The order – issued by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud – overturned a longstanding policy which had become a powerful symbol of oppression. The conservative kingdom is currently the only country where the act of women driving is forbidden.
The move was announced on television and also by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the royal decree mandating the creation of a ministerial body to give advice on the practicalities of the edict within 30 days and a full implementation of the order by June 2018.
This is a great day for all women in Saudi Arabia, and hopefully a start to far greater reform to give women the power and freedom which has already been given to them in the Holy Quran, but denied to them by men.
Newspapers have been printing articles about the position of women in Islam. One such article was printed by The Independent. In response to this many people wrote in saying that in Islam men are regarded as superior to women. We look at this.
We looked at what the Holy Quran says about protection and rights of women. The question is whether these were ever implemented in practice. We look at the history women at the time of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s) to see how they were treated.
Laurence Rossignol made the comments on Thursday in an interview with RMC radio and BFM TV, during which she slammed retailers who design products for Muslim women, such as hijabs, arguing that these companies are “promoting the confinement of women’s bodies.”
When the journalist pressed Rossignol, arguing that some women choose to wear such items, the minister retorted: “Of course there are women who choose it. There were American negroes who were in favor of slavery.”
Absolutely shocking comments from the French Minister for family, children and women’s rights. If French members of Parliament are openly making comments like this, then what chance is there of integration in society?
Muslim Women’s Network UK demanded an inquiry into “systematic misogyny displayed by significant numbers of Muslim male local councillors”.
“They don’t like women to be heard, to be empowered,” it told BBC Newsnight.
Jean Khote, a sitting Labour councillor in Leicester, said good women candidates were barred by the membership in some areas with high Muslim populations – and that was kept from people higher up the party.
The mindsets of the Muslim men who came from Pakistan are in full affect in local politics in the UK.
There is no room in Islam for this kind of systematic abuse of women, cultural mindsets like this though are hard to break and I believe that there is little chance these men will ever change their ways, but this being the UK, these women at least have a way to protest to have these matters investigated and hopefully changed so that the next Muslim women who wants to stand can do so without being threatened and slandered.
A few days ago Sir Michael Wilshaw, head of Ofsted, said that he supported the headteachers and principals who tried to ban Muslim students and teachers from wearing a niqab or a burqa to school. He went on to say that school inspectors should downgrade schools where students or teachers wear a niqab if they feel that it affects “communication and effective teaching”. We look at whether it is compulsory in Islam for a woman to cover her face or whole body. Whether it is or it is not is however besides the point because it is a matter of individual choice.
In recent years Abu-Lughod has struggled to reconcile the popular image of women victimized by Islam with the complex women she has known through her research in various communities in the Muslim world. Here, she renders that divide vivid by presenting detailed vignettes of the lives of ordinary Muslim women, and showing that the problem of gender inequality cannot be laid at the feet of religion alone. Poverty and authoritarianism—conditions not unique to the Islamic world, and produced out of global interconnections that implicate the West—are often more decisive. The standard Western vocabulary of oppression, choice, and freedom is too blunt to describe these women’s lives.
Lila Abu-Lughod is an anthropologist who has been writing about Arab women for over thirty years. She disputes the claim that women need to be saved from Islam and in the video about argues that conditions like poverty have a far more serious impact on the well-being of women.
The Lahore Ahmadiyya UK branch has led the way in women taking a leading role mosques by having a woman give the Friday Khutba on more than one occasion. We have always stressed the importance of the role of women in society, not just as wives and mothers, but as leaders of the community.
Now it seems that the Muslim Women’s Council (MWC) is following in our footsteps and is consulting on the idea of having a female led Mosque, based in Bradford.
It wants Bradford’s communities to lead the way in empowering women to play a leading role in revitalising places of worship, in which Muslim women have been marginalised by mostly male-dominated mosques for many decades.
MWC’s chief executive Bana Gora said access was the biggest problem for women.
In an era in which many young people feel that their faith is no longer relevant, or are going to extremes, we want to be able to provide a safe space for them to question, learn and grow whilst having an appreciation of their heritage as well as the opportunity to make informed choices relevant to the 21st century.
Lets hope that the MWC can gain confidence from our lead and push this forward from just an idea being consulted on to a reality which will benefit thousands of women in and around the Bradford area.