Different opinions about women
Since the Inception of Civilization, women have been struggling to win recognition of their rights. They have been subjected to discrimination and tyranny ever since and even today, in this so-called Modern era, they are deprived of many rights. Thinkers and philosophers of all ages expressed various opinions as to her status and position in the society. However, the debate on this subject is still going on and their seems little hope of reaching any consensus by the two extreme schools of thought, regarding their right place in the society.To understand the nature of controversy about the status of women, it would be pertinent to analyse the proposition in historical perspective. Socrates said, that once made equal to man woman becomes is superior. According to Edmund Burke
"A woman is but an animal and an animal not of the highest order".
Manu, and ancient India's law–giver, says,
"In childhood must a female be dependent on her father ,in youth on her husband, and Women must never seek Independence.
According to Buddhism"Nirwana"(salvation) which is the ultimate goal of human life cannot be attained in the company of women.
The orthodox Christians consider women as the cause of all evils, for it was Eve that enticed Adam to commit the first sin by eating the forbidden fruit, which caused the great fall. in Judaism, Hebrew scripters condemn woman to an eternal carse. It says
"of the women came the beginning of sin and through her we all die".
The picture of women in pre Islamic Arab society speaks of the pitiable conditions of women. They were considered to be a disgrace to their families. Female children were buried and treated as the personal property of men folk. Young maidens were traded as slaves in the open markets.
Islam is the only religion which has made serious efforts to place women at a respectable place in the society. It change the mindset of man, including his social and religious thinking. It gave a vast amount of freedom to women enabling them to contribute towards the general Welfare of society.
Islam holds a fundamental principle that woman is a human being equal to men, and thus has equal rights. They are equal in their rights to realise their material needs in the world, including similar rights to hold property, mortgage it it, bequeath it, sell or buy it or exploit it for their own benefit. We must note that the legal systems of the Europe still very recently did not give any of these rights to women. She could exercise these rights only indirectly through a man, her husband, father or Guardian. This means that when Islam granted women these rights, the women in Europe was deprived of them even after more than 1100 years.
Rights of women with respect to Islam
Islam recognizes an independent economic status of women and gives her right to own property, use and enjoy it without any intermediary, Trustee aur mediator. She is free to choose her husband; no marriage is valid unless she agrees to it. The holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam says,
"No widow should be married without consulting her; and no virgin be married without her assent, and assent is our silence". Even after the wedding ceremony if she declares that she does not assnet to it, the marriage is dissolved.
Let us now focus on the world of today and draw a picture of the recent past to show the changing status of women. The furor over the rights of women and perfect equality with man is raging all across the western countries, especially the Muslim ones. A propaganda campaign has been launched against the Islamic beliefs and Customs by the Western media, insisting upon "female emancipation" as essential for the economic and social development of the society. Influenced by the Western media propaganda, some people say that no country can make progress and attain prosperity unless its women game complete emancipation. The most strong supporters and champions of women's right are those men and women Profess foolishly, some mischievously, that Islam stands for perfect equality between the two sexes, while others, thanks to their ignorance of Islam or negligence thereof, claim that Islam is an enemy of women, for it degrades her and lowers are status, holding her intellectually deficient and assigning a position very much akin to that of animals. She is reduced to know more than a means of sensual pleasure for men and a machine for the propagation of the human species. Both of these two classes of people are equally ignorant of Islam or they intentionally confuse the right with the wrong in order to deceive others and sow the seeds of discord and mischief in the society, so as to further their own nefarious designs and facilitate the foul game they are out to play. Most of the time they parrot the words of others to achieve certain end. The source of their Mischief is no other then the movement for women's emancipation in Europe, whence all the defecting trends in the modern East flow.
Rights of women in Europe
Just a few centuries ago, women was looked upon as a non entity. She was the theme of many discourse of The Scholars and philosophers, debated among themselves Over questions such as these. Has women got a soul or not? Is it human or animal? supposing she does possess human soul then what social and human position should she occupy in relation to man? is she born as a slave to men or does she hold a position slightly superior to that of a Slave?
