Women’s empowerment in UN documents neither a safe haven nor a pandora’s box : need for a holistic perspective

Zeenath Kausar, (2022) Women’s empowerment in UN documents neither a safe haven nor a pandora’s box : need for a holistic perspective. International Journal of Islamic Thought ( IJIT ), 21 . pp. 128-136. ISSN 2232-1314


Official URL: http://www.ukm.my/ijit/volume-21-june-2022/


This article is a critique on the UN – promoted concept of women’s empowerment which is presented in the international instrument of women’s rights, called Platform for Action, (1995) and which is reviewed since then for every five years. It is asserted in the article that though women’s empowerment in the general sense of women’s development and advancement is essential; but this UN-based concept of women’s empowerment is constructed on a specific perspective, called ‘gender perspective’ which is problematic. Critical analysis of ‘gender perspective’ shows that heterosexual marriage, family and reproduction through marital union are all perceived as social construction and they are perceived as obstacles in the way of women’s empowerment. It is therefore contended in the article that this concept of women’s empowerment represents Western ethnocentrism because it ignores certain gender differences and their resultant gender roles and also overlooks the need for institutional agencies like religion and family which are necessary for legitimizing ‘power.’ It is asserted that all cultures should be given the right to re-conceptualize and pursue women’s empowerment following their own perspectives based on their respective civilizations.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Gender perspective; Platform for action; Patriarchal perspective; Sexual and reproductive health rights; Religion; Family
Journal:International Journal of Islamic Thought (IJIT)
ID Code:19217
Deposited By: ms aida -
Deposited On:02 Aug 2022 04:15
Last Modified:04 Aug 2022 07:39

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