- Islamic IssuesWomen
- January 19, 2008
- 5 minutes read
Woman’s Weak Political Role…Due to Social Traditions or Religious Thought?
The woman has managed all over the world to assume high political positions, while the Arab woman hasn”t managed to reach for example the posts of president or Prime minister in any Arab country.
The highest Arab government post assumed by a woman was in Jordan by Dr. Rima Khalaf who assumed the post of Deputy Prime Minister and Dr Soad Moammar who assumed the post of a presidential deputy in Tunisia . Is women”s weak political presence due to societal habits and traditions or is ti because of religious thought?.
Amr Hmzawi, a researcher in the US-based Carnegie Foundation, said in a study issued by the Carnegie foundation entitled “Islamic movements and the democratic process in Arab world: exploring gray issues”, that women”s civil and political rights, and their social/political role are a part of the grey areas in the thought of the Islamic movements. That”s, the attitude of these movements towards women is still obscure and widely debated.
The Muslim Brotherhood group has recently determined its view towards women”s political role in its political party program. This program stated that “The woman has the right to assume any administrative job in the country except for presidency because religious scholars unanimously agreed that women mustn”t assume this job.
This was made clear in another place of the program, pointing out that presidential duties, including leading the army, imposed on the president are duties which women aren’t ordered to carry out because they conflict with her other social and human roles.
The issue and other issues in the program raised a wide debate even among Islamists as a number of Islamic intellectuals and politicians criticized the program”s view towards the woman.
Arab societies Bridle Women with UnIslamic Habits
Dr. Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood Executive Office, said that oriental societies marginalize the role of women as human beings. The society even bridles women with Unislamic habits and traditions. It is the duty of Islamic movements to fight such backward restrictions in the society. This is because the Islamic Sharia (Law) gives women and men equal civil and political rights.
He also added that the woman has the right to assume any political position. She shouldn”t be denied the right to run for any position. The issue of assuming the post of a president isn”t primarily religious because, according to the MB leader, there is no religious text that denies her this right. ” The prophet”s hadith that reportedly prevents women from assuming office is according to Al Qaradawi a case-restricted which can”t lead to a broader religious judgment”, he added.
Renowned Islamic writer, Fahmi Huwaidi,spoke about the Muslim Brotherhood political program”s view towards women. He said that this program didn”t oppose that women assume office. It actually called for holding a dialogue that determines the details to reach “a social consensus in which women and men take part in the decision making process “. However, those who laid down the MB political program see that the post of a president should be restricted to men because the responsibilities of this position aren’t suitable for the woman. This is actually an issue which hasn”t been finally settled among Islamic researchers.
Both Arab Men, Women Suffer from Marginalization
Dr. Manal Abul Hassan, a professor at the Faculty of Mass Communication, Cairo University , said that the woman”s political situation does not considerably differ from that of ordinary citizens in terms of security harassments under the absence of democracy. This made all people, men and women, distrust any participation in the political action.
She also sees that the society”s view towards women starts to improve. There is a social potentiality that women can assume any job but there is no political opportunity for this take place.
She also backed the Muslim Brotherhood”s political party program in terms of its view to women. She sees that the program presents a realistic, sharia-approved and logical view which the modern woman hasn”t gained yet. Islam has given the woman many political rights but she has never enjoyed them under the current political conditions” she said”.