The Empowerment of Muslim Women's Leadership in an organization: Challenges and Prospects. A Case Study in Malaysia
Zuraimy Binti Mohamed Noordin (Malaysia)
Nowadays, women are becoming more advanced in many fields such as education, technology, engineering, human management, leaderships and others. Women’s current status is something to be proud of if we compared it to more than fifty years ago. It is important to change the society’s belief that women have no primary influence over development. This is because the responsibility of developing generations and societies do not only fall on the shoulder of the men but it also requires the help and support from the women. Women are an important component that complements the society and country. In Malaysia, the credibility of a woman to be a leader of an organization is often taken lightly by men. In holding a high position, as a result of exaggerated distrust of the capacity of men to women, women are always had an issues related to emotional, fierce attitude and irrationality in decision making. Some opinions said, women did not have skills in managing of organization because women are too emotional in decision-making and doing actions. Therefore, women leaders need to change their paradigm to face the challenges and to overcome their weaknesses in order to empowering themselves to be a good leaders in future.
With the arrival of Islam, all types of abuses, cruelty and discriminations on women had been eliminated. In addition, their status has been elevated and their rights are restored and recognized by men. Not only that, they are regarded as having of the same stature and roles with men in the society. According to Islam, the only difference that matters amongst human beings is their piety to Allah. “Allah says ‘O mankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you might get to know one another. Surely the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most righteous. Allah is All-Knowledgeable, All-Aware.”- Surah Al Hujurat (49:13), Islam has given three important roles to women which as a mother, wife and a daughter. The status of mother is deemed as very important as it is put right after Allah and his Prophets. For married Muslim women, they have been given their own rights and responsibilities towards their families. Muslim women are also capable of having roles as a teacher, caregiver, guardian, leader, advisor, physician, follower, problem-solver, motivator, role model, preacher, mover and shaker of the economics, social and politics as well as other existing roles. When Islam started, women’s roles were no different to men’s roles from the Islamic Law context. The women were even regarded as an important asset in improving the society, religious matters as well as the world. During the beginning of Islam, women were known as preachers, entrepreneurs along with their strength and sacrifices on the name of religion. Whatever that had been done and performed, they did it in the scope of what has been permitted by Allah swt.
In the country of Malaysia, especially in traditional society, the role of women was limited to the role of assistant (Supporting role) to men. This can be seen from the type of work they do, for example, their role in the employment field is to help him as sowing, and harvesting change. In the development of their families, women of traditional duties such as tingling roof, defend poultry and take care of children. In the economic field, there are many have been explored by Muslim women, and men which is quite liberal in opening the door to the inclusion and participation of women. In the past, the role and function of women in this field is very limited. Nowadays, the number of women working in the private and government services is increasing. Through their higher education background, there are many successful...
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