The meaning of feminism in the modern day

Topic: EducationGraduation
Sample donated:
Last updated: September 9, 2019

The meaning offeminism in the modern day may be determined by various factors such as thecontext and the environment in which the word is used. For instance, thedefinition of feminism may be different in the western countries compared tothe perspective of other nations. Initially, in the West, feminism was arepresentation of women from middle-class who were predominantly white.Interestingly, the term found its way in the Arab world under the new discourseof feminism in Islam.

The main aim of Islamic feminist is to establish asociety that is equal regarding gender identity, but given the challenges ofabuse, subordination and subjugation of women in Muslim world achieving suchmilestone have not been easy. Interestingly the actions against women by themale-dominated Islamic society are done in the name of religiousrecommendations. Therefore the driving force behind Islamic feminism is thedemeaning cultural practices by a male who overlook the female. Islamicfeminists try to achieve equal gender rights through cleansing their religionof tendency and influence of patriarchic practices through using accurateIslamic interpretation.According tothe majority of the feminist leaders, the assumption is that Islam itself is agender equal religion devoid of the current cultural practices.

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For example inIran, the authorities have adopted Sharia laws that have not gone down wellamong the Islamic Feminists, and this has been the cause of their continuedagitation for the abolition of the retrogressive practices and implementationof gender equal rights1. To overcome the degenerative laws in Iran, Islamicfeminists like Ziba Mir-Hosseini have devised ways of interpreting the Sharialaws that are gender sensitive even though the primary impeding factor is thatthe jury is predominantly male dominated. The movement in Iran for example onceexplained that the Quran and Islam at large is a gender friendly religionunlike the current interpretation aimed at subordinatingwomen.

                Over the past centuries, the Arab culture demeaned women and put them in astatus considered small by all standards. As time went by, the situationchanged mostly at the dawn of the second half of 19th Century whatSemier attributes to the Western world influence in Muslim realm education offemale Muslims and the modernization process2. These three factors played a significantrole in the status of women from an Arab country and led to the germination offeminism ideas across different states. For the first time, women went out ofthe comfort, of their houses to do among others study, trade and discussions onthe Quran. From interaction with the outside world, women became liberatedwhich extended to even the others around them.

Therefore, last half of the 19thCentury gave birth of feminism discourse in Arab world mostly on the followingissues, education, employment, marriages, political rights like universalvoting, dressing, religion among other factors. As time goes by, the discourseon gender and feminism in Arab states continue to develop both in theory andpractice

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