The Patriarchy Purdah in Islamic Societies

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1. Patriarchy
(i) It is a social system in which the males have central roles of political, economical, cultural and social leadership Property and titles are inherited by the male lineage. (ii) Entails institutions of male privilege and female subordination, for instance, women are expected to be submissive to men especially in traditional families; a wife has to wake up early in the morning to prepare food for the family. 2. Purdah (curtain)

(i) It is also called veil. It is the seclusion of women from public observation and contact from men. Developed in Persia and later spread to Middle East like Pakistan and others. (ii) Takes two forms;

(a) Physical segregation of sexes
(i) Use of high walls, curtains and screens erected within the home. (ii) Generally women in the upper class are likely to practice this form of Purdah because of high economic status. (b) Women covering their bodies to conceal their form (i) Women wear concealing clothing from head to toe called Burqa (Abaya or Chador) with only Small Square to see through. It is observed when a woman goes outside home, if anything she is escorted by a younger male from the family. (3) How Purdah sustains male domination.

(i) Men control women’s movements for instance; escorting them whenever going out home. Furthermore, men control the dress code for women for example covering the body completely. (ii) Women’s social interaction is restricted by men, for instance, not allowed to mix with strangers. (4) Advantages

(i) It is considered as part of culture, besides; it is an act of faith showing respect, honor and dignity. A woman is defined in terms of their inner beauty and mind not physical appearance because it plays no role in social interaction. (5) Disadvantages

(i) It limits women within homes making them ignoramus of the of the world’s...
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