The Status of Women: Myth vs Reality

The myths and realities about the status of women in the Islamic faith were addressed this past weekend in a conference offered by the Student Association for Muslim Awareness.

The three-day series of lectures and workshops that ran through the weekend provided audiences with an in-depth look at the Islamic faith and its attitude toward women. The lectures looked at various topics including the Hijab, marriage, material rights, the Qur’an and the importance given to women in Islam. The conference provided understanding not only for people from other religions, but also for men and women within the Muslim faith.

The conference tried to illustrate that a misunderstanding about the oppression of Islamic women has formed in recent years.

“We honour our women and we have proof of it,” said Jihad Mohammad Hyjazie, the organizer of the event. The lectures and workshop given during the weekend demonstrated how the Muslim faith respects women.

Despite this respect, Muslim women still face many challenges, not only through the different interpretations of the Qur’an and holy teachings, but also through cultural influences. The speakers said that although Islam provides women with rights, many women are not knowledgeable about these rights and don’t exercise them.

The weekend called for a solution to the misunderstandings of the treatment of Muslim women through education.

“Men and women need to work together . . . but if [a woman] doesn’t ask for [those rights] it’s pointless,” said Alia Hundal, a Concordia student who attended the conference.

The conference concluded that women are abused all over the world, and the role religion plays in this abuse is debatable. However, the problem exists and has to be dealt with.

Hyjazie said that “Humanity is not going to develop if you mistreat people, especially women.”


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