I have written previously about how women are treated in the Islamic world, and especially in Saudi Arabia. However, the subject has come up just recently in a report from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, purporting that a Saudi judge gave his blessings for a man to slap his wife if she spends money wastefully. Such declarations from a Saudi judge carry a lot of weight and are generally respected by the Saudi men. By the way, this judge did not say that if the husband spends the money in this manner that the wife has also the right to slap him.
Just to refresh your minds, women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to vote by law, and you will not see any women sitting in the kingdom’s cabinet. Moreover, they are not allowed to drive and if they need to travel for one reason or another, they cannot do so unless accompanied by a male guardian. I cannot imagine how any woman could live under these deplorable and backward conditions. To the writer, women in this part of the world are considered like procreating females that are here on earth for the sole purpose of producing children and obeying men. Women are not regarded as thinking and intelligent humans; moreover, I also wonder if these women are deficient in vitamin D since, if they go outside, they have to cover themselves from head to toe. Men are supreme masters over women and women are not allowed to study any subject they desire.
Let’s travel from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan. Women in this part of the world are treated by men even worse than in any other society in the world, and in addition, not only do they cover themselves from head to toe, but they are also forced to cover their eyes with what is called a “burqa,” depriving them of peripheral vision and causing them to sustain repeated falls. Over 87% of these poor women are illiterate; one in every three Afghan women experience physical, psychological or sexual violence; in fact, marital rape is the rule in a society where sex is a man’s right, not a woman’s. Sadly, the average life expectancy rate for women in this country is 44 years.
The above brutal and uncivilized treatment of women in many parts of the Islamic world is a combination of antiquated culture and distorted religious injection; in fact the Koran states that women are equal to men. So the evil that these women are subjected to is man-made and since these women live in the dark ages, segregated in their homes without any contact with the outside world, it would take generations of courageous women to change this cruel abuse. Fortunately, a new movement of brave Islamist feminists is emerging in many Islamic countries demanding “true” Islam rather than man-made interpretations.
In the meantime, we can only feel pain and sorrow for these women’s dismal plights and injustices. I sincerely hope that more women in these countries where injustices are practiced are supported by other women of the Free World to demand their legitimate equality rights with men so that they can achieve their God-given potential.