Religious Liberty and Women Rights
Woman can be said as the God's complete creation. She is the symbol of independence, love, caring, gentleness and intensity- both in love and in hate. Women are emotionally stronger than man. Undoubtedly women endure much more pain than men do. No men do go through even half the pain a woman goes through during labor. Margaret Thatcher, Benazir Bhutto and Indira Gandhi have shown that women can rule a country even better than men... and maybe even the world! However, women have not been treated nicely by men all throughout time. They have been denied their rights, their opportunities. It is very common happening on a daily basis in offices, sports, factories, schools and entertainment.
Most scholarships, in fact 99% of them are awarded to boys. The common excuse is that girls are made to be housewives and mothers. Reasonably and honestly speaking, this is true. Motherhood is something that God has blessed only females with. But this doesn't'mean that girls should be totally ignorant about the world, current affairs, and history. God has revealed in the Holy Quran, "Seek knowledge from thy cradle to thy grave". He has not added "this pertains only to men". So, one does not have the excuse of religion for forbidding girls to study. Religion encourages it. In fact Prophet Mohammed has said, "Read even if takes you to China". This is without discrimination. Girls who are well-educated make better wives and mother than uneducated women. That way, a lot of people would benefit from a girls 'education!
However, what does not get assurance is that fact that so many girls in India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and many more eastern countries are having to give up their ambitions, simply because their parents feel that girls should be married and mothers by the age of 18. It is not only education where girls are forced to take a backseat in the East. The inequality spreads too many other things too. More than half of the total rape cases go unreported. This is because the victims do not want to shame their families by publicizing the abuse they have gone through and they do not want to face embarrassing cross-questioning in the court. The society makes the victims pay for someone else's mistakes. Unwed mothers are verbally and physically abused in public places.
Dowry is another very common problem. Particularly in India. The groom's family demands enormous sums of money and other valuables from the bride's father, to show that the groom is doing them a big favor by agreeing to marry their daughter. If the father is unable to pay, the bride is usually married off anyway but then she is mentally and physically tortured and sometime burnt to death. Female infanticide is another problem. It is not a new problem; it has existed for thousands of years in the East. It is selective murder. As soon as the baby is born, if it is a girl, she is either buried alive or drowned.
However, in the West, things are dramatically different. Women are not treated as atrociously as in the East. Women in the West have the right to education and they have no limit on how far they want to study. Women in the West have high profile careers and command respect and good pay too. But, women in the West do have to deal with discrimination. The most common is unequal pay. This is common in almost every career-sports, films, multinational companies, schools etc. They also face problems in getting a job position where they are competing for with a man. The man is almost always favored over the woman. Thus, there are a lot of differences in the way women are treated in the East and the West, but there are also some similarities.
- freedom of religion and women's rights
- protection of women's rights in times of religious conflicts
- Religious Liberty and Women Rights