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Woman and Islam


The right to a separate legal identity. The right ... In NSW, the Lebanese gang rape' trials ... Cancellation of swimming classes for girls at a Muslim school ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Woman and Islam

Woman and Islam
  • Muslim Women in Multi-faith Australia

Changes in womens status introduced by Islam
  • Spiritual equality with men
  • The right to a separate legal identity
  • The right to own and manage their own property
  • The right to inherit
  • The right to divorce
  • Female infanticide prohibited
  • Restrictions on polygamy

Women in the early days of Islam
  • We see examples of Muslim women who
  • Owned their own business
  • Worked for a living
  • Fought in battle
  • Taught men religious knowledge
  • Led an army
  • Argued with the Caliph
  • Held public office

Patriarchy returns!
  • In time, Muslims
  • adopted customs such as the veiling seclusion
    of women from other cultures
  • Came to rely on interpretations of the texts by
    male jurists exclusively
  • Allowed womens rights to be eroded forgotten

The position of Muslim women today
  • Varies considerably from one country to another
  • The lives of Saudi women are still very
    restricted by the law
  • Women in South East Asia have traditionally
    enjoyed much more freedom
  • Womens lives are affected by poverty, illiteracy
    traditional custom

Current trends
  • Religious revivalism
  • More women choosing to wear hijab
  • More women seeking religious knowledge
  • Reinterpretation of the primary texts in relation
    to womens issues
  • Slow but positive change in womens status in
    some Muslim countries

Muslim women in Australia
  • The stereotype
  • They come from Arab countries
  • Are uneducated
  • Speak English badly or not at all
  • Dress in long black robes with face veils
  • Do not work outside the home
  • Do not participate in society
  • Are dominated by their husbands

The reality Muslim women are a multicultural
community. They come from many different
  • Egypt
  • Turkey
  • Pakistan
  • India
  • Sudan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Lebanon
  • Fiji
  • Bangladesh
  • Afghanistan
  • Palestine
  • Somalia
  • Bosnia
  • Australia

Muslim women education
  • Approximately 36 are Australian born educated
    in Australian schools
  • Recent research indicates that Muslim women are
    more likely to be engaged in higher education
    than other women
  • On the other hand, recently arrived migrants
    refugees may have poor English skills little
    formal education

Muslim women dress is it so important?
  • Some Muslim women wear hijab (a scarf covering
    their hair)
  • Some wear traditional long robes with or without
    a face veil
  • Some wear ordinary western dress
  • Modesty is important to Muslim women
  • Dress is not necessarily an indicator of
    religious commitment

Muslim women work in many different occupations
Engineers Nurses Court officers
Accountants Doctors Lawyers
Pharmacists Farmers Artists
Journalists Academics Podiatrists
Social workers I.T. profs Teachers
Hairdressers Office workers Shopkeepers
Students Dentists Homemakers
But not yet
  • Magistrates
  • Judges
  • Governor-General
  • Members of Parliament
  • Cabinet Ministers
  • Premier or Prime Minister

Muslim women are active in society in
  • Education
  • English classes for migrant women
  • Vocational education
  • Computer classes
  • Learn to drive
  • Childrens activities
  • Educating women about their Islamic rights
  • Welfare work
  • Migrant resettlement
  • Domestic violence
  • Care of the elderly
  • Prison visiting
  • Helping refugees
  • Inter-faith and Inter-cultural dialogue

Recent events have impacted adversely upon
Muslims in Australia
  • Border protection the Tampa crisis
  • September 11 in the US the war on terror
  • In NSW, the Lebanese gang rape trials
  • Media opinion that Muslims are incompatible with
    Australian society

The effect on Muslim women
  • Muslim women are visible targets of vilification
    because of their dress standards of personal
    modesty. Unfavourable public action has led to
  • Cancellation of swimming classes for girls at a
    Muslim school
  • Attempts to close a women only gym
  • Forcible removal of Muslim womens headcover
  • Insults and verbal abuse of Muslim women
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