The Status of Woman in Islam


The status of woman in Islam is a recurring theme in global feminist discourse. While there is a consensus that Islam has done much to improve the condition of woman compared to what was obtained in pre-Islamic Arabiathe Jahiliyya period, some scholars are worried over the conservative reinvigoration and perpetuation of medieval doctrines against women in the twenty-first century. The study shows that of all religions, Islam has been meticulous in preserving and defending the rights of woman. Since the intention of the study is not apologetic, but a critical reflection on problematic religious prescriptions, the study represents an advocacy for the abolition of doctrines and rules that are obnoxious and repugnant to natural justice. Islamic endorsement of plural marriage is unacceptable in the 21 century. Whatever consideration and reasons that led Islam in medieval period to permit optional marriage of four women by one man, such reasons do not exist in modern society. This study recommends monogamous marriage for Islam. Passages on veiling and seclusion of woman and wife beating should be expunged from Islamic sacred books. While this may appear difficult, it is the opinion of this paper that Islam is in dire need of reforms to reposition it for global acceptance and participation in the 21 century.

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Okon2013TheSO, title={The Status of Woman in Islam}, author={Etim E. Okon}, year={2013} }