Here is a small extract from an article I wrote long time ago:
Women in the Qur'an and Hadith
The Qur'an has much to say both ABOUT women, and TO women. One Surah is called `Women', another is named after Maryam the mother of Jesus (pbuh). Women appear in many other parts. In stories of the prophets we have
Hawwa (Eve) the wife of Adam, no longer the temptress who leads Adam to sin but a partner jointly responsible with him and jointly forgiven by Allah soon afterwards.
There is the wife of Nuh (Noah) (pbuh) who betrays her husband and is held up along with the wife of Lot as an example of a disbeliever (66:10-11).
There is the wife of Abraham, who laughs at the news the angel brings, of the baby she is to have in her old age;
- The wife of Pharaoh, who saves the infant Musa (Moses) (pbuh) and, along with Maryam, mother of Jesus, is one of the two female examples of the good believer held up in Surah 66:10 & 11.
The wife of Aziz, who tried to seduce Yusuf (Joseph), is nevertheless treated with some sympathy, when she shows her friends how handsome he is and they all cut themselves with their knives because they are distracted by his beauty;
and there are more women besides the ones mentioned above.
It is noteworthy that the four women mentioned as examples are presented to both male and female Muslims to show how it is possible to be true believers in difficult circumstances, and disbelievers in favorable circumstances.
The two good examples believed in spite of the attitudes of those close to them, Pharaoh's wife saving Moses from her husband's wicked command to kill all the Hebrew firstborn sons, and Maryam confronting accusations of immorality when she brought home her baby after the virgin birth.
The two bad ones disbelieved in spite of being married to prophets of Allah. In neither case do these examples show the traditional picture of the `submissive' woman.