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  • 1. Gender Equality in Islam Shagufta Omar In Charge Dawah Centre for Women, Dawah Academy IIUI General Secretary Women Aid Trust Pakistan President Pakistan Chapter, International Muslim Women Union (IMWU)
  • 2. Woman in Major World Religions Women in the Christianity  Women in Judaism  Women in Hinduism  Women in Buddhism  Women in Islam  2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 2
  • 3. Women in various Civilizations Greek civilization  Roman Civilization  Chinese Civilization  Arabian Civilization  Western Civilization  2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 3
  • 4. Emancipation of Women by Islam Islam absolved woman of the blame for the original sin (Al Baqara 2: 3, Al-Araf 7:19-27, Taha 20: 15-122)  Conferred to her social, economic and political rights as a human being  Reinforced her womanhood by providing respect as daughter, sister, wife and mother.  2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 4
  • 5. Rights of Women in Islam Right to life  Right of protection of honor, love and respect  To be brought up on equal grounds  Right to education/acquisition of knowledge  Right of economic provisions (maintenance) by father/brother/uncles  To earn a livelihood (job or entrepreneur)  2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 5
  • 6. Rights of Women in Islam (Cont’d.) Right to worship  Ownership of property  Right of inheritance of property  Freedom of expression/speech  Right to vote (basic political right)  To hold any public or political office  To participate in any social activity  (imparting education, helping in crisis situations, performing charitable acts) 2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 6
  • 7. Rights of Women in Islam (Cont’d.) Facilitation in marriage  To have consent in marriage  Right of dower  Right of maintenance by husband  Right to separation (Khula, dissolution through court)  Right of child custody in case of separation  Right to remarry  2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 7
  • 8. Few Exceptions Provided to Women Economic provisions for herself or the family  Prayers in congregation  Friday Prayers  Funeral Prayers  Jehad/Fighting (In the battle field)  Providing evidence in criminal cases  2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 8
  • 9. Gender Approach in Islam  Equality of status  Creation of both genders from Nafs e Wahida (Al.Nisa 4 : 1, Al Airaf 7: 189, Az Zumur 39:6)  Superiority not on the basis of physical or psychological capabilities rather on performance on the conception of ethical vs unethical (AL-Hujrat 4:13, Al Ahzab 33: 35, Ale Imran 3:195 and others) 2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 9
  • 10. Gender Approach in Islam(cont’d.)  Equal social rights (Al Baqara 2:187,228, Al.Nisa 4 : 1)  Equality of legal status (rights & liabilities) (Al.Baqara 2 :178, Al Nur 24:2)  Equality of morals (Commands and Accountability) (Al.Nisa 4 : 124, Al-e-Imran 3:195,Al Tauba 9:71,72, An Nahal 16:97, Al Ahzab 33 :35, Al Momin 40:40) 2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 10
  • 11. Gender Approach in Islam (cont’d.)  As an Individual / Person Equality of status (moral and legal)  Freedom of action  Equality of basic rights  Equal implication of Allah’s orders  Equal accountability  Equality of reward   As a member of an institution (Family) 2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 11
  • 12. Institution of Family in Islam      Basic and most important component of society Sacred yet not indissoluble Demarcation of responsibilities for efficient management of family institution/Role differentiation Husband identified as head of the family Wife identified as sovereign, guardian and centre of the family, as co-equal of her husband 2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 12
  • 13. Husband Identified as Head of the Family  Men are Qawwam (protectors and maintainers) of women, because Allah has given the one more strength than the other, and because they support them from their means (Al-Nisa 4:34) 2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 13
  • 14. Wife Identified as Sovereign, Guardian and Centre of the Family, as Co-Equal of her Husband  All of you are guardians and responsible for your wards and the things under your care…….a man is guardian of his family and is responsible for them. A woman is guardian of her husband’s home and the children and is responsible for them. All of you are guardians and all of you are responsible for your wards. (Sahih Bukhari) 2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 14
  • 15. Superiority of Husband in the Family Not personal rather functional and administrative  Not to curb woman’s advancement  Not to affect freedom of action on the part of woman  Does not have absolute binding  Does not imply or suggest constant servility/ servitude on the part of women  2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 15
  • 16. Husband’s Responsibilities As an individual worshiping and obeying his creator  Observing chastity  Primary responsibility of Earning a living for  Himself  Wife  Children  Parents  Other dependants  2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 16
  • 17. Husband’s Responsibilities (Cont’d.)  Responsibilities towards wife  Providing companionship, love and respect  Meher  Kifalat (food, clothing, shelter, medical, recreation)  Education and tarbiyah  Helping in performance of her dual responsibilities 2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 17
  • 18. Husband’s Responsibilities (Cont’d.)  Responsibilities towards household  Building or renting, furnishing  Maintenance/repairs  Economic provisions for related expenditures  Purchasing/shopping  Helping family members in house chores 2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 18
  • 19. Husband’s Responsibilities (Cont’d.)  Responsibilities towards children         Kifalat (food, clothing, shelter, medical, recreation) Helping in upbringing Education and tarbiyah, character building and grooming Providing love, affection and respect to both genders Providing healthy recreation Preparing for eternal life Kin role, taking care of family relations Withstand the challenges posed to family unit 2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 19
  • 20. Responsibilities of a Wife As an individual worshiping and obeying her creator  Observing chastity  Conjugal role  Providing companionship, love and respect  Obeying husband (Administrative requirement of an institution)  2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 20
