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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Women Leading Prasyers - 1147 words
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In New York, on the 18th of March 2005, a professor of Islamic studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, Amina Wadud, led 150 men and women, in a Friday prayer. This incident is the first of its kind, as it is the first time for a woman to take the religious leadership role in Islam. Of Course, This incident caused a huge debate within the Islamic cultures. Some sheikhs declared there was nothing wrong with women leading prayers, but the big majority of sheikhs criticized Amina Wadud and condemned her. However, Amina Wadud in reply to the accusations stressed the equality between men and women, even in religious leadership.
(Islam online, April 18, 2005) One wonders why Amina Wadud has chosen religion to convey her views of equality between men and women. In the present days, especially in religious countries, religion dictates every aspect of people's lives, where their modes of thought are imposed by the religious and political institutions. Consequently, if it is tolerable in religion for women to lead prayers then most probably, this will reflect on real life and women will be given the chance and the trust to take actual leadership positions. If this is the case, religious leadership will have an impact on women perception of themselves and their role in society. Women perception and confidence in themselves will change dramatically if they are given the chance to take religious leadership
The current situation in Egypt is, that most women underestimate their thinking abilities and see themselves as the ones who should serve their husbands (The Invisible Society: Women in Middle Eastern Culture, 2.5.2005). The role of religion here is that many women justify their present role with religion and this is why they accept it and do not try to change it. So if religious leadership then will result in women to have more confidence and see herself as having skills that she should take advantage of. Consequently, she will get motivated and see it as her duty to fight for her rights. Women will become more motivated and aware that a higher education is a necessity to pursue their rights.
Thus, women will become more intellectual and independent. Independence, in this case, means economic independence, because if they get a degree and work, they will be capable of taking care of themselves and have their own income. This means that they will not be obliged to live under men masculine superiority just because women are economically dependent on men and if they are beaten up or treated badly they can decide walk out and pave a life for themselves. Being independent will lead women to have a strong character as they see themselves able to think on their own when solving problems. Another point is that women will see their role in relationships differently. As women and men are equal in religion, they will also be equal in the household.
Women will see themselves as having the right to have a say in the house. And it could get as far as women ask their partners to cook or clean. In relationships, women will see themselves as compatible with men. Moreover, women will not accept an order from a man, and she will not feel the need to do anything except if she was convinced to take part in it. To take part in religious leadership will also change women perception in a society.
Women will be aware that they are half of the society and that they have different qualities that men lack in a community. For instance, women are peaceful in character they are able to promote peace awareness in better ways than menso usage of that could help the community in various ways. Accordingly, women will feel responsible for contributing in the society as they will see that they make a difference by that they will gain confidence. When this happens, automatically they will earn more freedoms and opportunities from the society.Giving women religious leadership will change societies view and role of women. According to Amina Wadud, in certain societies, women are seen to be inferior to men because of their 'emotionality' and that women's physique are thought to be 'a source of Chaos and temptation' (inspired by women leading prayers, April 18, 2005). So if women are leading something as high and sacred as a prayer then these ideas will slowly diminish.
Firstly, women will get more leadership posts. For example, in Egypt and the Arab world where politics and religion are connected, if women are seen capable of leading a prayer then it will open chances of her being for instance, the minister of foreign affairs because the main reason not allowing women being a minister of foreign affairs is the fact that most probably she wont get the needed respect from other Arabic leaders that will enable her to reach political agreements. (Personal contact with a female Egyptian ambassador may 2nd 2005). Another point is that Middle East societies view women as a 'form of seduction' that must be strictly controlled and regulated. (The Invisible Society: Women in Middle Eastern Culture, 2.5.2005) so giving women religious leadership will totally change this idea of women being only sexual objects. Because if they lead something as noble and high as a prayer then they definitely have to have leadership skills and that women could also be seen as noble beings who shouldn't be controlled because of their bodies.
Apart of that, women will also get more Respect if being religious leaders. This happened indeed in early Christianity in the 4th century. Back then women had a bigger power in christen church and they even became head of monasteries an example is a woman called Olympias in Constantinople, who was a very powerful and rich woman. This egalitarian church system reflected on society. Women earned much more respect and credit and were therefore more active Their activity was shown for instance, in the fact when there used to be any religious gathering, women used to plan it in their living places and there express opinions and make sure they were taken into consideration.
(Powerful wealthy women, Tuesday, April 19, 2005). To summarize, the role of women in society will improve and they will be given more opportunities.To conclude, women indeed are created with brains and a will this should have had a reason. Engaging in religious leadership will surely emphasize equality in the society. Women and men are indeed different, but maybe through women engagement in the outside world. The qualities that women posses that are not in men could be used efficiently and consequently society will develop. However one could ask if the engagement of women in society will ever be fully accepted from men.
Because especially in the Middle East men enjoy their superiority and are not ready to give it up. So whatever happens will men ever accept themselves being led by a woman?.
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