Women in Muslim Societies Research Papers
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The status of women in Muslim societies is a controversial topic. Some critics of the Islam religion maintain that it discriminates against women. Muslim societies place strict prohibitions on the conduct of women in public, including the following examples:
- Often, women cannot drive cars
- Women cannot go out in public unaccompanied.
- Women may also be required to cover their head and face in public with a hijab.
- Their ability to own property may be limited.
- Family and marriage laws often favor men in issues such as divorce and child custody.
The process of female genital mutilation, an act regarded as a human rights abuse by major international organizations like the United Nations, is also justified by some as being required by the Koran.
Defenders of Women's Treatment
However, some defenders maintain that women are better treated in Muslim societies than in Western societies. Some Islamic women have defended their choice to cover their heads in public and have protested against laws prohibiting hijabs. Liberal Muslims have worked to demonstrate how the Koran urges the Muslim world to treat women with respect and dignity.
The Status of Muslim Women
The status of women in Muslim societies may be changing. Some Muslim societies, such as Saudi Arabia, impose fewer restrictions on the conduct and mobility of women due to their business and social interactions with Westerners. In addition, Islamic feminists critically interpret the Koran in an attempt to expand the rights of women.