The “Muscat Declaration: Towards the Achievement of Gender Justice in the Arab Region” was adopted by ESCWA member States on 21 January 2016 as a broad framework for the achievement of gender equality. This newly adopted concept of gender justice exceeds the traditional concept of gender equality that limits equality to the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, to include the element of accountability to ensure the existence of effective mechanisms to eliminate discrimination.
The Declaration clearly pointed out that the Arab region should renew the religious discourse, especially on gender equality, highlighting its support for cooperation among Arab countries to encourage informed jurisprudence to achieve this equality, through conciliation between the concepts of justice and gender in religious discourse.
The “Muscat Declaration” was adopted at the conclusion of the seventh session of the ESCWA Committee on Women, which was hosted by the Sultanate of Oman in Muscat on 20 and 21 January 2016, under the auspices of Her Highness Doctor Mona al-Fahd al-Said. The session gathered political and diplomatic officials and representatives of national women machineries at the ministerial level. Representatives of Arab States non members of ESCWA, regional organizations, such as the League of Arab States and the Arab Women Organization, United Nations agencies, as well as civil society organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations also attended the session as observers.