By: Arslan Ahmed
Gender equality has been a burning issues since many past years. Usually people regard it as a religious issues whereas it is dependent more upon several economic, cultural and economic factors. Gender equality is a part of fundamental teachings of Islam. And it has been stressed upon several times in the Holy Book, Quran. Islam categorically provides equal rights to women as given to men. People try to mould these teachings according to their benefits and spread wrong facts. Islam is very straightforward for rules regarding gender equality in every phase of life for both men and women.
Men have been assigned the duty to earn money for their family and Islam has placed all financial responsibilities on the shoulders of men while it has directed women to fulfill all the responsibilities regarding to household and upbringing of the children. It doesn’t means they should be deprived of their basic rights or they are regarded lower in any aspect as compared to men.
We need to understand the basic principles of gender equality as laid by Islam. It has provided detail of each and every situation related to gender equality. Islam has never taught about any type of discrimination is opportunities for both men and women at any phase of life but Islam emphasizes on the responsibilities assigned to both of them so they can utilize their strengths in the best possible manner.
Still in many Islamic countries of world, women have to face gender discrimination irrespective of Islamic teachings. But many developments are being made in order to grant equal rights to women and to educate other people on the issue of gender equality. But still there is a lot to do in order to bring the world on one page and to emphasize the importance Islam lays on gender equality.
Generally, there is an impression in the western world that Islam supports gender inequality and keeps women on a lower position than women. But this is not the case and is absolutely an assumption. Islam strictly opposes gender inequality and I think at some places, it even grants a higher position to women than men. Islam gives huge importance to the role of a mother and this is a classic example of Islam giving great respect and honor to the role of women in our society.
Men are who deny equality to women in today’s world, it is not Quran who holds off their rights. Rather it gives them full and equal rights. Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) has countless times emphasized on the equal rights of women and his acts throughout his life is enough for us to conclude that there is no room for discrimination of women in Islam. In recent past years, women have emerged as political and economic leaders in many Islamic countries as well as non-Islamic countries. Even many western countries now acknowledge the teachings of gender equality and even have included these teachings as part of their course studies.
To sum-up, gender equality is very vital for nation’s socio-economic growth in this century. Islam explained these principles 1400 years ago but world is bound to believe in these teachings in today’s modern era. Many western non-Muslim writers have wrote many research papers emphasizing on gender equality as the fundamentals laid by Islamic teachings.
Quran says: “And according to usage, women too have rights over men similar to the rights of men over women.” (Al-Qur’an, 2:228).
At another place it says; “O mankind! Fear your Lord Who (initiated) your creation from a single soul, then from it created its mate, and from these two spread (the creation of) countless men and women.” (Al-Qur’an, 4:1).
These verses clearly show that Quran regards Men and women all equal in every aspect and these are just two verses from the Holy Book. Quran is all filled with such verses at every other step. If you need guidance on gender equality, Quran is the best book to consult. No other religion or Holy Book has emphasized on gender equality in such a manner as Quran does. The teachings are simple, straight and easy to stand. Moreover, it guides us on every possible scenario in the context of gender equality