March 20, 2005


In the mostly patriarchic societies across the world, women still do not get equal treatment. Arafat has posted a Kuwaiti bumper sticker which propagates not to allow women to vote in 2007 election. This is not new as the general assumption is that women are being treated equally in the Muslim parts of the world, specially in the Arab world.

But in 19th century America, women, children and slaves had the same legal status with no voting power and children were the sole property of their fathers. Activists like Susan Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton made a social awareness and brought the change.

Sabrina points out the inequalities in the US itself which still exist today:

* Wages difference: A woman makes $0.75 where a man makes $1.00 with apparently same quality job.
* Top positions: There is a glass ceiling against the women as a candidate for top positions.
* Risks of pregnancy: Employers are more reluctant to hire female employees because of the risks involved with women employees.
* Appearances: A fat ugly woman or a black women will have difficulties getting a job.

So the inequal treatment is not pertinent to only Muslim societies. More activists are required to bring about changes repitatively.

Dr. Amina Wadud, professor of Islamic studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, made another history by being the first woman to lead a public, mixed-gender Jummah (Muslim Friday prayer) and deliver the khutbah (sermon). Although this has created mixed emotions in the patriarchic muslim society, the Muslim Wake Up blog says "Research from the Qur'an and the customs of Prophet Muhammad demonstrate that there is no prohibition precluding women from leading mixed-gender prayer". Dr. Wadud, an emancipated women finds all the answers in Qur'an:

"I challenged patriarchy as only one, and not necessarily the best, means of reading and understanding the Quran. It was very simple after that to actually go to the Quran and interrogate its verses. Because you see the possibilities of liberation, the ideas of women's equality, laid down, sometimes in explicit terms, in the text. But you also see places where these can be decontextualized, distorted, or disrupted, in order to be able to sustain that patriarchal interpretation."

The power of one makes the difference.


Post a Comment