this historical event in the West, and the reality of women across the world. So the history of the West became the history of all humankind, and the gains of the Western feminist struggle became victories for women and even for humanity. Thus, a specific template for women's issues was identified and adopted as an international standard for assessing countries and nations.
The major countries justify their stance on women's issues as an integral part of human rights issues, and therefore they give themselves the justification for serious and broad interventions in the sovereignty of other countries. In the face of these threats, many countries have started enacting legislation and programs that are consistent with the concepts that feminist ideology proposes that are supported and exploited by the Western political machine: it is colonialism as we know it and it is the far-right thought with its multiple spectra which was summed up by Francis Fukuyama in The End of History and the Last Man as the moment of the pictorial coronation of the Western liberal thought and that it is the highest that can be reached by humans in their development in natural superiority over any other ideology. This explains the holistic view that the international agenda adopts regarding women's issues which contradicts the cultural pluralism they promote.
The United Nations raised the slogan of equality generation to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Conference, as if sisterhood disavowed hundreds of millions of girls around the world who did not grow up with the idea of equality and were not concerned with equality with men as much as their equality with girls of the equality generation in the West.
The slogan of "the generation of equality" raised by the United Nations in the memory of Beijing did not equate between the workers in the field of making clothes in Bangladesh, while working in subjugating conditions in stalls, described metaphorically as factories, sewing clothes and getting little in return, so that the clothes could be exported and sold in Western fashion houses at exorbitant amounts. Yes, the generation of equality in the West dream about equality for the rights of factory workers and the advantages of women farmers... We see the generation of equality in Muslim countries in immigration boats and in pictures of young women carrying their children in death boats to have a decent life. And how can the United Nations claim that empowering women stimulates productivity and economic growth while the economy is devastated in fragile economies that are controlled by international organizations after being flooded with usurious debts that do not enable anyone to produce or help a country to real economic independence that achieves prosperity and sufficiency ?! Where is the generation of equality to demand true equality away from the polemics of masculinity and femininity and Byzantine sophistry?
It is an amazing wonder the world celebrates the following days (as an example):
March 8th: International Women's Day
October 11th: International Day of the Girl Child
October 15th: International Day of Rural Women
November 25th: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
Why are ministries involved in women's affairs recruited to celebrate these days? And why, as peoples, are we forced to pant after equality, even though the desired equality has not been achieved in the West, and the Western women still dream of receiving equal pay as men for the same work? Why have we been forced to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Conference even though it marginalized Islamic culture and Islam as an ideology, and made alien vocabulary to the Islamic countries a measure of progress?
The West imposed a mono-view of human behavior and categorized all those who reject their ideas at the bottom of the ranks of the developed people. Just as rejecting peace with the usurping entity of Jews does not mean rejecting peace at all, even though the idea of world peace is a fragile idea that has not been and will not be achieved in the real world. The refusal of the idea of equality does not mean accepting the oppression of women and the deprivation of their rights, just as refusing to set an agenda for the people of the world does not mean self-isolation.
However, the West adopted women's issues as one of the criteria that determine the relations of Western countries with the people of the world and made them one of the most prominent causes of interference in the affairs of countries and a criterion for the acceptance of the county in the international community under the domination of the current the international system. So the women’s issue topped the political and economic forums.
And the issues of women concerned in the international framework do not mean the real problems that women suffer from in developing countries, but rather the application of a concept that is ideologically related to women's issues that has a specific content and specific vocabulary adopted as a unified template for women's issues around the world regardless of the religious and cultural differences of societies. The West has adopted the term gender to describe the human species in a broad sense and has adopted the term partner to eliminate the relationship between men and women in the context of marriage and a family.
Western culture is now presented as an inclusive culture for human beings that provide them with means for the advancement and prosperity, and anything else is an extremist, terrorist thought especially what originated from Islam. There is no place for them in today's world. Buddhist, Hindu, and other women are marginalized in Western societies, but are neither targeted nor discriminated against.
