Report: Lajna Imaillah of the France Ahmadiyya Community successfully accomplished a seminar upon “The Status of Women in Islam”

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This study is the written transcript of the seminar organized by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association of France Saturday, May 11, 2013. The subjects were divided in this way:

  • Introduction to Islam Ahmadiyya by Munira Duboory (not reproduced in the report)
  • Women before the arrival of Islam, by Aminata Toure
  • The rights of the woman with the advent of Islam, by Aneeqa Rehman
  • The current condition of Muslim women by Mahrukh Arif.

For the PowerPoint seminar,  click here.



(By Aminata Toure)


Equality between men and women are not obvious. Just trace the history of the 20th century to realize. 50 years ago a woman could not work without the permission of her husband 65 years ago a woman could not vote, a century ago, a woman could not freely dispose of his wages.

What are the reasons that pushed the man to consider women as inferior to him?

The story of the woman from religion. Attitudes were forged on some old myths and beliefs such as the woman was not created at the same time that man but from man. This actually means that the woman owes to the man so that accountability turns into submission. The woman is also the misfortune of mankind because it is she who, in the Judeo-Christian mythology, encouraging Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. It is thus the symbol of temptation.

The status of women in Ancient Greece

In any society and at any time, relationships are closely linked to the social status of both sexes and, especially, to the woman.

ancient-greece-womanIn Ancient Greece, women enjoyed no civil and political rights and, therefore, their status was inferior to man. The woman had roles for which it was really intended, the mother or the companion of man nothing more, nothing less.

For the role of the mother, you could say it was the goal of every woman, the goal… continue reading at @

The status of women in the Middle Ages (V-VI centuries)

At the end of the ancient Greek, social status had not changed at the time of the Middle Ages.However, although the woman is not a being of equal importance to that of man, and even far away, some changes have occurred on the side of the participation of women in the work for the compensation of family.

The status of women in the Middle Ages was declined following the diversity of ages and social positions, following the place occupied in the family, within the couple over his sexuality, and the important role of motherhood.

The woman’s life was divided into three periods:

  • The children up to 7 years (this is the age where girls learn embroidery and… continue reading at @


Economically, regarding women’s work, women’s wages are lower than men’s.


The Roman Catholic Church  holds an ambivalent position vis-à-vis women. Created in the image of God, and the principle of equality before God, opposes an earthly hierarchy that places them in a subordinate position.

The  misogyny  moral theological treatises of XIV th  century  and  XV th  century is fierce

Christine de Pisan  (1364-1430) argued in this climate the cause of women, particularly that of Joan of Arc .

Neither humanism , nor the  Protestant Reformation  did significantly improve the status of women. For a short time, women take advantage of openings in the Reformation.

Some women take the opportunity offered to them to be preachers or meddle with theology.They also benefit from the literacy effort begun in the 1560s through the catechism.

This freedom of speech, however, quickly stifled.  Luther  dissolves religious communities and it’s back to the housewife.

Several female figures, like  Marguerite de Navarre  and  Renée of France , however, continue to play a major role in the development of the new doctrine.

The French Revolution (1789 – 1799)

If women are actively involved in the  French Revolution , the claims of some, such as  Olympe de Gouges , author of the  Declaration of the rights of women are not taken into account by members.

The willingness of women to participate in public life is quickly dampened by the majority of revolutionaries who refuse to see including armed or… continue reading at @

The Status of Women in Pre-Islamic Arabia

In Arab society, women had no status or right. He was held for honorable to kill the new-born daughters. It is, however, a mistake to believe that infanticide was practiced on a large scale as a dangerous institution could not be practiced in a country without significant demographic consequences.

The truth is, in Arabia, as elsewhere in India or any other country where infanticide has existed, it has been limited to a number of families. Those who practiced it were imbued with an idea of their social status or special needs. Maybe they could not find suitable suitors for their daughter, and knowing this, they preferred to kill them at birth, or burying alive, or by smothering.

The evil of this institution lay more in its savagery and cruelty in…  continue reading at @

4 replies

  1. Hearty greetings and warm felicitation to all the fortunate participants of the Seminar on the very important topic of ‘Status of Women in Islam’ successfully organized by The French Lajna Imaillah, Ahmadiyya Muslim Women Association of France. Alhamdolillah. All praise to God Almighty.
    The article translated from French into English by Ms Salma Javed Khan, titled , The status of Women before Islam’ penned down by Ms Aminate Toure is really very informative and gives a historical understanding into the evolution of the status of women which was always kept at the lowest ebb in Man’s dominated society. The lajna writers/authors of various articles did really a wonderful job of careful handling of the topics under discussion in details (in French language) which will certainly bring about a positive change in the hitherto thinking on the actual status of women in French society, and its improvement under Islamic teachings of Deen-e-fitrat, Inshaallah.

  2. Congratulations to Lajna Imaillah France for holding such a great conference. Woman in Islam has always been one of the biggest taboos in Western countries as they pretend to talk about equality or justice without knowing the real teachings of Islam. So it’s one of our duties to enlighten the great teachings of Islam, inter alia, in this regard.May Allah enable us to fulfil our duties with all our strength. Aameen

    Umm e Haseeb

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