sociology

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Gender Inequality In Religion Sociology Essay

Even though they make up half the population, women and girls have endured discrimination in most societies for thousands of years. In the past, women were treated as property of their husbands or fathers - they couldn't own land, they couldn't vote or go to school, and were subject to beatings and abuse and could do nothing about it. Over the last hundred years, much progress has been made to gain equal rights for women around the world, but many still live without the rights to which all people are entitled. -- Robert Alan

In society today there are many inequalities, gender being the lead. There is gender inequality in popular culture, workplaces, sports, politics and religion. For this essay I have chosen inequality in religion.

Religion has been around for thousands of years, when religion first started our world was different. We didn’t have the technology we do today and men were regarded higher than women. Women weren’t allowed to work or go anywhere. Today even though women get more respect than they did before there is still inequality. Men still have authority over women and female children even though there might be laws instated to stop the inequality or could it be the culture of the country that has confused religion and culture. Sometimes the laws of a country rule against the laws of religion, which is followed; religion or politics?

Mainly in the Middle East and North Africa, human rights for women are denied, despite the diverse laws in place. I have found a website which informs us about the 10 extreme examples of gender inequality.

Please note that I do not intend to disrespect any religion in what I say, it is my own personal opinion.

Number 10: Forbidden from driving

In Saudi Arabia women are forbidden to drive. Men are not allowed to drive a lady unless she is close to him i.e. a relative or spouse. Women can’t drive because then they have to unveil their eyes and that is forbidden, a lady can’t leave the house often, if she drives she will leave more often and if they out it will mean more interaction with men they do not know. Another issue is how to get thousands of school girls to their schools if men cannot drive girls they do not know, no exceptions are accepted. Women basically have to live in their house, they cannot explore the world unless a male relative is watching their every move.

Number 9: Clothing Requirements:

Women are beautiful and have a right to wear what they want; they should be allowed to wear what they want WITHOUT being labelled however some women feel secure.

In some places women obligated to wear a head to toe garment, covering all their clothes, called a Burqa. The garments are so thick that you must not be able to see through it. If they don’t wear these garments they are either stoned, abused or acid is thrown on them.

Some women however may feel more secure wearing these as their chance of being raped and sexually abused in lowered.

Number 8: Right to Divorce

Men have every right to divorce his wife with very few questions asked. A wife can not divorce her husband unless she has an eyewitness to the abuse; often the abuse happens in front of another man who is not going to be on the lady’s side. It is often very easy for a man to divorce his wife but for the wife it is close to impossible. In some countries like Egypt a lady can divorce her husband if she can pay back her dowry.

Number 7: Right to Education

In Saudi Arabia it is believed that women are only supposed to be educated to carry out a proper female Muslim life. A group of women teach young girls certain aspects of the Qur’an and how to carry out their life once married; how they are supposed to act as a housewife, mother and a wife. Not many women go to this education (picture above), why, perhaps the male members in their family may not see it necessary.

Because of how limited their education is some women want to be educated more but some agree that they are only meant be educated that much and so they agree with it.

Number 6: Right to Travel:

In Iraq, Libya, Jordan, Morocco, Oman and Yemen, husbands must give their wife’s written permission to leave the country. In Saudi Arabia, women cannot travel unless they have written permission from a male relative. Women also have identity cards these cards are under their father’s or husbands cards. On the identification cards there is a picture of an unveiled lady and many Arabian women disagree with a picture like that.

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/images/2008/02/20/pakistan.jpg

Number 5: Victims of Violence

In some countries there are no laws instated against any type of abuse against and there is no protection for the female victim. Women are abused by fathers, brothers, husbands and any random man. In some countries if a man rapes a woman all charges are dropped if HE agrees to marry the lady. Women are abused because they have put a “shame” on their family. Migrant female works are most vulnerable for sexual abuse by not only the husband of the house but the teenage or adult sons too.

Number 4: Custody Rights

In Bahrain, family law is not codified; judges have complete power to deny women custody of their children for the most arbitrary reasons. Women who have been courageous to fit were sued by 11 family court judges. With consideration to parental authority as, legally, children belong to their father. If divorced or widowed, a woman is normally granted custody of daughters until they reach the age of nine and sons until they the age of seven. Older children are often awarded to the divorced husband or the paternal grandparents.

Number 3: Citizenship

Women who marry men who aren’t citizens of a country cannot get citizenship themselves. In order for a lady to get citizenship for a country she has to marry a male citizen otherwise it is impossible for her. There is no reason for a lady to apply for citizenship elsewhere especially if she married and has children because she is fulfilling her duty. Women cannot grant citizenship to their children if born to a non-national father.

Number 2: Sexual Subjugation

Unmarried pregnant women are mainly at risk for prosecution. Women are only for making babies and satisfying a man’s sexual desires. Women don’t have a say in anything, if a girl is a virgin and if she is raped it is her fault because she is a virgin, men find it frustrating if girls are virgins. As time has gone by in some countries men see themselves are more powerful than women. Women HAVE to wear Burqa but how do you explain the picture to the right? This shows that if a lady is pleasing male pleasures it IS okay to “break” the rules.

Picture: http://stickeenotes.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/burqa_sexy_1.jpg

Number 1: Female Infanticide

There are many countries that follow this. In china it IS LEAGL to abort, starve, abandon, neglect and infanticide a female child. In many religions male children are more worthy than females because they carry the family name and are the ones who continue the family business where as women get married and they are the husband’s responsibility. It often happens in rural areas as families need their sons to work and women aren’t allowed that right. In the US it is immoral and manslaughter to commit an infanticide but it is still committed.

There is gender inequality in Religion but could the condition the people live under affect their intentions. A poverty stricken country will often have more inequalities compared to a wealthy country. This is because the people are not educated about the modern day; it’s our duty to do so.


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