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Women Roles in Near and Middle Eastern, African and European Societies - Research Paper Example

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The history of the progress of women starts from the same bleak stories in all the societies of the world. This paper is going to trace the roles of women in the different societies of the world and then hold out an analytical comparison between them…
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Women Roles in Near and Middle Eastern, African and European Societies
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"Women Roles in Near and Middle Eastern, African and European Societies"

Download file to see previous pages Prior to the advent of Islam, the role and status of women was dependent on the tribe and area they belonged to or e.g. the Bedouin, the tribes of the south of the Arabian Peninsula, the tribes of Mecca etc. But the overall condition was still very bad because of the prevalence of customs like infanticide and unlimited polygamy. Women had virtually no legal status and no right to either inheritance or to divorce. V. M. Moghadam studied their situation and argues that the position of women was mostly influenced by the extent of urbanization, industrialization, and the political ploys of the management (Moghadam 4-9). Women had no role in the politics and had no suffrage rights. They were good only for producing male babies; female babies were even buried alive out of shame. Women were sold into marriages by their guardians and the suitor could end the marriage whenever he liked. Hatoon al Fassi, a Saudi historian, studied much earlier historical origins of Arab women's rights by using evidence from the ancient Arabian kingdom of Nabataea. Her findings indicate that Arab women in Nabataea had independent legal personalities but they lost many of their rights through ancient Greek and Roman law prior to the arrival of Islam. Many of these constraints became the part of the culture and were retained even after the advent of Islam (al-Fassi 12-18).The advent of Islam brought a lot of betterment for the condition of the women. They were given the right of inheritance and their consent was made necessary in marriage according to the edicts of Islam. Female infanticide was strictly prohibited. Quran, the Holy Book of Islam, carried the instructions that made elevated the status of women in the society. Where women were previously not allowed to get a formal education, its acquirement was made mandatory for both men and women in Islam. Women were seen in many roles after the arrival of Islam, as educators, teachers, and scholars and even as businesswomen. Women were found working in a wide range of commercial activities and diverse occupations, for e.g. as farmers construction workers, lenders, dyers, spinners, investors, doctors and nurses, presidents of guilds, peddlers, brokers, scholars, etc. Muslim women also had domination over certain branches of the textile industry which was the largest and most specialized and market-oriented industry at the time, involving them in occupations such as dyeing, spinning and embroidery. In comparison and stark contrast, the property rights and wage labor for females were relatively uncommon in Europe until the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries. Similarly, women started playing an important role in the foundations of Islamic educational institutions, such as Fatima al-Fihri's founding of the University of Al Karaouine in 859. This positive trend continued through to the 12th and 13th centuries, when one hundred and sixty mosques and madrasahs were established in Damascus out of which twenty six were funded by women through the Waqf (charitable trust or trust law) system (Lindsay 191-196). Women of the contemporary Arab world ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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