Islamic Perspectives

An opening for the empowerment of women

The clash of cultures or civilizations between West and Islam is most visible in matters relating to womenfolk. However, there are innumerable ways by which Muslim women can become more useful and rewarding part of society, even while remaining true to their faith and adhering to guidance on modesty. Islam puts extraordinary emphasis on morality and as such favors separation of men and women who are not related; with a view to obviate the chances of misdemeanor. However, Islam is not averse to women helping society by sparing time and effort from their household duties, and at the same time enriching themselves with knowledge and experiences. Nursing and medical profession is one of such fields where women can be most helpful provided they are allowed to work in a controlled and safe environment. Just as we have girls’ school, colleges, orphanages, we can have women’s hospitals, exclusively treating women and children. They could be staffed only by women. In such an atmosphere, Muslim lady doctors and lady nurses cannot only be most helpful to people, but could even find gainful employment without compromising with the strict Islamic guidelines on morality.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Islamic countries or countries with substantial Muslim population can be motivated to give women a better chance in life, by promotion of medical education as well as special hospitalization facilities exclusively for women.
Even in countries like India, the demand for medical services is so strong, that any contribution to the work force, be that on any terms, can help people at large where women will be opting for medical profession.

India’s cultural ethos too is overwhelmingly congenial to such separate facilities available to womenfolk within the traditional standards of modesty.

In India, reservations up to 50% could be allotted for women and a suitable proportion for Muslim women set aside so that the nation can benefit from greater participation of Muslim women in the mainstream, while at the same time helping themselves with a higher standard of living through education and service.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 January 2011 on page no. 28

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