Women Under U.S. and Islamic Laws : Islam Synonomous with Women Oppression?
Even though Women’s situation worldwide has greatly improved nowadays, women still constitutes a population that is still oppressed in many places in this world. From employment, to social and political representation, women are still behind men. Many women earn less than men with the same qualifications and position and fewer women than men occupy seats on legislative bodies. However, many believe that countries where women are the most kept from having any social role are countries evolving under Islamic laws. Indeed, the idea of a Muslim women wearing a veil symbolizes for many and especially westerners the oppression of women. Nevertheless, this paper aims at demonstrating through a comparison of gender equality under U.S. laws and under Islamic laws that Islamic laws do not necessarily results in women oppression. Nevertheless, I also want to make it clear that U.S laws generally provide more protections to women than Islamic laws, but there are some areas where U.S Laws have failures. In an effort to prove this point, this paper will first explore how patriarchal notions have influenced interpretations of gender equality under U.S. and Islamic laws. This will lead us to conclude that depending on the method of interpretations, gender equality exists under Islamic laws. Then, the paper will analyze the issues of marriage and violence against women under U.S laws and Islamic laws. Finally, we will expose Islamic and American feminists’ views on gender equality and understand what the future holds for women under these legal systems.