Educating the Muslim Female

A recent Ijtema post linked to a story of a Muslimah in her quest to secure education. On the other side of the world, Asmaa ponders over a seemingly Catch-22 situation involving education and societal expectations and raises a lot of questions in the process:

In university, I was indoctrinated with the notion of individuality, empowerment and self-determination. I was taught that what and who I wanted to be, was completely in my hands. So I made myself in those four years, out of a combination of valuable personal relationships and classroom education.

For example, if a woman of education reaches her late 20′s and is still unmarried, it seems there is suddenly a “too-empowered” stigma attached to her name. It’s as though marriage defines women, and without it we are unnatural. I do not deny there is a natural desire for partnership, but I question our community’s perception of what a woman is without it.

I often feel frustrated being in a Muslim family. I’m not proud of these frustrations of mine. Believe me, it’s a conflicting and negative feeling to have. (Perhaps the phenomenon is also found in non-Muslim families, but I speak from experience only.)

Though we’ve been taught to make decisions on our own, I find that being female and Muslim sometimes means some of our decision are made for us, and not by us. And thus there can only be one product of that: an ever-increasing frustration with the situations we find ourselves in.

3 thoughts on “Educating the Muslim Female

  1. Asalamulaikum .I cannot help but agree 100% with this sister. All that society expects of us, women in Islam is marriage or a satisfactory future. Education and the cause of finding what we like and who we are are seemingly lost in due course. I believe it is upto us Muslimas to decide our future and make our mark despite all these odds.

  2. Pingback: Friday Links — August 29, 2008 « Muslimah Media Watch

  3. Pingback: Friday Links — August 29, 2008 » Muslimah Media Watch

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