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Empowerment of Women within Islamic framework -2

Excerpted from Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination and Roadmap
Dr. Javed Jamil
Is work without an exchange of currency no work?
The “feminists” have not raised the questions that must have been raised with the result that the increasing participation of women in “economic” activities has resulted in:
* Stupendous rise in crimes against women (rapes, sexual assaults, physical assaults, domestic violence);
* Stupendous rise in the market of “works” that exploit human weaknesses with the result that sex has become one of the biggest trades;
* Almost complete disintegration of family system with huge rise in (a) the level of promiscuity including premarital and extramarital relationships, (b) separation and divorces: (c) men and women becoming single parents in increasingly large numbers; (d) increasingly large number of children being born out of wedlock; (e) increasing large number of children being forced to live with a single parent.
* Rise of economic disparity, which has been one of the reasons why the “working” of women has been promoted at such a huge scale. This has led to bigger concentration of wealth in families where both men and women are working; with the result that they are in a better position to buy the products of the market. (Lesser number of women working will give more opportunities to unemployed youth with better distribution of wealth; but this will not help the cause of the market forces which first create disparity and then thrive on it.)
* Huge number of women themselves becoming involved in degrading and inhuman activities (a) increasingly larger number of women are turning into prostitutes, pornographic actors, posing for nude photographs, giving nude shows in hotels; (b) increasingly large number of women working in casinos; (c) increasingly large number of women aborting their children (50-70 million every year) (d) increasingly large number of women succumbing to homosexuality.
* Increasingly large number of women losing lives due to AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases and also increasingly large number of women becoming widows.
What is Work?
The market forces have reduced work to the activities that directly or indirectly benefit them. In the current international system dominated by the market, only an activity supportive of the market interests is a desirable economic activity; other activities are either totally disregarded or are given minimal importance. This is why the work is now measured in terms of currency. I will give a few interesting examples. Let us suppose, a patient comes to a doctor friend and receives medical care worth 20 dollars. But the doctor obliges him by not taking any charges from him. In return, the patient, a Car mechanic, rectifies his car, an activity for which he would normally charge 20 dollars. But he obliges his doctor friend by not charging anything. Now, these activities will not find any place in the Gross Domestic Product of the country, as no currency has been exchanged. If on the other hand, the mechanic would have given the doctor 20 dollars and the doctor would have given the mechanic 20 dollars, an economic activity of 40 dollars would have been recorded. The effect of this definition has been that the work done by women within family even though it is a highly useful economic activity is not recognized as work.  If a woman serves food to her husband, she performs no or an insignificant economic activity but if she serves food to a customer in a hotel, this becomes a significant economic activity. If one sleeps in one’s own house, howsoever palatial it is, he does not perform a significant economic activity, but if he sleeps in a hotel, howsoever cheap it is, it again becomes a significant economic activity.  Women working in brothels are “Sex workers” but women working in homes are only housewives not house managers.  A working woman by definition is only a woman working outside homes in exchange of currency.
Need of the Hour
In order to save mankind particularly women from total ruin, we have to rethink our definitions and philosophies:
* We have to recognize — legally, socially, medically and economically the importance of family in the creation of a healthy, peaceful and prosperous society;
* We have to recognize that any work, which is useful for society is an economic activity, which should be measured in terms of the benefits it causes rather than in terms of exchange of currency;
* We have to define a work as “Dangerous” if it causes threat to health, family peace or social order; and Dangerous Economics should be effectively banned;
* We have to recognize the fact that those who have no spouses working must be given preference in jobs. The first preference should be given to widows, orphans, divorcees, single women followed by unemployed men.
* A clear preference for certain professions should be shown for women seeking work outside homes like Medical, Teaching, Social Work involving women and children;
* There should be new schemes and plans mooted that make it possible for women to work within the confines of their houses. When there can be outsourcing from one country to other countries, why not from companies to homes?
Every woman a working woman
It is not that women have started working now. Women have always been performing important socio-economic activities. The truth is that every woman is a working woman. Saying that certain women are “working” degrades other women making them useless beings.  But their role within the family is not recognized as work because that work does not directly benefit the market and does not involve an exchange of currency. The market-designed expulsion of women from homes has resulted in huge problems because it was not intended to help the cause of mankind in general and womankind in particular; it was aimed at giving a boost to the market economy controlled by a very few. The result is that women have lost much more than what they have gained. Their security and peaceful existence and their natural rights and duties – all have been severely compromised. The whole mankind has suffered but the biggest sufferers have been women and children. The need of the time is to assert in categorical terms that the security of the people particularly those of the vulnerable sections of society including women must be ensured. Women’s work should be recognized and organized not according to the demands of the market but according to the needs of individual, family and social peace.
Islam recognizes their work in family as a highly valuable work for which they must be duly compensated for, and gives them the right to work (outside) as well as not to work. The modern man has very cleverly shifted some of his own burden to the shoulders of women without giving them security.
I have never tried to say or prove that women are more likely to fornicate. Men are surely more responsible for the rising promiscuity, prostitution, pornography, abortions, crimes against women, and for almost everything. I am also not with those who only want women to behave giving men the entire license to be licentious. In Islam, punishment for equal crimes is equal for both men and women.
To sum up, I am not against women’s working outside homes. My write-up highlights the practical consequences of a system that exploits women, and I want a system that allows women to work without compromising their security and without their being used in businesses that commercialize sex. Moreover, we have to understand that family peace is extremely important for the overall peace of society, and we must find ways to safeguard family system.
I wish there emerged some women leaders who can lead the women in a way that they work for the benefit of humankind as a whole, and are not guided by the mischievous men.
Dr Javed Jamil is India based thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest, “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Road-map” and  “Qur’anic Paradigms of Sciences & Society” (First Vol: Health), “Muslims Most Civilised, Yet Not Enough” and Other works include “The Devil of Economic Fundamentalism”, “The Essence of the Divine Verses”, “The Killer Sex”, “Islam means Peace” and “Rediscovering the Universe”. Read more about him at Facebook page:; also He can be contacted at [email protected]. 

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