International Women’s Day – Women in Islam

An elegant Muslim woman arranged her hijab, taking her seat on the judge’s stand. In another country, a Muslim woman’s heart beat quickly as she started her husband’s car, risking conviction in a terrorism court.

Elsewhere, a Muslim woman browsed a Website giving cooking recipes alongside tips to mums about how to raise jihadi babies.

In yet another country, a Muslim woman faced a severe lashing for having been raped and  still elsewhere, a woman prepared for suicide. She would not convert. She would not become Muslim, and she would not marry a militant.

The way Islam interprets the treatment of women differs widely around the world. Many countries are moving toward greater freedom for women, while others are seeing increasing violence towards women and placing even greater restrictions upon them.

Sharia law is the most intrusive and strict of the world’s legal systems, especially concerning the treatment of women. It dictates the daily activities a woman is allowed to do and that she requires permission from her husband for outside activities. It also outlines a woman’s rights, roles and obligations.AfghanWoman

In most Muslim countries, Sharia law is upheld to various degrees. While in Tunisia women are banned from wearing the Islamic veil, Saudi women are required to wear it. Iran honors Muslim women lawmakers, and Lebanese women have been able to vote since 1952.  However, women in the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan were much more restricted, forced to end their education after age eight and facing public flogging and execution for violating the Taliban’s laws.

And the atrocities facing women under ISIL are beyond description, with an Amnesty International report describing the fate of thousands of Yazidi women and girls who have been forcibly married, ‘sold’ or given as ‘gifts’ to IS fighters and their supporters and often forced to convert to Islam. To escape this, a growing number are committing suicide.

On this International Women’s Day, let us join in praying for women in Islam:

  • that peaceful Muslim leaders will continue to allow freedom for women
  • that repressed Muslim women will have opportunities to read and hear of the hope of Jesus
  • that women will find freedom through the Gospel and be lights of hope in their families and communities.
Isaiah 58 vs 6: “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?”


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