Socio-Economic Status and Role of Woman in Islam towards Gender Equality

By Bala, Haliru | Gender & Behaviour, December 2010 | Go to article overview

Socio-Economic Status and Role of Woman in Islam towards Gender Equality


Bala, Haliru, Gender & Behaviour


This paper investigated the socio-economic status and role of woman in Islam towards gender equality. The data were obtained by contents analysis from secondary source. The results revealed that Islam treats both, man or woman equally in obligation and reward, equally in education, equally subservient to God and obliged to worship Him and obey His commands in their daily life, woman has right to property, freedom of expression, matrimonial rights, equally in spiritual duties, equality in treatment, equality in employment, equality in political sphere. The paper concluded that to achieve gender equality, it seems essential for the states or Nations to make institutional arrangements for all cultures to convey their responses and concerns about the various issues of women to the governments so that it should revise the platform for actions in the light of various responses.

Keywords: Status, Role, Woman, Gender, Equality

Introduction

Islamic considers woman not only equal to man but in some respects give her importance more than man. Notwithstanding the misconception spread to the contrary, the present demonstrates beyond doubt that the gender equality, freedom and dignity that Islam offers to woman remain unparalleled. The purpose of this paper is only to clarify the Islamic position on the matter and not to imply that women in the Islamic societies across the world do not require any programmes of equality. They do so. The degeneration of the Muslim woman around the world over the past centuries is a necessary corollary to their cultural disorientation wrought in the main by the colonial holocaust. The platform for action that they need is the one projecting the universal Islamic values. Some considerable aspects apart, the proposed United Nations work-plan, at times, is in direct conflict with their cultural milieu and, therefore, most likely to generate confusion and add to their dis orientation that they need to shake off at the first available opportunity if they are serious to walk the road to equality.

Dissatisfaction with the status quo, an earnest quest for a radical change, rejection of age-old traditions and institutions of all cultures and strategic planning for revolutionary break through symbolise the contemporary age. The intellectuals as well as the human rights activities have lately been expressing a profound urge for change, progress and modernization. One of such issues is gender equality which has been on the public agenda for sometime, especially in view of the plight of women down the ages. Efforts are being made to empower women who has suffered for long and a great deal owing to a variety of socio-cultural, political, economic and religious factors.

This paper ask one fundamental question: what are the socioeconomic status and role of woman in Islam towards gender equality? These are the major questions that this paper would consider in the main. The main task here is to present the Islamic position on the status and role of woman with reference to equality.

Related Literature Findings

God declares in the very opening verses of the aptly entitled chapter AL-NISA (Women):

O men! Fear your Lord, who created you from a single being and out of it created its mate; and out of the two spread many men and woman. Fear Allah in whose name you plead for rights, and heed the ties of kinship. Surely, Allah is ever watchful over you. (Al Nisa 4:1)

The Qur'an says:

Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, to him we will give a new life, a life that is good and pure, and we will bestow on them their reward according to the best of their actions. (Al-Nahl 16:97).

Upholding sex equality the Holy Qur'an has drawn our attention to a biological fact as well:

And he heedful of the wombs that bore you: for God is ever watchful over you (Al-Nisa 4:1)

The Qur'an says:

O mankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (not that you may despise each other).

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