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ConferencesGCWRI

Participation of Women in Public and Political Life


Gamal Serour is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Director of the International Islamic Center For Population Studies and Research and former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. He won the United Nations Population Award in 2013 and the Nile Prize for Science in 2018. Since 2019, he has been a member of the Islamic Research Council Al Azhar. He established and directed Al Azhar training programmes for laparoscopy in 1976, microsurgery in 1980, and a large number of training workshops on academic, research and training for candidates from Middle East, Asia and Africa. He has conducted numerous workshops on sexual and reproductive health and rights for religious leaders and Imams from Egypt, Asia and Africa in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Population Fund and the United Nations Children’s Fund. Gamal established the first in vitro fertilization (IVF) centre in Egypt on March 1986 and IVF centres at the Ministry of Health in 2000 and at Al-Azhar University in 2004. He established the Egyptian Fertility Society (EFFS) in 1994 and has been the EFFS’ President since 2004.

He was President of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) from 2009 to 2012, a member of the Lancet–Guttmacher Commission on SDGS (2016–2018) and is currently President of the African Federation Fertility Societies (AFFS). He was a member and then Chair of the FIGO Ethics Committee for Women’s Reproductive Health (1994–2006), a member of the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Group (STAG) (2011-2016), Chair of STAG (2017–2018) and has been Co-Chair of the Ethics Review Committee at the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean since 2017.

BACA JUGA:   Promoting Women’s Participation in Private, Public and Political Life: The Case of Fatima Zahra Women’s Organization in Zimbabwe

This paper argues for women’s participation in public and political life based on Islamic principles. The Quran emphasizes equality between men and women in performing public and private duties. The ability to hold public office depends on qualifications, not gender. The paper cites Quranic verses about the Queen of Sheba and Yusuf (Joseph) to illustrate that leadership qualities are not gender-specific. The Prophet’s sayings are also used to support the concept of women’s equality. The paper highlights the historical examples of women like Umm Salama and Khadija who played significant roles in Islamic history. The paper concludes that women can contribute positively to society through public and political participation. Their skills and experience should not be wasted.

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