Origin of gender inequality
Islam and pre-Islamic-Arabian states are incompatible. Many misunderstand this today. With the rise of fake news, articles, and surprisingly books on how Islam mistreats women and causes gender inequality, many think that Muslims carried these harsh and uncivilized practices. Customs and beliefs Arabs held prior to Islam are not held by Muslims today nor were they when Islam was born.
Many types of research showed gender inequality in states across the Globe, over many years, and under several civilizations. Violence against women was a primary matter in many states. Yet, over the course of many years, civilizations and religions lost judgments that were once held against them. Except for Islam, where there are no Islamic practices in the history of Islam that triggered discrimination against women.
Plato and Socrates were known to be the greatest philosophers and thinkers during their era. Yet, we tend to take the good they did and reject the absurd claims they've made against women. “The evil, coward and corrupt spirits of men are the ones from which women were created.” — Plato. “The existence of the woman is the main reason and source of crisis and destruction in the world. The woman is like a poisonous tree, her appearance is beautiful but when birds eat from it they die immediately.” — Socrates.
Both Plato and Socrates believed that each individual should be assigned social roles. And both believed those natures were driven by an individual’s psychosomatic makeup. They agreed on the roles of slaves, barbarians, children, and artisans, but not about women. (Borghini, 2019)
Arabs before Islam committed infanticide. Young girls were the victims of these practices. “The dispatch of daughters is a kindness” and “The burial of daughters is a noble deed.” (Nicholson, p. 90)
In pre-Islamic Arabian states, female infanticide happened occasionally by either fear of poverty or fear of disgrace. (Muslim women’s league, 1995)
Islam was introduced to gender inequality and female infanticide and not the opposite. Later, after the infanticide practices pre-Islamic Arabian states had, a verse in the Qur’an prohibited infanticides. “And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provided for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin.” (Qur’an 17:31)
In Christian Europe (1000 CE), women were not held in high esteem and had few rights. Women were felt to be untrustworthy and more easily seduced by the devil than were men. “No woman is good, unless she be a saint,” was a common saying. (Reese, 1996)
In some parts of Germany, a husband still had the right to sell his wife. The physical punishment of wives was common, even encouraged, to keep the “nagging” woman from talking back or being disobedient. (Reese, 1996)
In China, violence against women was not fully recognized as a social problem until after the Third World Women’s Conference in 1985. A 2005 report found that at least 20% of wives in China had been abused by their husbands. (American journal of public health)
Hindu widows are to remain without partners after the death of their husbands and are not allowed to remarry. The status of widows in India has been miserable. Woman’s head was shaved off after the demise of her husband, she would be forced to live a degraded life. But all these things are much better than the evil Vedic practice called Sati Pratha. “Sati Pratha” is a practice among Hindu communities where a recently widowed woman, either voluntarily or by force, sacrifices herself on her deceased husband’s pyre. (Razvi, 2014)
Nepalese Hindu women are still forced to leave their homes and take shelter in unhygienic or insecure huts or cow sheds until their cycle ends this practice is called “Chhaupadi”. (Diamant, 2019)
In Judaism, a woman passes through periods of impurity so she becomes cursed. Her husband himself becomes impure because of her and everything she touches. “And everything on which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean. Everything also on which she sits shall be unclean. And whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. And whoever touches anything on which she sits shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. Whether it is the bed or anything on which she sits, when he touches it he shall be unclean until the evening.” — Leviticus 15:20–23.
Unlike in Islam, where there is no place for superstitions of impurity and no such need to isolate women away from their homes, or impurify everything a woman on menstruation touches.. “And they ask you about menstruation. Say, “It is harm, so keep away from wives during menstruation. And do not approach them until they are pure. And when they have purified themselves, then come to them from where Allah has ordained for you. Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.” — Qur’an 2:222.