Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Women and Society
For the reason that men and women have different physiques, personalities, and lifestyle, also play different roles in society. These form the basis of relationships between men and women in the community, and between husband and wife in the family. The natural result of building relationships, upon Islamic or Christian justice is that these roles are complimentary; each with its own rights and responsibility.
Areas of activity for both men and women are defined reflecting their complementary natures and roles. These are not arbitrary divisions, and do not overload either men or women, but are what reason and commonsense dictates. It is, therefore, unjust to make women assume men’s roles without some personal or communal reason; doing so is a violation of women’s rights and an affront to their dignity and femininity.
The two religions forbid favoritism against women if it undermines their rights, or wounds their dignity. Its tactic is impartial; the only bias towards men is in the minds of those who have been seduced by secularism.
The societies that have digressed in the first direction treat women according to the customs and traditions inherited. These traditions usually deprive women of many rights granted to them by Islam or any other religion. Besides, women are treated according to standards far different from those applied to men.
This discrimination pervades the life of any female. She is under continuous surveillance in order not to behave immodestly. She has very little say in family affairs or community interests; she might not have full control over her property and her marriage gift and finally as a mother she herself would prefer to produce boys so that she can attain higher status in her community.
Women and Education
For women to understand and appreciate their central role in society they need to be educated. There are two aspects; one is what is compulsory for individuals and the other is to meet needs of society. The first is concerned with knowing the obligations and the duties. The second is concerned with all the practicalities of worldly life, such as agriculture, medicine, and technology. This applies to both men and women.
Obtaining education is an obligation for all, female and male, but the nature and form it takes depends on individual roles and responsibilities. Any learning to meet the needs of society, for personal pleasure or gain, or even to increase knowledge, must not be at the expense of individual obligations.
This ideology creates gender stereotypes, which are institutionalized through structural mechanisms in place in society. This could be through educational and religious institutions, customary beliefs and practices, the legal and power structures.
The formation of these attitudes is a result of the ways in which we are taught to conceptualize matters of the societies through the socialization process, including the family.
Women and Marriage
The shari’ah has guarantees woman’s right to marriage, her rights and expectations within the marriage, her rights as a mother, and her rights to a home of her own, to be queen of her own domain, a place where she has the right to fulfill her likely duties.
Being married is highly valued as it taught that the woman requires the man to take her to heaven. In such circumstances, the woman feels obligated to remain in a relationship even if her rights are being violated.
Most societies view women as being subordinate to men, which makes women feel morally bound to remain in relationships regardless of the dangers.
Many men and women believe that there is a just cause for violence. Actually, in some societies, women believe that being beaten by a man is a sign of love not knowing that family violence will always have a devastating effect on the lives of children, since it is an experience of brutal isolation for them.
Any roles or practice of society that determines a woman’s chance of marriage, violates her rights and is is unjust.
Limits apply to both men and women, but within these limits, a woman has a right to choose her own husband.
It also gives women the right to leave or divorce her husband if the marriage does not work out.
Many people appear not to know this, but it is confirmed in many authentic (hadith) tradition of Prophet Muhammed, and as this example shows us, when misunderstandings or conflicts arise, we should seek a solution in the original source (those who played in the tying of the knot of marriage).
Equality and Justice
Islam acknowledges equality between men and women as human beings. This equality covers everything connected with humanity and personal dignity and extends to all general issues and legislation related to life and religion. The destiny of the country rests on both the males and females of that particular society.
Islam only makes a distinction between the rights and responsibilities of men and women to reflect intrinsic differences in their natures, doing so helps each perform their chosen roles and achieve their aspirations. Equality between men and women as human beings and in all general issues is natural and makes perfect sense. It treats women and men according to their natures and treats them completely equal.