View Full Version : Gender Equity, not Equality.
09-17-2010, 06:48 PM
By Khalid BaigReply
Equality is a slick and catchy slogan. But what does equality actually mean? In mathematics, two variables can be swapped without affecting the result in any way. If men and women are equal in this sense, then a woman can do anything a man can do, and vice versa. You can substitute one for the other anywhere. Thus a woman can be a truck driver, a coal miner, a prison guard, or what have you. Similarly, a man can become Mr. Mom, replacing the mother taking care of the children.
Such mathematical equality between men women is manifestly absurd. One only needs to look at the biological and psychological differences between men and women. Yet, this is precisely the direction that the so-called gender equality campaign has taken blindly. It aims at replacing the complementary relationship between men and women with that of an adversary.
The civilisations and societies that for centuries refused to consider women as human beings, or to give them any rights, have now gone from one extreme to another. Islam has never had anything to do with such nonsense. When women had no rights in the world it declared;
And women shall have rights, similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable.
That still remains Islam's command today and forever. Similar rights, not same rights. Qualitative, not quantitative equality. Both men and women are equal in their humanity and in their dignity; in their accountability before Allah; in their responsibility to perform their assigned tasks and be judged according to their performance.
However, their assigned tasks are not the same. They have been given different capabilities by their Creator: the tasks are based on those capabilities.
This distinction is not an error that needs to be corrected. It is the only basis for building a healthy and prosperous society. Islam liberates a woman from the modern tyranny of having to become a man in order to get a sense of self worth and achievement.
Islam admits of no blind gender equality; for bad women cannot equal good women, nor can bad men be superior to good women.
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09-19-2010, 06:07 PM
Man as the head of the household: Reply
Some people believe that a woman in Islam is regarded as inferior to man since the Quran says (what means):
"Men have one degree above women." [Quran 2: 228]
In fact, to understand this Quranic verse, you should see another one, related to the issue in question. It reveals the wisdom behind this concept.
In the Quran it also says (what means): "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allaah has given the one more than the other and because men support them from their means." [Quran 4:34]
This verse implies that it is a man's duty to support his wife, and not the reverse, but this, in no way, makes him superior to her.
In fact, the rights and responsibilities of a woman are equal to those of a man but they are not necessarily identical. Since men and women are not created identical, they have different physical and emotional qualities, jobs and privileges. This does not mean that women are inferior.
On the contrary, women are considered crucial members of society in Islam since they are assigned the job of bringing up future generations. People today tend to look down at housewives but, in fact, raising children is one of the most important and difficult tasks. The way a mother brings up her child determines the way he will behave in the future. This duty, which requires patience, love, understanding and wisdom was significantly assigned to women in Islam because her nature suits this job.
Allaah The Exalted, in His Wisdom, has assigned a role for each member of the family so that there would be no arguments concerning who should do what. If a sailboat has two leaders, each will want to follow a path, leading ultimately to chaos and even a crash. In the same manner, how many times have your parents fought over some decision because each had their own point of view and wanted to apply it? This is precisely why it is preferable to have one leader for each household. However, this does not give the leader the right to be a dictator, or to neglect the role of his companion. This does not make him superior to other members of his family. It just gives him a larger duty.
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