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Book review The new woman By Qassim Amin - Essay Example

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Name: Institution: Course: Date: Book review "The new woman" By Qassim Amin Qassim Amin, an Egyptian jurist is best known for his advocacy on women rights. One of his best know works is “Al-Mar’a al-Jadaa”, or “The New Woman”, published in 1900, a book in which the 19th century reformist takes women as his object of reform…
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Download file to see previous pages He believes that Islamic law was initially superior to any other as far as women emancipation was concerned. By using clear cut examples, Amin emphasizes that the most significance development in the Islamic world would be the emancipation of women (Amin 15). He is optimistic that through his writing, the few educated individuals, especially the young will be enabled to raise the concern about women’s rights to the level it deserves. His target audience, according to his words, is not the general public but these few individuals who are the hope of the future. In the first chapter of the book, Amin gives an historical perspective of the condition of women, arguing that this is most practical approach to understanding the present status of women without it. He blames the loss of women’s independence on the creation of the institution of a family. The religious rituals associated with the family and private deities brooded a culture where women were seen as assets, as much as a slave. Polygamy and wife ownership are some of the most outstanding examples of such practices. The rise of the government plays a major role in reducing this male tyranny over the women (Amin 29). Nevertheless, no nation in the world has ever achieved a level of equality of men and women. The author notes that the political conditions of a country are directly linked to the status of women in that nation. When women are downgraded, the whole nation is downgraded and robs women of their rights. When women are allowed their personal freedom, the whole nation also enjoys political freedom. This is the cause of the indispensable statement that the type of government in place influences the family and the family then influences the society. Amin gives splendid examples to clarify this notion. He compares Eastern countries with the USA, where the influence of government over man and man’s influence over his wife are totally different. Amin follows this with quoting famous leaders and giving examples of states and nations where women have been allowed rights such as voting, participation in political activities and involvement in professions such a Science and Technology (Amin 49). He also compares major nations I the World as regards women rights. He states four phases of women’s emancipation, and notes that Egypt is in the third phase, where women enjoy only limited rights, as allowed to by their husbands. The ultimate phase will entail women enjoying complete freedom just as their husbands. Amin discusses three perspectives in the life of a woman; her personal freedom, her role towards this freedom, and her responsibility towards her family. In some regard, Amin is undoubtedly an opinionist. For instance, he states his opinions as facts rather than as statements which are subject to scrutiny before one takes them in. It is no wonder that his view that freedom is the ladder to happiness raises an eyebrow to state rulers and those in positions of power. In an attempt to contain himself, he limits freedom to the independence of thought, will and action only within the legal limits of morality and societal norms and standards (Amin 67). In the other chapters, Amin develops his argument by citing relevant examples and giving possible suggestions towards the direction. In ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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