Human Development Studies » Women and Family

Strong and healthy societies are comprised of cohesive families in which women and men are treated equally in all aspects of social and economic life. However, today there is a widespread painful reality that many societies across the world are facing new challenges of weakened family structure and degraded status of women. As the smallest unit of society, without a strong and healthy family structure, it is not easy to empower women and achieve perfect gender equality. Many OIC member countries have been suffering from gender inequality at varying degrees such as in the area of education, health and work-life. They share also some common concerns on the state of family union and well-being such as stemming from increasing divorce rate, decreasing number of children per women, and limited participation of women into labour force.

Such common concerns motivate OIC member countries to prepare and take policy actions both at the national level and OIC-cooperation level. In this regard, OIC member countries adopted the OIC Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women (OPAAW) and is in the process of developing an OIC-level family strategy. In this connection, the research at SESRIC looks at key challenges faced by women and family institution in socio-economic life in OIC countries, barriers in reducing gender inequality, potential areas of cooperation in developing policy responses to address such challenges and barriers. It also involves studies that aim to highlight the potential role of gender equality and strong family structure in achieving sustainable development.