Nasir Khan: The Liberation of Women in Islamic Societies

Nasir Khan, September 30, 2013

In various old cultures and religions women were reduced to a low status for thousands of years. The male-dominated system or patriarchy imposed inhuman chains on them and they (men) justified these by appealing to social customs, traditions and religious mantras, which however remained under  their control. But only over the course of the last 150 years or so the movement for women’s rights started in earnest and gradually gained important civic and political rights for women in Europe and North America. The struggle for the gender equality and gaining proper social status for women in all spheres of life including jobs and professions is still continuing in Europe and America.

But Islamic world has remained outside such liberating movements and influences. The task of gaining full human rights of women is a human task, a task in which both both men and women have to take part. Women are marginalised in Islamic world; therefore they need the support of enlightened men in struggle for the liberation of women and thus help break the inhuman chains of degradation and discrimination. We can’t expect ignorant clergy and conservative people to do much in this area; they stand for status quo and continued oppression of women. The role of progressive women in making Muslim people aware of the situation is immensely important because without their active work nothing much will change. It takes time to realise that the liberation of women is also the liberation of men from their nefarious role of domination and control. Thus the liberation of women is also the liberation of men and this social reality needs to be publicised widely.

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