Women’s right in Islam is a topic of debate and interpretation, with different sects and schools of thought having varying perspectives. If we talk in the favor of women’s rights in light of Islam, she can make any contract or bequest in her own name. She is entitled to inherit her position as mother, wife, sister, and as daughter. She has the perfect liberty to choose her husband
"I am Advocate Ijaz Ahmad Sandhu, a feminist who supports women's rights in Pakistan. I'm writing this article to inform you about the gender equality that Islam grants to women in Pakistan, as well as the steps we may take to empower them. I guarantee that after reading this article, you will be sufficiently informed about the steps that may alter our society."
The Quran, the central religious text of Islam, contains various verses that address the rights and responsibilities of women.
Explanation of these verses includes:
Equality before God:
The Quran states that men and women are equal before God and will be held accountable for their actions in the afterlife.
Right to education:
The Quran encourages the pursuit of knowledge and education for both men and women.
Right to own property:
The Quran allows women to own and inherit property.
Right to work:
The Quran allows women to work and participate in economic activities.
Right to marriage:
The Quran gives women the right to choose their own husbands and to seek a divorce if necessary.
Right to protection:
The Quran commands men to protect and provide for the women in their lives, including their mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters.
However, many argue that the rights of women in Islam have been interpreted in a way that oppresses women. The traditional interpretations of Islam have been used to justify practices such as forced marriages, polygamy, and male guardianship, which limit women’s freedom and autonomy.
It is important to note that the interpretation of Quranic verses and the application of Islamic laws have been influenced by cultural practices, historical context, and varying schools of thought. A progressive interpretation of Islam emphasizes the equality, justice, and empowerment of women, and rejects cultural practices that discriminate against women.
Right of Women in the light of the Holy Prophet (SAW) Saying:
In the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), women were granted many rights and were treated with respect and dignity. Some of Women’s rights in Islam include the right to education, the right to own and inherit property, the right to enter into contracts, and the right to seek legal recourse in cases of injustice.
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) also emphasized the importance of treating women kindly and with compassion, and condemned domestic violence and mistreatment of women. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) also emphasized the equality of men and women in the eyes of God and that both have the same spiritual responsibilities and will be judged by the same standards on the Day of Judgment.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) also stated that the best among the believers are those who are best to their wives.
Challenges Faced by Women in Pakistan:
There are many challenges faced by women in Pakistan that limit their ability to participate fully in society and enjoy their rights. If we talk about legislation many laws made for the rights of women in Pakistan.
Example of Challenges faced by Women in Pakistan;
Discrimination and violence:
Women in Pakistan often face discrimination and violence, both in the public and private spheres while it is against women’s rights in Islam. This includes domestic violence, sexual harassment, and honor killings. In many cases, the legal system is not equipped to provide adequate protection and justice for women who are victims of violence.
Must Read: Women Workplace Harassment Act in Pakistan
Limited access to education and employment:
Despite progress in recent years, women in Pakistan still have limited access to education and employment opportunities. This limits their ability to participate fully in the economy and society.
Restrictions on mobility and freedom:
Women in Pakistan often face restrictions on their mobility and freedom, including restrictions on their ability to travel alone or without the permission of a male guardian.
Lack of representation in political decision-making:
Women are underrepresented in political decision-making roles, which hampers their ability to shape policies that affect their lives.
Gender bias in health services:
Women in Pakistan often face discrimination and bias in healthcare services, which affects their access to healthcare and the quality of care they receive.
Women in Pakistan are disproportionately affected by poverty, which limits their ability to access basic needs such as food, shelter, and healthcare.
Child marriage is a prevalent problem in Pakistan, which limits girls’ education and increases their vulnerability to violence and exploitation. Child marriage is also against Women’s rights in Islam.
Also Read: Early Age Marriage in Pakistan
Lack of access to justice:
In many cases, women in Pakistan do not have access to justice due to a lack of legal representation, a lack of awareness of their rights, and cultural biases among law enforcement and legal professionals.
These challenges are deeply rooted in cultural, social, and economic factors, and addressing them requires a comprehensive approach that includes legal reforms, education, awareness-raising, support for victims of violence, economic empowerment, and engaging religious leaders.
Pakistan’s legislation on Women’s Rights:
If we talk about Pakistan’s legislation on women’s rights we can say there are several laws in place in Pakistan to protect the rights of women and promote gender equality. Some of the key laws include;
- The Protection of Women Act (2006)
- The Prevention of Anti-Women Practices Act (2011)
- The Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Act (2011)
- The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act (2016)
- Zina Ordinance 1979
- The Women in Distress and Detention Fund Act (1994)
- The National Commission on the Status of Women Act (2012)
- The Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Amendment) Bill, 2022
Despite Pakistan’s legislation on women’s rights and changes, these concerns remain unresolved, and women in Pakistan do not have equal rights.
What Pragmatic Measures Can be Taken for Women’s Rights:
Laws that discriminate against women, such as those that restrict their mobility or limit their access to justice, should be reformed or repealed.
Education and awareness-raising:
Efforts should be made to educate the public, especially men and boys, about women’s rights and the importance of gender equality. This can be done through public campaigns, educational programs, and media outreach.
Support for victims of violence:
Programs and services should be put in place to support victims of violence, including counseling, legal aid, and shelters.
Measures should be taken to increase women’s access to education and employment opportunities, such as through affirmative action programs and training programs.
Engaging religious leaders:
Religious leaders can play an important role in promoting women’s rights and gender equality within their communities. Efforts should be made to engage with religious leaders and work with them to promote a more progressive interpretation of Islam.
In conclusion, women’s rights in Islam are complex and multifaceted and subject to various interpretations. In Pakistan, women face a number of contemporary challenges, including discrimination, violence, limited access to education and employment, and restrictions on mobility and freedom.
To address these challenges, various measures can be taken, including legal reforms, education, and awareness-raising, support for victims of violence, economic empowerment, and engaging religious leaders