From: Today's Zaman | TodaysZaman.com | October 14, 2011
ISTANBUL -- Islam gives the same rights to women as men, which is contrary to the image in Westerners' minds about a woman's status in Islam, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General Nafis Sadik (Pictured) told the Anatolia news agency on Friday.
|During an official visit to Turkey, Sadık said, “Being a Pakistani woman, I have had many chances to observe the women's rights issue in Islamic countries; the religion of Islam gives equal rights to women.”
She added that women should do whatever necessary to acquire the rights that Islam gives them.
Emphasizing that there is a negative image in Western countries about the role of women in Islam, Sadik said, “In the Western world when people think of a Muslim person, the image of a Muslim man with four helpless women behind him comes to mind, but this image doesn't reflect reality,” adding that “when reporters find out I'm a Muslim woman, they are usually surprised because they don't believe that a Muslim woman can be successful and hold a high position as I do.”
She also mentioned that she grew up under strict religious rules but had the same rights as her brothers, going on to say that “although my father was a religious man, he didn't at all restrict my education and my choice of who to marry.”
Women have the right to divorce in marriage, and Islam defends the rights of women, Sadik asserted.
Regarding the recent increase in violence against women in Turkey, Sadik said, “Fighting against violence towards women is very important; politicians, lawyers, nongovernmental organizations, media and especially women themselves should cooperate in order to solve this problem in Turkey,” and added that stricter laws should be adopted to punish those who abuse women and that tougher laws against known abusers should be adopted to protect women at risk.