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Women in the Middle East. Mark Stapelkamp Caralyn Canova Chris Midura.

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Presentation on theme: "Women in the Middle East. Mark Stapelkamp Caralyn Canova Chris Midura."— Presentation transcript:

1 Women in the Middle East

2 Mark Stapelkamp Caralyn Canova Chris Midura


4 Image of Muslim Women The Islamic Religion is one of the main religions in the Middle East. For years and years, the average western person has been subjected to one image of a Muslim woman: mysteriously veiled, heavily guarded, living in a harem with a brutal sex maniac for a husband. One can't really blame this person if he or she accepts this image as true especially if he or she never saw Muslim women in any other light.

5 In Islam, men and women are created equal as human beings though obviously not identical. Throughout the Qur'an, it is repeated over and over that men and women are created as companions on earth to complement and comfort one another. They are both held accountable for their deeds, individually. Both are rewarded or punished equally for their deeds. Muslims have been spared the debate about whether a woman had a soul or whether she was a person or not. That was never questioned while it was a hot issue in western societies up to the 1930's when the Supreme Court of Canada passed a judgment that women really are persons! This was simply a fact asserted by a religion that was born in a society where burying newborn girls alive, out of shame, as common practice. Sons were a source of pride while girls brought along disgrace. Islam immediately prohibited such a brutal discrimination. It was spelled out clearly that one person, be it male or female, can be better than another by virtue of his or her piety alone, not sex, not origin.

6 . Islam, as a whole, is described in the Qur'an as a religion of the centre balancing the needs and freedom of the individual with the good of the society. This is the general rule which also governs the relationship between men and women in society. They have the right to work and mix together as long as that right is not abused, hurting the society as a whole. This implies that the environment in which they see and talk to one another should be a clean respectable environment where sexual temptation is practically eliminated.

7 The Muslim Dress Code Some westerners, and regrettably, some Muslims, take what was on the following slides to imply locking up the women or hiding them in veils. However, that contradicts the practices in the Prophet's life when women fought in battles, nursed the wounded, argued with the Caliph and even taught religion. The whole idea of modesty in dress is to ensure that both sides are not distracted by physical appearances. The dress code applies equally to men and women. Both should not look sexually inviting. That might not seem like too much fun, it certainly will not allow for Dallas-like episodes, but it would improve the chances for a better family-oriented society where men and women treat each other with mutual respect as human beings, rather than as sex objects. These are the general requirements for the Muslim dress code for men and women. How women actually dress in specific Muslim countries has a lot to do with the local culture and not just with Islam.

8 Active Participation The Muslim woman's active participation in community affairs was established from the earliest days. This includes the right to vote. She has always been a separate individual with a separate vote. She had to swear allegiance independently of her husband and father.

9 Womens Rights in Israel Israeli women created Bat Shalom; a feminist peace organization of Israeli women It works toward a just peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors that includes recognition of a Palestinian state side-by-side with Israel and Jerusalem as the capital of both. Within Israel, Bat Shalom works toward a more just and democratic society shaped equally by men and women.

10 Womens Rights in Egypt Egyptian women won the right to divorce there husbands in February of 2000 In 1997, a poll done by government's National Population Center shows that 35 percent of Egyptian wives polled had been beaten at least once by their husbands. Of the beaten wives, nearly 70 percent were attacked after refusing sex and 7.3 percent of the victims were pregnant. But about 70 percent of all the wives polled also said that such treatment was justified if a woman spoke to her husband ``in an improper way. The study polled 7,000 wives 15 to 49 years old. the National Population Council published a poll, also done in 1997 indicating that about 80 percent of Egyptian women consider female genital mutilation a positive tradition. The council, which did not reveal the extent of its sample, also said 97 percent of married women polled had undergone some degree of the procedure to remove some or all external sex organs.

11 Womens Rights in Iran In 1994, a married Iranian woman was stoned to death in Tehran's Evin prison for adultery. In 1994, Iran's officials have annulled the decision by the National Iranian soccer federation to allow women to watch soccer games. The annulment came in coordination with the head of Iran's athletic organization, Mostapha Hashemi-Taba. In a statement, the federation had said for the first time since the Islamic Resolution in 1979, families are permitted to watch soccer games. Since 1979, women have been banned from appearing publicly in sport's centers in the presence of men.

12 Womens Rights in Jordan and Kuwait In both Jordan and Kuwait, men who murder female family members in the name of preserving the "honor" of the family, are, at most, are convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 3 years in prison.

13 Womens Rights in Saudi Arabia A ccording to the report from Amnesty International, Saudi women faced discrimination in almost all aspects of life: decision-making, education, and work. They are not allowed to travel outside the country without the written permission of a male relative. They are not allowed to drive. They are not allowed to go out in public without the presence of a brother or uncle to whom marriage will not be permitted. Men are allowed to marry up to four wives, and can divorce a woman instantaneously. A woman may obtain a divorce if her husband fails to maintain her, if he is impotent, or if he abandons her or treats her cruelly.

14 Womens Rights in Afghanistan Since the Taliban became a military and political force in late 1994, women and girls have b ecome virtually invisible in Taliban controlled portions of the country. Women are not allowed to attend school. Women are not allowed to appear outside the home unless wearing a head to toe covering called a burqa. Women in need of medical treatment could only get that treatment from another female. This is next to impossible for almost all of the female workers lost there jobs.

15 Womens Rights in Turkey Turkish women detainees, and some men, are subjected to rape and other forms of sexual assault while in custody for both political and ordinary crimes. Although there are strong cultural inhibitions against reporting sexual torture, Amnesty International nevertheless frequently receives allegations from women of rape. Women in Turkey are often subjected to virginity testing.

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