Feminism and Islam: Modern Perspective

By Syeda Mariam Shamsie

Feminism is an issue of equality based on gender, gender identity and expression. Feminist movements campaigned for women rights including right to vote, right to hold public office, to own property, to receive education and equal rights within marriage. Feminists have also worked to protect women from rape, domestic violence and
sexual harassment.
The Encyclopedia Britannica says that in Athens, a woman’s status was not more than that of slaves. There was no education for them and they were not allowed to go out of their homes. They were treated as a commodity. Western feminism prefers the disintegration of the home and family. They refuse to admit that there is any biological distinction between man and women by sex. Feminists demand the abolition of institutional marriage and complete female sexual freedom.
Throughout the Muslim world, the feminist sentiment is growing. They wish to reclaim Quran and Islam for themselves. The question arose about choosing between their Muslim identity and belief in gender identity. Either they have to betray their faith or ignore feminist principles.
At the beginning of the Islamic period, Muslim women’s involvement and contribution is found in Islamic Jurisprudence, but later patriarchy reduced it drastically.
Professor Amina Wadud says that the realisation of Quranic message of equality and justice is ignored due to the influence of patriarchy on the interpretation of Quran and the practice of Muslims.
(Extracts from the original article)

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