Islam and Democracy for women

December 1, 2008 12:30pm CST
I wish to put this question for discussion/enlightenment withou prejudice, please. Does Islam practice democracy? Why women are not given equal status with men in countries claiming to be Islamic states like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran and Pakistan? How do you explain the campaign against liberal and democratic values in these countries?
1 person likes this
2 responses
@barehugs (8984)
• Canada
1 Dec 08
Its all about Power and Money. Arab Men have traditionally been the strong power behind the marriage, and Family, and they do not wish to give it up. There is No Doubt women are equal with men. Canada has long recognized this and has passed a law to this end. This Equal Rights for the Genders, has been tested in the Supreme Court of Canada and has been upheld. Canadians are rightfully proud of our equal rights. The USA does not have such Rights for women. Perhaps Obama will bring the USA up to speed on this very important piece of legislation.
• India
5 Dec 08
Thank you very much for your response. This feature is not limited to Arab countries alone.You must have heard about this practice in many Asian countries too.I am surprised to learn that there is no law giving equal rights to women with men.Is it because the Declaration of Independence mentions "all MEN are created equal.."? ( pardon me, I don't mean it literally) Women were given such rights even in other countries much later then they were given to men.And the status of women in Christianity too was not the same as of men.But it has changed in political and economic spheres whereas it is not so in the case of the Islamic countries. Let me stress again that this is not to criticise any religion.This is meant to understand why it is so and whether it may be changed.
@Makro74 (591)
2 Dec 08
Hi What people must remember when starting discussions of equality of gender, is it probably over reported as such in these 'Arab' coutries that they treat their women unequally. So it is easy to get on the anti-Arab or even anti-Islam (non-prejudicially of course) bandwagon. But what has to be remembered is that, as the last responder mentioned, even today USA has not passed a bill of equal rights. In the UK, it has only been 30 years since legislation arrived for equalling the pay of men and women together with discrimmination laws. This in itself was imposed by Europe. During the World Wars and before women were to care for the family and look after the men. You then have to look at recent history of America and Europe and the attrocities against women. The witch hunts in America saw teenage girls being burned alive. Rape was never a crime against women if you were married. So, in this context, when a nation develops from a third world to a modern rich economy, so the pressure for equality increases. This is what is happening in many of these countries for they have not a highly developed legal system or even a police force to control such actions. People therefore have the freedom to adminster their tendencies. Having said that, bringing Islam into the fold, there is equal status for both men and women in this world. The only area where Islam makes a distinction and explains why is the area of marriage, that one person needs to be in authority for the unity of the family. But that is not a license for abuse. It is a recognition of the fact that the burden of responsibilty for the family is upon the male, regardless if the female works, he still has to provide. Moreover, men and women when jumping on the equality bandwagon must also remember that men on average are physically stronger than women, and are built to take on more hardships. Women have the emotional touch, the caring and guiding touch of love and kindness which is often washed with arrogance in men. Hence the union of men and women in marriage brings the two parts of humanity together. A part largely forgotten by modern humanity. In answer specifically to some Arab countries, you will find that in Iran there is strict Shariah law, but women are free in most cases to where headscarves and where makeup. Moreover, in Iran, more women (60%) are graduates as opposed to men. You cannot have this if women do not have freedom. Look at the shops selling women's clothes and jewellery. You will be amazes. Pakistan, is even more liberal - women do not wear headscarves and common newsreaders, hold high jobs and commonly educate themselves. Afghanistan, has only come out of the suppressive regime of the Taliban and extremely poor. To compare this would be similiar to a poor country in Africa, which do not fair to great with women either. Bangledesh I do not know too much internally. As for the liberal campaign in these countries, I think on of the biggest ones was in the UK in the early 20th centrury which went on for many years, where women were constantly prostesting for rights. cheers