Since the Inception of Civilization down to the period of industrialisation, the situation remained unchanged. She was raised to play the role of a Slave. The industrial revolution in Europe brought more miseries to women. she was forced to work in industrial units, apart from managing her home. As most of the factories were established in urban areas, a large number of families migrated there, where they lived solitary life, least bothered by the principles of mutual responsibility and cooperation which was the Hallmark of country life. As women become economically independent, family ties were torn, for she was no longer under the control of man. She was now over worked physically, lost respect as well as her womanhood. She was denied even the natural pleasure of having a family, having children, living with them and realizing her own true self. Inspire of losing so much, she could not even win the right to have equal wages with man. The European man did not, however, easily forego his superiorty and egoism with respect to woman. She was forced to recognise equal rights for her after a very tough and intense resistance and hard struggle in which all the usual weapons of Warfare were used.
feminism, a movement for the emancipation of women is an old movement. the word feminism was first coined by younger Duma's in a pamphlet "L" Homme femme' in 1872. The book had a deep impact on the minds of the people and the issue of the rights and privileges of women become an alive issue. In the early period of 19th century the women resorted to strikes and non cooperation, addressed public meetings and employed journalism to advance their cause, which consequently resulted in the attainment of the desired objective of raising the status of women in the Western world.
Rights with regard to UN
The United Nations declared 1975 as "international Women's year". perhaps for the first time in history the eyes of the world were focused on that half of its population who, by virtue of an accident of birth, perform two third of the world's work, receive one tenth of its income and own less than 100th of its property. It was the start of an international effort to right the wrongs of history. The United Nations is not the first form which launched a campaign for the safeguarding of women's right. About 1400 years ago, the holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi wa aalihi wa sallam presented the first charter of Human Rights, in which the women were placed at equal level with man. He dismantled the concept of man about women as a necessary evil, a deadly fascination, the devil's Gateway, the unsealer of Forbidden tree, the deserter of divine law etc. Our Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam kurte in his farewell Sermon said,
" O people, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your woman, but they also have rights over you. Treat your woman well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.
On the other hand, women in the west, in most cases, have confused Liberty with licence. A large number of them have landed up in a libertine existence which has polluted the whole moral climate of the society. Liberty without moral and spiritual discipline is a potential dynamite. Equality among sexes is one of the most important watch-words of this century. Even among the advanced countries, after 50 years of hectic and continuous struggle women are still discriminated in many fields of National life. Their representation in political, economic, professional, educational and administrative spheres is not in consonance with their number. Though they have acquired fundamental, legal and constitutional rights, in practice man left upper and in all these fields as they have outnumbered women. For instance, in politics, women have a right to contest any public office, but even a cursory roll call of the Legislature of Western countries will show that women are playing a very limited roll. Same is the case with public and private sectors of employment. Their share in the supervisory positions is very little, whereas at the top ranks in administration, their share is thinner still. In certain professions like Army,police, architecture and Engineering, the entry of women is considered to be a Taboo. There are quite a large number of women in education, but even in this field they are confined to the teaching side and only a little number of them get a chance to become top educational administrators.
If women are still deprived of many privileges in western countries their lot in the developing countries is even worse. They are kept away from the mainstream of National life. In most of the Eastern countries, women are considered to be fit only for domestic chores i.e. producing children comma maintaining homes and looking after the wellbeing of their husbands.
Rights of women by holy prophet and conditions of Islamic countries
"Mohammed Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam established law and order over a large portion of the known world and anticipated a significant number of the great social movements of the 20th century, equality of opportunity, unrestricted by colour, greater freedom for women, emphasis faces on Universal education, consultation as the Bedrock of sound administration, even handed justice and on the personal plane; the mystery of self. The world we live in is, in some of its better aspects, the world Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi wa aalihi wa sallam made".
The Preamble to the declaration on elimination of discrimination against women, November 7, 1967 States, "discrimination against woman is undoubtedly incompatible with human dignity and with the welfare of the family and Society, prevent their participation on equal terms with men in the social, political, economic and cultural life of their countries and is an obstacle to the full development of the potentialities of woman in service of their countries and of humanity; the full and complete development of a country the Welfare of the world and the cause of peace required the maximum participation of women as well as men in all fields.
Though Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi wa aalihi wa sallam installed womanhood at respectable pedestal, in practice women are still subjected to slavish existence. Tribal customs and cultural traditions comma in most of the Islamic countries are some of the factors which contribute towards the degradation of women.
In most of the Islamic countries women are discouraged to play their role in the field of democracy. Politics is considered Forbidden fruit for women. The percentage of women parliamentarians have never raised from 10% of the total number of parliamentarians.
In economic sector women participation is almost negligible full stop the statistics of change at the NGO forum 1995 indicate that at the current rate of progress it would take 475 years for women to reach equality with men as senior managers in the world.
According to Islamic school of thought, Islam alone does provide a solution to the problems of women no less than that of men. And all of us should turn towards its, try hard to reach stablished and Islamic state and Infosys Islamic law in our lives only then shall we be able to realise in in practice our belief and ideal. This is the only way to achieve symmetry and harmony in our life without any Resort to injustice and tyranny
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