- Dear Aishah,
Let’s begin this;
1. A movement ought to be encouraged among women; it begins with a few on this discussion group and grows one at a time. They consciously need to imbue those values in their children that they would like to see in their men, so when they grow up, they will be respecting their family members, their daughters and their spouses.
2. Raise children doing the work at home without gendering it. My kids are raised with value for things to do at home, there is no such thing as man's job or woman's work in their mind set, and they also respect every religion without bias.
3. Mother has more influence on children than fathers, and that is why they call it mother tongue and never father's tongue. All mothers can consciously instill values of equality in their boys, and delete values of subserviency in their girls.
4. Two generations of conscious work, will change the world. But we have to remember, there will be always bad men no matter what religion they follow or what kind of raising they have, all we can do is reduce the number of such rascals through education and social pressures.
India has a lousy dowry system, even though it is outlawed, the practice has not faded away yet - the Hindu women are doused in kerosene and set to fire, the Muslim women are beaten up by their respective mother in laws. Not to gloat, American Men have killed more of their partners/ spouse in rage of fit than those combined in India and we hear about Arab women going through utter helplessness. All of us are guilty. Oppression of women or the weak or the minorities depletes the spiritual balance in a society. To have a society that is guilt free and well balanced, all humans must be respected for their god given uniqueness.
Women have come a long way since the day Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) liberated women from the shackles of men, where a woman was no more a chattel, she is on her own, she can own her properties and even given the freedom to do the opposite – do divorce men without guilt, as it was religiously sanctioned.
Think about the women that Prophet Muhammad said are the women to look up to? I would term it Model women like Asiya, Marryam Fatima….and others. None of them were social conformers, they broke away form the norms of the society to establish their own identity and assert their own being. Aishah, Roop, Sumbul and friends we need to highlight those values. A few men have opposed me for saying this, they do not want to highlight the very thing that the Prophet Admired, that is the Sunnah we need to follow.