Women in Islam Term Paper

Pages: 3 (1383 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

Women in Islam

This report intends to show the extent and reality of women's roles within the Islamic realm. There are various theories that coincide between the written word, perceived notions, and actual realities for women in Islamic society. Rather than draw upon the "medieval" period of Islamic history which entails historical accounts from between the 9th century all the way up to the 16th century; this report focuses on the more recent history of women's roles in Islamic society. This paper tries to demonstrate the various types of roles women do or could play as opposed to the roles they do or did not play in the realms of politics, economics and labor, Sufism/the mystic orders, the military, or the overall domestic sphere. Some of the major controversies in the Religion of Islam would be the woman's role in the political system or in positions of leadership.

Few outside the religion understand that the Koran does not outlaw or prohibit women in leadership roles. For example, one of history's great female leaders in the Islamic society was Belquees, better known as the Queen of Sheba. Apparently, the message projected by God by allowing a woman in a political lead was that women in political leadership roles are not offensive to God. Yet, by today's standard, from the outside looking in, women in Islam are seen in a subservient role and few think there is any modern day Queen of Sheba.

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Why are women today in Islam seen as inferior? In the twenty-first century, outsiders to Islamic religion usually stereotype the Islamic female as a person in a type of bondage or simply suffering under the strict rule of a male dominated religious society. "They refuse to see individuals as passive recipients of change and victims of cultural/economic forces, but show how they manipulate the ideology and structural constraints of their societies in order to promote their own interests within marriage and in the marketplace." (Mir-Hosseini, 1999)

TOPIC: Term Paper on Women in Islam Assignment

Do all religions carry these stereotypes? In Christian society, women are only considered offshoots of men since the Christian bible proclaims that Eve was created from a crooked rib of Adam which of course entails that Eve was in an inferior status or role as opposed to her male partner. But in Islamic society, the Koran does not establish either male or female as superior and thus implies that women in Islam should be considered as or in an equal position of power to their male counterparts. In other words, gender equality in Islam is assumed. By modern standards, the Koran actually has more of current western philosophy towards the rights of female followers than does the Christian interpretation of women's rights.

The women of Islam today continue to play a prominent role in society. Because of the equal status of the Koran, Islamic women have the freedom to pursue whatever profession they feel inclined to pursue which includes any political position. "It was true especially in the Middle East where urbanization, education, and employment opened up opportunities for participating in economic and political life, and dramatically changed the occupations and activities of women. New statuses and global networks strengthened women's and democratic organizations in the Middle East by empowering them, adding legitimacy to their existence, and giving them access to international organizations." (Ali, 2002) Even by western standards throughout modern day history, women in Islamic societies continually reach higher levels within the political structure than can be duplicated in our western nations. In the past few decades for example, both Turkey and Pakistan which are majority Muslim states have been lead by women. Of course, there have been no female Presidents in the United States.

Women's power in Muslim society can be demonstrated by the process of marriage and divorce. Most individuals in western society assume that only men can initiate the marriage or divorce process in Islamic relationships. But, both men and women can initiate the contract of marriage under the written rule of Islam, and maybe more importantly, both women and men can also dissolve a marriage through divorce. This often surprises westerners. In Christianity, there are many stipulations that prevent… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Women in Islam.  (2004, November 3).  Retrieved September 20, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/women-islam/206186

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"Women in Islam."  Essaytown.com.  November 3, 2004.  Accessed September 20, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/women-islam/206186.