Working to Wnd Women Discrimination by Ending Generalizations
When talking about women discrimination, the first thing that comes to mind to most people, and I’ll admit, sometimes myself is “Muslim Countries”, as we know them.
When it comes to what the media shows, most of the time we see oppressed and subjugated Islamic women, something which we assume is the normal thing. There is no denying that treatment to women is horrible, yet instead of solving the issue, it seems it is worse everyday. This is because we are treating discrimination of women as a Muslim or Islamic country, but rather than an Afghan or Saudi problem. It is time to stop generalising muslims as a culture that objectifies women, because to solve the issue of women discrimination, it is important to realize that this is not the norm in Islamic countries but rather something that should be handled in specific cases. In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive and have a literacy rate of 50% (compared to mens 72%, when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, they weren’t allowed to be seen without a Burqa, and 85% of them report domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse is an ever more real problem, and one that not much people seem to be working effectively to stop. More than ever, we see a tide of feminists, fighting for gender equality. Yet often these fights are for things that are not so important to make a more equal world. Who cares if one of the leading scientists of the Rosetta comet chaseris wearing a shirt that is offensive to women (something for which he later apologized) when women in Saudi Arabia can’t vote and contraception is banned? Right about now, you must be sighting and thinking the typical “When are those muslim countries going to get it right?”, but if you say this you are contributing more to discrimination against Muslims than gender equality. There is nothing more deplorable than discriminating women, but generalizing it as a problem of “Islam” or “Muslim countries” doesn’t help solve the issue. Sure, a woman that cheated on her husband will be stoned to death in Afghanistan, but in Jordan’s biggest university 65% of the students were female.
Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia should be condemned by the international community and the media, but as countries, not muslims. To say that discrimination is a problem of Muslim culture, could not be more wrong, after all, 6 countries with a Muslim majority (including Indonesia which has the most Muslims in the world) have had a female president, 6 more than the united states. Off course in many African muslim countries genital mutilation has a very high rate, yet countries like Ethiopia have a rate of 90% genital mutilation in Women, and still, this is not labeled a “Christian” problem. Nothing is more important than stopping the systematic discrimination of countries against women, yet it is crucial that action is not taken against “Muslim Countries” because it is too big a group, and one that can’t be clumped together for this purpose. It is not correct to put Turkey, that has enacted laws against Domestic abuse, allows birth control, and 36% of University researchers are women (Compared to the EU’s 33%) to the barbaric treatment of women in countries like the UAE, were domestic abuse is upheld by the government.
Off course, some organizations and Countries use the Quran to justify how they treat women, yet it is important to realize that the have interests in mind. (Verse 33:35)”Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so – for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.” When we talk about the Quran, it is like all other religions, is all about interpretation, and when interpreting it, people always have an interest in mind. For example, we assumethat women cover up to protect their body but men have the same duty “the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so”. Islam expects the same duties from men as from women “Indeed the muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women..
.for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward”. This quote shows that in the Eyes of Allah, the same things are expected from men and women, yet because of lack of education, misinterpretation and a conflict of interest when interpreting islam, women are still submitted to cruel treatment in many Muslim countries Yes, the Quran supports domestic abuse and discrimination against women, there is no denying that, . “If, however the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death.” This is not a passage from the Quran it is a passage of the bible, verse 22:20 of Deuteronomy. As I said the Quran discriminates against women – so does the Bible and the Torah.
Women discrimination has to be stopped, but assigning blame doesn’t work for anything, especially when all religions are to be blamed. The problem is not muslims in general, but rather a fraction of radical muslims enforcing the Quran as a law, which after all is a text written in a different, more violent time and by humans. Yet, as I stated this is not the norm, sure Saudi Arabia follows sharia laws, but Jordan, Egypt, Indonesia and many other muslim majority countries don’t. After all, only a very small part of the Muslim population are a part of Isis, Al Qaeda, the Taliban or Al Shabaab. And groups such as this emerge in areas full of chaos and violence, in which they can gain the upper hand by implementing their version of Islam.
The truth is these people are an exception, meanwhile ijtihad, a liberal form of Islam is developing, promoting a more critical form of thinking when interpreting the Quran. Islamic Feminism is also another movement which is developing in favor of gender equality, not despite the Islamic religion, but with it and the Islamic teachings that support gender equality. This is not only done by movements, while 20% of the US house of Representatives seats are held by women, 50% of the seats in the Senegal congress need to be held by women according to legislation. It is time to stop blaming “Muslim Countries” for women discrimination or say that “All muslims discriminate women” because it is simply not true. Instead discrimination should be judged as a secular problem, for example South Africa has the highest rape rate in the world, a problem which is not attributed to the Protestant church, and the problem should be solved not inside the parameters of the protestant church, but as a South African problem.
The solution to discrimination of women is complicated, and no one has the right answer, yet, nothing will ever be solved if we continue to blame others to rid ourselves from the blame. Rather than a Muslim problem, women discrimination is a human problem one that affects all parts of the world. I am from Colombia, and although I live in an isolated part of society, I can still see how women are constantly undermined and discriminated. Rather than blame Islam for women discrimination, lets be critical of all religions, for many such as Catholicism and Judaism do it to. Instead of speaking out in fox or CNN against “Muslim countries”, it is important to sanction countries that support the systematic discrimination of women regardless of their religion or if they areU.S allies (ahem, Saudi Arabia).
There has to be investment in education, because without it, discrimination against women will increase regardless of the culture or religion. I don’t have the solution to the problem, after all, I am just a 15 year old writing from my computer, yet I know that pointing the finger like a toddler or generalizing will not help solve the problem, which needs to be solved, because as Edmund Burke once said “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” N/a. “Quran Verse 33:35.” Quran. Language Research Group University of Leeds. Web.
10 Mar. 2015. CIA, World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Central Intelligence Agency. Web.
10 Mar. 2015 N/a. “Deuteronomy 22:20-21.” Bible Gateway. Bible Gateway. Web.
15 Mar. 2015. N/a. “Women in Islam.” Wikipedia.
Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.