Saturday, March 27, 2010

what do we know: circumstances affecting Muslim Girls and Women

This part of my blog will talk about the issues Muslim Girls and Women face in many Islamic Cultures. I will list bullet points defining each.

*Child Brides: Minors married off to older men.

*Forced Marriages: This can be sometimes called "arranged marriage." It is sometimes difficult to see the difference between these two. It usually depends on how much pressure was put on the girl to get married. Resistance to this sort of marriage very often lead to severe beatings and the punishment can go as fas as to lead to an "honor" killing.

*Concept of Guardianship: This is the idea that a woman must always have a male guardian from whom she needs permission for all her activities to leave the house to seeking permission to sign contracts, accept jobs, etc.

*House Arrest: Girls and women who are seen to be too liberal or westernized are forbidden to go out of the house without a male escort: resistance to this often leads to punishment and, in the worst cases, to an "honor" killing.

*Female Genital Mutilation: This practice is often inflicted upon girls between the ages of 4 and 14. This practices is not in anyway related to Islamic scripture or law. It is ensure virginity until the girl's wedding day. Such circumcision became illegal in the United States in 1996.

*Honor Beatings: Beating of a girl or woman for refusing to comply with family code of honor and engaging behavior deemed by family to be shameful.

*Honor Killings: Beating ending in murder. Honor are often carried out with knowledge and help of family members and relatives.


  1. Sobia, I am really excited to read more of your blog!

    Like you say, female genital mutilation (FGM) is not mandated by religion. There are even laws in the Islamic world forbidding the practice, but apparently they are poorly enforced. See

    I came across a related ad campaign by Amnesty International. Pretty effective... what do you think?

  2. Sobia,

    Your blog honors women especially those who are subjected to abuse. Thank you for bringing these issues out in the open for all to confront.

    Why do the men go along with treating their women this way?

  3. Thanks guys. Liz to answer your question. Historically, I believe during the 1940s, Islam was being heavily promoting in the middle east. The koran was being changed by politicians who wanted to use islamic law to rule their government. Eventually, a lot of the koran was changed into culturally influenced text. Religion (Islam) became an excuse for promoting unequal rights because of the misinterpretations and changing of religious text. Men were using religion as an excuse to control women and that hasn't changed very much. Basically, there is no split between church and state for Islamically influenced governments.

  4. Soamoa,

    Thank you for answering my question. The quest for power and domination seems to be an elixer which eludes me. Thank God!