Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls (SDG 5) will make a significant contribution not only to the economic development of the world but to progress across all the 17 SDGs and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well.
Currently, in countries where conservative Islam and/or the patriarchal structure predominates, women and girls are discriminated to visit higher schools and universities; although, women want to contribute to science. However, there are Islamic states (such as Saudi Arabia) which promote the education of women, but the women stay mostly unemployed after graduation because of gendered seclusion in job opportunities. The attitude of male superiority and female subjection contributes to the general misinterpretation of the Quran (Muslim people’s main religion text) and misunderstanding of the Muslims: So many Islamic experts say that this patriarchal viewpoint is unrelated to Islamic values.
What could women and girls do to fight against this women-hostile Islam or patriarchal attitude? Should women and girls living in democratic countries demonstrate in front of embassies of arch-conservative countries and/or use the social media more effectively Many Muslim women or women coming from Islamic- or patriarchal controlled countries studied successfully at universities in Austria, and their parents are very proud!
In the democratic countries like in Austria, the situation is different for women and girls, but still needs improvement: flexible working time, work-balance, enlightenment and opportunities for women and girls, etc.
“When a woman is helpless, without rights and ignorant, half of the nation is sick and paralyzed”
– Mammad Amin Rasulzade, Chairman of the National Council of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.
Roland Leithenmayr, VfV, 16. February 2017
The International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year. The Chilean President Michelle Bachelet founded with UN General Ban Ki-moon the organization “UN Women” to visualize the paradox situation of women and rights. The support of multilateral institutions is necessary to alleviate the plight of women and the demand for human rights. Heide Göttner Abendroth, political philosopher, culture- and society researcher with a focus on matriarchal society argues that “men” have a lot to say and get more money than women in multilateral institutions with hierarchical structures. Women should obtain more attention for their start-ups and projects. Requiring more women in functions on the top has not yet been fulfilled. She advocates Matriarchy which it is not the reverse mirror image of Patriarchy by them men prevail over women. Instead, it is deliberately constructed to maternal values which influence politics, culture, religion, society and the environment positively. It is a mother-centered society building on maternal values: maintain, nurture, care, peacekeeping, i.e. mothering in the broadest sense. These values apply to all, for mothers and non-mothers, for women and men alike.
Roland Leithenmayr VfV
P.S.: Not only Muslim women suffer from the patriarchal social system. In Egypt, the Muslim- and Christian Copts societies, in this case, are similar.