How to empower women

Women can be empowered economically, spiritually, socially, but the most important way women can be empowered is by giving them the right to education
File Photo
File Photo

Ameeka Gul

When women is a daughter, she is sent as a rehmat (blessing)to the family.

When she is a wife she is a source of completing half of husband’s deen.

When she is a mother, heaven lies under her feet.

This is what Islam says about women.

Women’s empowerment, yes, it is one of the burning issues in today’s time.

What actually is women empowerment?

Women Empowerment is the process where in women are empowered (given power). It could be defined in innumerable ways which include educating women, giving them the basic rights so that they could also know and prove their good selves in the field of education, raising their status in every way possible, giving them the right of being called literates.

Women can be empowered economically, spiritually, socially, but the most important way a woman can be empowered is by giving them the right to education. This could be done if individuals at their own level, boost her self-esteem, drop negativity, be open and honest to them. All these little efforts altogether can make a big difference, and that's what is actually the need of an hour.

“The believers, men and women, are protectors and supporters of each other. They enjoin what is just and prevent what is evil, perform regular prayers, practice regular charity, and obey Allah and His messenger. On them shall Allah spread his mercy. Truly Allah is almighty and all wise” (Qur’an 9:71). This verse also indicates the overall neutral voice of the Qur’an regarding the position of men and women relative to one another.

The Prophet (saw) said, “Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.”1 No gender distinction is made here.

Women used to get suppressed in every aspect of life when it came to education and freedom, but today we see as the women are getting empowered with the passage of time, they are proving their mettle in every field.

Undoubtedly, women are the definition of strength, power, patience and dedication but just need a little push to prove themselves.

If we talk about Age of Ignorance; it was a historical period in west-central Arabia covering centuries, immediately prior to the mission of Prophet Muḥammad (pbuh), a period characterized by ignorance of the divine truth. During this period people used to burry girl child alive as they deemed it a curse to have a girl child.

It was prophet Muhammad (SAW) who came as a blessing, and changed the whole scenario of that period, and gave a message about the stature of woman in the society.

In the contemporary world, we see there is a lot of competition even within the confined rooms, but unfortunately lot of our women are lagging behind and the reason is our ignorant behavior for the said thing i.e. Empowerment of Women. There are certain basic principles of empowerment of women as follows:

Protect the dignity of women, managing and concerning their perceptions, fairly making decision in their behalf, actually keeping in view their potential and later working accordingly. "This world would look much better if we acquire what we require".

It's pertinent to mention here that no matter what the circumstances are, women have always been supporting men to save them from any down fall. A lot of us are possessed by a perception that empowering women can lead to some negative changes or any problem henceforth, but this perception is wrong. So their empowerment should be appreciated and given a thought, for they deserve it.

We have been talking about women empowerment from 10 years, 20 years or may be 100 years, but Islam talked about this issue and has empowered women in real sense 1400 years ago.

Both the Qur’an itself and observations of the life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) indicate that, unlike other societies and religions, Muslim women have property rights, they are entitled to their share in inheritance, they are allowed to participate actively in economic and social activities, and in many situations they have equal rights with their male counterparts. Mothers are revered in Islam more than fathers.

If we turn the pages of history, there is an unending list of female legends in Islam. One of the greatest scholar of Islam was a woman; Aisha (ra). Many narrations of the Prophet (SAW) are narrated by Aisha due to her proximity to the Messenger and her great understanding of the Quran and Islam. Khadija, the first wife of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was a business woman. Fatima-Al-Firrhi was the women who found the first ever degree giving university in the world. It's not possible to keep writing the names because the list is almost unending.

Now come to our own condition. Just take this into account: “49 percent women in J&K justify beating by husbands: Survey” ­

These figures give a loud and clear message that women empowerment is the need of an hour. But we do not need to start campaigns, nor we need to organize seminars to empower women. But the solution is simple, we need to start from our homes. We need to give all rights to them under Islamic laws. We need to respect their opinions, and we need to support them and their legal decisions. But we should also remember to not compare westernization with women empowerment. Women empowerment does not mean letting women do whatever they want, but help them to excel in all fields of life and treat them as equal stakeholders and providing them education. It all started with a man Adam and a woman Eve. It never started with only a man or only a woman. Empowering her actually means empowering the world. Lets raise our voices, lets support women empowerment.

Ameeka Gul is an undergraduate medical student

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