  • 21. Responsibilities of a Wife (Cont’d.)  Parental role  Procreation role  Lactation (maximum 2 years)  Upbringing  Education, character building and grooming  Providing love and affection to both genders  Providing healthy recreation  Preparing for eternal life 2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 21
  • 22. Responsibilities of a Wife (Cont’d.)     Domestic role  Management in the areas of finances, food and nutrition, clothing, nursing, servants, kids and home Kin role, taking care of family relations Professionally or Intellectually active social life (Job, business, dawah or social work) Withstand the challenges posed to family unit 2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 22
  • 23. Constitutional and Legal provisions for Gender Equality in Pakistan Article 25 (2) Equality of status with no discrimination on the basis of sex alone  Article 9 protects every individuals right to life and liberty  Article 14 provides basic right of protection of dignity  2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 23
  • 24. Constitutional and Legal provisions for gender equality in Pakistan Article 18, 23 and 27 protect her right of owning property, doing lawful business, acquiring job in any field  Article 34 (affirmative action)  Article 35 provides protection to the marriage, the family, the unity of the family  Article 16, 17 and 19 secure her participation in political activities  2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 24
  • 25. Role of Women, Western and Our Mindset       Absolute freedom vs. submission to God Secularism vs. religion as identity Maximum independence vs. dependence and interdependence Materialism and commercialism vs. spiritualism Gender equality vs. proper gender approach Institutionalized problem solving approach vs. individual specific human dev. approach 2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 25
  • 26. Western Concept of Gender Equality Equal status  Equal rights  Equal obligations  Sameness of attitudes, behavior patterns and actions towards both sexes  Negation of any roles stereotype  Sameness of role distribution  Economic productivity/contribution of women  2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 26
  • 27. CEDAW: International Charter of Women Rights        Convention on all forms of discrimination against women (UN. 1979) Pakistan's accession in 1996, with reservation Definition of discrimination (article 2) Elimination of stereotypes (article 5) Required changes in laws Required changes in constitutions Establishment of International court 2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 27
  • 28. Definition of Discrimination (Article 2)  The Convention defines discrimination against women as "...any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field." 2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 28
  • 29. Implications on Signatory States    to incorporate the principle of equality of men and women in their legal system, abolish all discriminatory laws and adopt appropriate ones prohibiting discrimination against women; to establish tribunals and other public institutions to ensure the effective protection of women against discrimination; and to ensure elimination of all acts of discrimination against women by persons, organizations or enterprises 2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 29
  • 30. Pakistan after Accession to CEDAW in 1996   Report of Inquiry commission on the status of women 1997 Recommendations of the commission Inclusion of UN and other family laws  Provision of Reproductive rights  Equal inheritance, evidence, De'yat and guardianship  Inheritance for the widow of the deceased son  Right to marry irrespective of any religion  To treat marital rape as crime and accord punishment  2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 30
  • 31. Pakistan after Accession to CEDAW in 1996(contd.) Establishment of NCSW  Mandate and reports of NCSW  Amendment in criminal laws in the name of Women Protection Act (WPA) (Hadd-eZina Ordinance, Hadd-e-Qazaf ordinance, PPC, CrPc, Dissolutions of Muslim marriage act DMMA1939)  National plan of action (NPA)  Gender Reform Action Plan (GRAP)  2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 31
  • 32. Results of Absolute Freedom of Human and Women Rights in West Sex free society  Right to nudity  Right to homosexuality  Right to same sex marriage  Right for prostitution  Reproductive Rights  Right to abortion  Single parenting  2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 32
  • 33. Application of Western Concept of Gender Equality to an Islamic Society  Poses Contradictions with Islamic philosophy  Variation in role distribution  Variation in some of the rights with reference to role distribution  Variation in described religious obligations (ibadah)  Variation in dress code  2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 33
  • 34. Points to Ponder   Are the rights ensured by Islam enjoyed by women in contemporary Pakistani society? Reasons for violation of women’s rights?        2/12/2014 Lack of education and ignorance about Islamic teachings Feudal and tribal cultural traditions Male dominated patriarchal attitudes Poverty and unemployment Misinterpretation of some basic facts Secularized Western approach Lack of govt. initiatives Shagufta Omar 34
  • 35. Points to Ponder (Cont’d.)     Is measuring gender equality with respect to economic contribution to society’s development correct? Does proving capabilities of working in all the fields is required for her recognition? Should the western strategies under the global women’s right movement be blindly followed or should they be adapted to suit our religious value system? What should be the responsibilities of family, society and government in assisting women for performing her dual role? 2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 35
  • 36. Recommended Readings      The Muslim Women by Dr. Hamidullah (Dawah Academy, IIUI) Family Life in Islam by Prof Khurshid Ahmad (Dawah Academy, IIUI) The Status of Women in Islam by Dr. Jamal A. Badavi (Dawah Academy, IIUI) Women and family Life in Islam by Islamic Foundation of UK, International Islamic University of Malaysia, King Saud University, Riyadh (Dawah Academy, IIUI) Women and Social Justice by Dr. Anis Ahmad (Institute of Policy Studies) 2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 36
  • 37. Recommended Readings (Contd.)     Aurat Ehd-e-Risalat Mein by Abdul Haleem Abu Shuqqa, translated by M. Faheem Akhtar Nadwi (Nashriyat) Family laws of Islam by Dr. Tahir Mansoori (Shariah Academy, IIUI). Gender Equality: Western and Islamic perspective by Shagufta Omar (Women Aid Trust) Family Leadership Qawamah: An Obligation to Fulfill, Notan Excuse to Abuse by Dr. Mohamed Rida Beshir (amana publications, USA) 2/12/2014 Shagufta Omar 37