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Fight against “oppression of women” – Illusion or reality

April 1, 2014 Leave a comment

No country is doing any better on “fight against oppression of women” because everyone has changed the definition of “an oppressed woman” to suit their needs. And this has nothing to do with religion… Anyone who attributes such oppression to religion is either speaking out of ignorance or intentionally playing a communal card. Either ways, you are not doing any bit to solve this problem.

So, what we need is a radically new social system which ensures that everyone in society continues to view and treat women as the honor of society and nothing less – at home, at work, at school, and everywhere.

Now the next logical question is what should this social system look like… I anchor this future state system on three key principles:
_ One thing is very clear that self-enforced discipline has not got us anywhere so there has to be some kind of mechanism to drive desired behavior… more like guard rails than being too prescriptive.
_ There is a need to move away from providing band-aid solutions to different symptoms and starting with a clear definition of “what is the role of women (and men) in society”
_ Almost all of us have women in our life who we care about… and so whatever we define as “women rights” should pass the test on our family.

A woman has both a familial and societal role:
_ Within family, she has the role of a wife, mother, daughter, and sister which comes with its own rights and responsibilities (overarching principle in these relationships is to treat the other the way you would want to be treated)
_ Within society, she has the right to pursue education, take up employment (and equal opportunities to excel in her areas of expertise), even run her own business, exercise her vote, and engage in politics (and affairs of society)

By nature, men have been created as physically strong while women have been created as delicate humans who need to be respected and honored in the right way. In fact, I see it as the responsibility of men to protect the rights of women.

As I look at it from a muslim perspective, it is clear that the misconceptions surrounding the treatment of Muslim women arise from two sources:
1. From Muslims who may justify their oppression and mistreatment of women on the basis of Islam
2. From non- Muslims who have an agenda to take the Islamic teachings and want to depict Islamic civilisation as backward and oppressive
Even though the actions we read about are not from Islam, the western media have linked this crime to Islam.

In fact, this is what’s mentioned in the Quran – “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more strength than the other, and because they support them from their means. . .” I am yet to find any contrary teaching to this in the Quran.