My Dear Sisters,
We are facing an octopus that suffocates the women of the former colonies... We are facing an octopus that has tentacles in international conferences concerned with women and their outputs, and in civil society organizations, gender forums and national centers of women, that pumps a culture that did not stem from the Ummah's ideology, thought, and cultural heritage, and has a political head that strengthens colonialism with its forms and supports Western domination. An octopus that does not care about our issues and does not pay any attention to the suffering of the breadwinner women, the political prisoners, and the Murabitat (Quds women stationed in protection) of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and does not care for women in refugee camps and under the bombing of the Bashar Al-Assad regime - and how can the colonizer consider the woes and cries of women in Muslim countries when it is the one that caused it politically, economically and culturally?! - All its concern and intention is to distract people from the causes and highlight some symptoms.
They want the female breadwinner in the far reaches of the Moroccan villages to limit her thinking to the conflict with her family members over what is called "equality", a struggle that carries terminology that tickles the feelings. It is a mirage that the thirsty thinks is water! The ruling regime robbed her of her legal rights and obstructed the divine rulings that brought her justice without struggle. It gave her a breadwinner (to look after her) and lifted the burden from supporting herself, let alone a whole family. This equality is in stark contrast to the guardianship of men over women, which were established by Islam in observance of the human nature that was created in both men and women.
[الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّـهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ وَبِمَا أَنفَقُوا مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ]
“Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth.” [An-Nisa’: 34]
The Muslim woman turned away from the struggle alongside men in order to achieve true liberation, looking for a fake liberation that would destroy her family and make her more alienated and unstable! A cheap struggle that preoccupies women from their painful reality and from the domination of the Western economic machine over their countries, that is squandering energies, distracting efforts, and without any benefit.
Western feminism and its feminism arose in Muslim lands under colonialism, and feminist thought remains subordinate to political agendas, it is used to pass certain agendas and is used in order to impose an inferior view of the people of the world. Linguist Noam Chomsky says, "If you want to control the people, let him think that they are the reason for their backwardness." (Paraphrasing)
Feminism in Muslim countries was nothing but meetings of elites and agendas of influential people, which did not reflect the pulse of the street and the concerns of women and girls. It was nothing but state feminism in its worst form, leaning on failed systems and living like all parasites spreading harm and of no benefit. The absurd call for equality was nothing but a disregard for the minds of women and to instill a sterile debate that did not serve the woman and did not achieve her dignity and well-being, but rather it is a deliberate deception to distort the rules of Islam in the hearts and minds of Muslims. The Muslim woman does not seek justice from imported western equality, for Islam, which restored all her rights that were taken away from her under the ignorance of the Arabs and the ignorance of other civilizations, made the inequality between her and the man justice, because Islam took into account the nature, characteristics and merits of each of them, Allah (swt) says:
[وَلَا تَتَمَنَّوْا مَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بِهِ بَعْضَكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا اكْتَسَبُوا وَلِلنِّسَاءِ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا اكْتَسَبْنَ وَاسْأَلُوا اللَّهَ مِن فَضْلِهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيماً]
“And do not wish for that by which Allah has made some of you exceed others. For men is a share of what they have earned, and for women is a share of what they have earned. And ask Allah of his bounty. Indeed Allah is ever, of all things, Knowing” [An-Nisa’: 32]
Allah (swt), who created the pairs, male and female, viewed them the same as, human beings, but their creation was not equal in composition and capabilities, and therefore it is impossible for them to be equal in rights and duties, and the call for equality between them is true injustice. It is the wisdom of Allah (swt) that He created these differences in the physical and psychological composition between men and women, a complementary difference and not a contradiction difference, they are both of value in terms of role and function, unlike the calls of equality in the secular view that makes the relationship between them a competitive relationship.
History has proven the mistake and limitation of Fukuyama's allegations: the intellectual struggle between nations is inherent since Allah (swt) created the earth and those on it, and when one reaches a stage where he feels that he has triumphed another one comes and takes over ... and the cycles continue among the nations until Allah (swt) inherits the earth and those on it. Allah (swt) says:
[وَتِلْكَ الأَيَّامُ نُدَاوِلُهَا بَيْنَ النَّاس]
“And these days [of varying conditions] We alternate among the people” [Al-i-Imran: 140].
[فَعَسَى اللَّهُ أَن يَأْتِيَ بِالْفَتْحِ أَوْ أَمْرٍ مِّنْ عِندِهِ]
“But perhaps Allah will bring conquest or a decision from Him,” [Al-Ma’ida: 52]