Alaa Murabit: What my religion really says about women
Alaa Murabit - Peace expert
Alaa Murabit champions women’s participation in peace processes and conflict mediation. Full bio
had a very interesting conversation
the United States has run out of jobs,
the voices of women
processes and conflict resolution,
the full participation of women globally
important to me.
I am very proud of my faith.
to do my work every day.
in front of you.
been done in the name of religion,
of the world's major faiths.
and manipulation of religious scripture
and cultural norms,
don't recognize it.
North Africa, to Canada
and spiritual people,
that having 11 kids forces you to have.
through a cultural lens.
judged differently based on gender.
as a merciful and beneficial friend
I looked at the world.
had additional benefits.
where I went to school,
Kennedy School of Government?"
of International Affairs."
to talk to my mom to get in.
and having 10 siblings
power structures and alliances.
to talk fast or say less,
to get the answers you know you want,
in the right way to keep the peace.
I learned growing up
I had to be there when she was trying
because I had to defend myself,
then the finger is pointed at you,
you will be grounded.
from experience, of course.
I completed high school and I moved
to Libya before on vacation,
it was magic.
and really excited relatives.
as a 15-year-old young lady.
to the cultural aspect of religion.
meaning religiously prohibited --
culturally inappropriate --
and had the same consequences.
after conversation with classmates
friends, even relatives,
and my own aspirations.
my parents had provided for me,
the role of women in my faith.
of International Affairs,
so that's what I did,
who were leaders,
to positions which predated
in the eyes of God,
I had learned as a child.
who gets to control the message,
in every single world faith,
are dominated by men
in their likeness,
the system entirely,
expect to have full economic
a straight house on a crooked foundation.
and my family was on the front lines.
that happens in war,
it was not only acceptable
but it was encouraged.
had a seat at the table.
We were crucial.
for that change to be permanent.
that I had previously worked with
to their previous roles,
by words of encouragement
as their defense.
for their opinions.
and political empowerment of women.
to cultural and social change.
but not a lot.
their defense as my offense,
Islamic scripture as well.
led the single largest
campaign in Libya.
and universities, even mosques.
billboards and television commercials,
a women's rights organization
which had previously opposed
and sayings of the Prophet,
are, for example,
to their family."
led by local community imams
like domestic violence.
we actually had to go as far
Human Rights Declaration,
written by religious scholars,
are in our book.
just copied us.
we were able to provide
the rights of women in Libya.
been replicated internationally,
believe me, it's not.
and call you a bad conservative.
a lot of colorful things.
must be extremely ashamed of you" --
to your next birthday" --
and religion are not mutually exclusive.
because by remaining silent,
and abuse of women worldwide.
to fight for women's rights
with bombs and warfare,
which need to address these issues
distorted religious messaging.
of insults and ridicule and threats.
the message of human rights,
the women in your families,
that would be transformed
About the speaker:Alaa Murabit - Peace expert
Alaa Murabit champions women’s participation in peace processes and conflict mediation.
Why you should listen
Alaa Murabit's family moved from Canada to Libya when she was 15. Brought up in a Muslim household where she was equal to her brothers, she was shocked to see how women were viewed and treated in her new country. She enrolled in medical school, but felt frustrated by the gender discrimination she experienced.
During her fifth year in med school, the Libyan Revolution broke out. Murabit was invigorated by how women were embraced as decision-makers in the movement. She founded The Voice of Libyan Women (VLW) to focus on challenging societal and cultural norms to make that the case all the time. Many VLW programs -- like the Noor Campaign, which uses Islamic teaching to combat violence against women -- have been replicated internationally.
Murabit is an advisor to many international security boards, think tanks and organizations, including the UN Women Global Civil Society Advisory Group and Harvard’s Everywoman Everywhere Coalition. An Ashoka Fellow, Murabit was a Trust Women Hero Award Winner in 2013.
Alaa Murabit | Speaker | TED.com