Educate a woman and you educate the next generation
OMAR FAYAZ KHAN
Over the past many decades there has been tremendous advancement in all fields like Science and Technology, Communication, Laws, Education methods, Environment preservation etc. And women have also contributed in all these fields. Empowerment means giving power or status to women. Islam teaches respect of women and giving her all the rights.
The pagans of Makkah, before Prophethood declaration, used to get very angry on the birth of a girl child, and even go to the extent of killing their girl child. There’s a popular prophetic saying: “The Prophet (S.A.W) told one of his companions that He will get paradise on the birth of 3 Girl children. The other companions replied that I have 2 girls, the Prophet (S.A.W) replied even you too.” This has to be the yardstick for us when it comes to the importance of a girl child.
Right of education:
As she grows up, at a particular age there’s need of education. She should be given the best education similar to that of the boy. The parents have to take the same care as they take care of the boy child in meeting all her educational needs. As it is said, “educating a girl is educating the next generation” because mother spends most of her time with her child. She can shape the personality of the children. The Prophet (S.A.W) has said, “Seeking knowledge is Farz (obligatory) on every Muslim men and Women”.
Although the education emphasized is imparting the Deen, religious education, but it cannot be restrictive, encompassing in its fold the current useful knowledge to work for the betterment of humanity. No distinction has been made with regard to girl or boy child as one being inferior to other. So, if we care for education of a girl child, we are empowering her.
Right to work:
A woman has the right to equal opportunity for jobs in the government and private sector. There has to be specific quota for women in government and private sector depending on the type of job. Women as a whole, statistically, aren’t so empowered as men are. So, there is a need for quota. Islam too doesn’t completely stop women from choosing her job. It is a wrong notion among Muslims that women aren’t allowed to take up a job. The women surely can take up a job where easily mixing of genders is not encouraged. The job has to be such which is allowed by Islam. There shouldn’t be easily mixing of genders as is the case in most of the jobs. Having said that, Islam neither prohibits nor encourages women for jobs. It depends on the conditions. Normally, the bread winner is the male member of family.
Right to choose the life partner:
The onus of marriage of the girl or boy lies mostly with family. The woman has to have a choice in choosing her life-partner. Although she can surrender her right willfully to parents, no one can force her to marry against her will. In Islam there is a concept of Mahr (Dower) which means would-be-husband presents a gift to her would-be-wife before lawful marriage is brought about.
Right to property:
The Women has equal right to property as that of men. Many cultures, societies of world were either unaware or unwilling to provide women such rights. Islam probably was the first religion which emphasized in Quran to give due share of property to womenfolk. The world has come to recognize this right in the recent centuries. The woman has the right to have the property that belongs to her.
So women can be empowered in many aspects of life. Only financial packages can’t uplift her. She has to be empowered in the way she thinks and in education.
(Omar Fayaz Khan teaches at Green valley Educational institute. Feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lastupdate on : Sat, 9 Mar 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 9 Mar 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 10 Mar 2013 00:00:00 IST
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