What we want: emancipation or honoring a woman?

A thinker, a philosopher observes every aspect of life to comprehend the complex system of living. To handle fairly a topic like,”what we want: emancipation or honoring a woman?“, is a great deal.
By ‘emancipation‘ we mean freedom or freeing someone. It is different from honoring someone with rights and obligations. After a century of emancipation, the situation is being worsen.According to careful analyses:

  • All women who were the victims of homicide globally in 2012, almost half were killed by intimate partners or family members.¹
  • In 2012, a study conducted in New Delhi found that 92 per cent of women reported having experienced some form of sexual violence in public spaces in their lifetime.²
  • An estimated 246 million girls and boys experience school-related violence every year.³
  • Global estimates published by WHO indicate that about 1 in 3 (35%) women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.⁴

This means violation against women rights is gradually increasing even though we are living in an advanced and so called civilized society. The superficial causes like lack of awareness and poverty contribute a minor role in this violation and secondary to major ones. The major causes are few but hard to be wiped out. First cause is, misunderstanding about ’emancipation (liberation)’ and ‘justly honoring someone with rights and obligations’. Great minds of every nation and culture sitting in parliaments and organizations are struggling for honoring her with rights but they are unable to honor her fairly because when they tries to assign fairly the ‘rights and obligations’ to the women within the boundary of humanity, they cannot assign them flawlessly because when they try to limit rights, it leads to oppression and when they try to enhance them, exceeds the boundary that leads to liberation of women out of humanity, causes a disturbance within the society. It means liberation (emancipation) is a result of unjust assigning of rights. This liberation hinders her to play the best role in the a civilized society.

Second cause is, a league of people does not want modesty and peace rather they are propagating immorality and revolt against human nature. Members of that league exist throughout the world.

Third cause is, the criteria or boundary of humanity (within which rights should be assigned) is decided by the members of parliaments and organizations which should be decided by the Creator of the mankind.

As a designer knows the needs and facilities of a machine, so does the Creator knows the best about it. Then to all great minds of every nation and culture, why not should we adopt those rights and obligations of womenkind given by the Creator as a ‘charter of women rights and obligations’. Every sincere mind will consider this a fair-deal. We are trying for centuries to end this violation by our planning and thinking but we are unable to even control this violation. For a civilized society, we should adopt those instructions and the Creator’s instructions are elaborated only by Islam. Islam provides an effective procedure to eradicate these major and minor causes to end violation against women.

We should learn from the past. In caliphate, history witnesses that a woman could travel from one continent to other without being harassed, her family excelled without being compelled to do any job in market or field. She was not abused. She, according to the constitution of caliphate, was equal to the man but she was not like a man in her nature that’s why her duties and rights were different, her guardian was obliged to provide supplications to her, her honor was protected by her father, husband, brothers and sons and the opportunity of getting education was provided by the state. The society was modest and civilized without the liberation of her out of her house and without dishonoring her by wandering dogs of society. There were a few incidents of harassment, killing and violation of her rights throughout the history of caliphate. Although there were some mistakes in fulfilling all her rights in some time of history but this did not make ‘Islamic doctrine of women’s rights and obligations’ wrong rather these mistakes was due to the situations at that time.

Now the question is why it should be in accordance with Islam.

Answer is simple that Islamic doctrine is a complete code of life sent by the Creator, the most wise. It is in accordance with the nature and stature of women. That’s why better is it should be in accordance with the instructions of Islam. Islam honors the women by rights and does not dishonor her by liberating her out of humanity.

I always wonder why some muslims (though they have submit their will to God orally) goes against the instructions of the Islam (only acceptable way for salvation) in order to be rewarded or encouraged by that league of people who wants immorality and harassment in the society. But remember vice is always ambiguous while goodness is always crystal-clear.

So women should be honored by rights instead of liberating her out of the humanity back to the ignorance.

This column is a concise overview of problems relating to violence against women and its solution.


[1]United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2014). Global Study on Homicide 2013, p. 14.
[2] UN Women (2013). Safe Cities Global Initiative Brief.
[3] Data taken from (i) Education for All Global Monitoring Report (EFA GMR), UNESCO, United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) (2015).

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Ali Shahzad Khokhar Written by:

The writer is a medical student at King Edward Medical University, Lahore, Pakistan and a researcher. Email: alishazad999@gmail.com