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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 November 2006, 11:35 GMT
Muslim women debate more rights
Ingrid Mattson
Ingrid Mattson is the president of North America's Islamic Society
Muslim women politicians, business leaders, academics, cultural figures and activists are meeting in New York to try to improve women's rights.

Organisers hope to use the event to launch the first international Islamic advisory council for women.

Key to this, they say, is advocating greater rights for women while working within the Islamic legal framework.

The 120 delegates include Baroness Uddin, the first Muslim woman to enter Britain's House of Lords.

Also attending are Ingrid Mattson, the first woman president of the Islamic Society of North America, and Dr Massouda Jalal, a paediatrician and political activist in Afghanistan.

Organisers say the advisory council will eventually present recommendations to political and religious leaders on global issues of direct relevance and concern to women.

"Women's rights often get debated in the press or they get debated among scholars who are not women," said Daisy Khan of the American Society for Muslim Advancement.

"We feel there are many Muslim women who are coming of age who have the scholarly background to be able to step up to the plate to speak authoritatively about it."

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