The Role of Women in Islam
The issue of women’s role in Islam is controversial. Western societies have adopted a common perception of Muslim women, which differs from reality. It is considered that women in Islam countries live under the dictatorship of their husbands and have few inconsiderable rights. However, the role of Muslim women is clearly determined in Islam. Men and women are equal in the sight of Allah and have their own rights. Thus, women can receive education and obtain job; they have a right to vote, and can engage in politics or business. A woman’s role of being a wife and a mother is the most principal. Women are responsible for raising children, taking care of their husbands and keeping households. Indeed, in pre-Islamic Arabia women had no legal status and were sold into marriage as a property. Islam has improved the role of women in Arab society by ‘instituting rights of property ownership, inheritance, education and divorce’ (Maan & McIntosh, 2000). Presently, women’s roles vary widely according to laws and cultural traditions of different societies. For example, in Egypt and Morocco discrimination in the sphere of education and employment remains unchanged. Muslim women were also given the right to vote. They can participate in elections in all Islamic countries except Saudi Arabia, Brunei, Lebanon and Arab Emirates. Although the number of women in Muslim parliaments has increased significantly, there is no women representation in the Parliament of Saudi Arabia. Women in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan were not allowed to be educated or work and faced public flogging. Islamic revolution in Iraq gave women a wide range of rights. Yet Iraq provides women with more civil rights than any other Muslim country. About 60% of university students in Iraq are female. Muslim women, like women all over the world, continuously struggled against inequality. Feminists in the Muslim world continue defending their rights and striving for better social...
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