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Status of women defined in the Arab culture - Assignment Example

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From the perspective of Islam, the Arab countries believe that the woman holds a respectful status in society, as far as the Quran is concerned. According to Abdul-Ati, women in Arabian countries are equal to…
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Status of women defined in the Arab culture
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Women in Arabic Culture Many Arabic countries have embraced Islam as their dominant religion. From the perspective of Islam, the Arab countries believe that the woman holds a respectful status in society, as far as the Quran is concerned. According to Abdul-Ati, women in Arabian countries are equal to men in status, even though these have different rights and privileges in society. He attributes the concerns about the status of women in Arab countries, as arising because of the influence of foreign cultures (Web). Nonetheless, the status of women in Arab countries remains a center of interest for the other non-Arabian, non-Islamic countries. Many aspects in the Arabian cultures and including religion evidently show that Arabian men and women do not share equal privileges and rights in society. Women in Arabian countries hold lower status than that of their male counterparts.
Most Arabs in Arabic countries, and those found in different parts of the world are known to follow the Arabic principles and customs. Although Islam is dominant in Arabic states, some Arabs belong to the Christian faith, while others are Jews. However, these still adhere to some of the Islamic principles. Therefore, the religion of Islam plays the major role in determining the different ways through which Arab men and women interact, including their status in society. Since Islam is a religion that has been present for many years, it is considered part of the culture in Arab countries, and this highly influences different social and cultural aspects of Arabs.
The mainstream, secular discourse believes that Islam is oppressive to women. This is reflected in various practices in the Arabian cultures, which require women to act differently from men, in a rather discriminatory manner. For instance, women’s dressing is highly restricted. In most conservative Arab countries, women can only dress in clothes covering their whole bodies, and even veils for the head and face, as some allow women to only show their eyes, and not any other part of their bodies. This is in addition to many other practices, including those involving property ownership, which undermine women in Arab countries (Desiree Web).
The status of women in Arab countries is directly related to the religion of Islam. In past times, women in Arab countries were secluded, and were not given the opportunity to take part in the public life. Women were rather confined to their private lives only. After independence however, Islam countries such as Tunisia have considerably changed the status of their women by allowing them an education and participation in the public sphere. Therefore, although the secular culture might view the women in all Arab countries as living under oppression from men, some countries with an Islamic orientation have attempted to provide equal rights to both men and women. In such Arab countries however, it can be argued that the status of women is mainly based on the legal rights they are entitled to, and partly due to the influence of the West, as this has continually pushed and lobbied for policy reforms to address the gender inequality problem (Desiree Web).
As observed, Islam is inherent in Arab countries. Therefore, in those countries that have readily accepted to change the status of their women, it is because of the political influence in the country. However, it is possible that the acquired rights and privileges of women will be lost, since cultural values, traditions, and religion, play the major influence in the lives of Arabs, including determining of status of men and women. Therefore, the religion of Islam has more roots and power in Arab societies, and so, may easily displace the rights and privileges acquired by women in the few reformed Arab countries. This will in turn take the women back to their former statuses, where the men dominated (Desiree Web).

Works Cited
Abdul-Ati, Hammuda. “The Status of Women in Islam.” Islam in Focus. Web.
Desiree, Bryan. “Women in the Arab World: A Case of Religion or Culture?” e-International
Relations. Web. Read More
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