S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) 국제지역연구 국제지역연구 vol.03 (1994)
이슬람 여성의 지위
The Status of Women in Islam
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 지역종합연구소
- 지역연구, Vol.03 No.1, pp. 73-97
- Since pre-Islanic times Arabian woman has been subject to her husband or nearest relatives. But the status of women greatly changed under Islam society although discrimination between man and woman made in pre-Islamic times still remains.
In Islam society woman is allowed to inherit from her husband or relatives and control her property at her will. As far as other aspects of women"s life are concerned, the practices and traditions of pre-Islamic times still have an influence on the position of woman. Clearly the Koran adheres to the traditional view on woman as an inferior being(Koran 4,34).
Islam permits man polygamy: e.g., a man can have as many as four wives. But in fact Koran promotes that one man should have a wife. Being considered a social contract, marriage is only able to be performed with man and woman’s mutual agreement. If a man wants to divorce, his wish is to be fulfilled by repeating his intention of divorce in public several times. But in case that woman wants to divorce, she can attain her purpose only after some conditions are satisfied. A divorced woman or a widow is allowed to remarry after some time passes.
Woman’s wearing veil originated from the Koran is another testimony by which woman’s status can be estimated. Veil was a symbol of distinctions between man and woman. Closely connected with the exclusion of woman from public life is the veil.
The traditionalists argue that woman should devote her entire life to keeping home by refering to the koran that man should take charge of his wife. They say that it is man’s responsibility to earn his family’s living because woman is unable to do outdoor works. The modernists claim that wearing of veil and woman’s living in seclusion are not genuine Islamic idea and that the purpose of the Koran is to establish its own reasonable ethical norms.
The Koran says a great deal about the position of woman but most of them have been interpreted in such a way as means of socially restraining of woman or justifying man’s right and his superior position. But woman’s status in Islam does not merely depend on the interpretation of the Koran. The traditional way of thoughts influence on their view on woman not less greatly than the Koran. In brief, the status of woman in Islamic society should be considered in terms of both the Koran and traditional views on woman.