The following is an address given by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, to the female members (Lajna) of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community on the occasion of the UK Annual Convention held on 26th July 2008.
In earlier times, women were deprived of their rightful status. Even amongst Muslims, who have clear guidelines about the rights of women prescribed in the Holy Qur’an, a wife’s status was, as described by the Promised Messiah(as), like that of a worthless object. Even today in some of the poorer countries of the Third World, be they Christian or Muslim, regard for the status of women is deplorable.
In some cultures and families, women are considered of lowly stature. Even in the West, which claims to be the standard-bearer of women’s right, only until a few decades ago women had no status. Despite raising slogans of liberation for women, even today, the well-educated people of the West oppose women attaining key positions. For example, in the recent American presidential elections, excuses were presented against a potential woman candidate, declaring: how could a woman be the President of USA? They later did their best to cover up this impression but a large part of the American population is not ready for a woman president. Apparently, America is a developed country and is said to be broadminded about freedom and civil rights, but even they could not stand the idea that a woman should be their president and leader of the country.