Address: Rylands Estate,
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South Africa

Women in Islam – Women in South Africa symposium

The International Peace College South Africa (IPSA) hosted its third annual Women in Islam – Women in South Africa (WIWISA) symposium on Saturday, October 29 at IPSA’s campus in Rylands, Cape Town.

WIWISA symposium is a flagship event on IPSA’s annual calendar, as it forms an integral part of the institutions broader social investments and educational commitments through initiating important conversations and engaging debates on various issues related to gender and gender-justice within the South African muslim community.

The symposium aims to create a platform for discussing critical issues of gender in Islam in a way that recognizes and takes serious the voices, experiences and lived realities of Muslim women and men.

The theme for this year’s WIWISA symposium was Intersections of Violence: Contextualizing Poverty, Racism, and Terror. Using the concepts of racism, poverty, and terror as a broad-based intersectional lens, the symposium aimed to critically examine some of the varying and varied ways that violence impacts upon women’s lives. More importantly, the symposium recognized South African women’s lived experiences beyond victimhood and seeks to map out reparative strategies that can help to shift the discourse towards that of justice, peace and healing.

The symposium hosted an inspirational panel of presenters from diverse fields that not only brought a wide range of perspectives and critical insights on issues of gender and violence, but each of them lend an important level of authenticity to the conversation.
As committed activists and/or scholars as well as dedicated community workers, the panelists unpacked and shed light on the issue from an engaged and informed position.

Previous symposia have looked at women’s contributions to the development of Islamic education in South Africa, and also interrogated the current discourses and problematics around the Muslim Marriages Bill.

Shaykh Ighsaan Taliep, IPSA principal noted, “IPSA advocates the values of mercy, justice, human dignity, respect and tolerance as the core values of Wasatiyyah (balance) in Islam. The theme of WIWISA challenges Muslims to be self-critical of how we interact with violence against women”.

“Studying at IPSA has been a truly enlightening experience. It has enhanced my understanding of the Deen and enriched the way I live and practice Islam. I would recommend IPSA to anyone who wishes to connect with Allah (SWT) with understanding and an increased sense of sincerity to toward Him. IPSA’s ethos cultivates respect, unity within diversity and living Islam according to the middle-way.”

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