Acta Scientific Women's Health (ASWH)(ISSN: 2582-3205)

Short Communication Volume 3 Issue 4

The Role of Educational Institutions in Raising Awareness of the Concept of Empowering Arab Women

Mehany Ghanaiem*

Professor of Educational Planning and Education Economics, Faculty of Education, Mansoura University, Egypt

*Corresponding Author: Mehany Ghanaiem, Professor of Educational Planning and Education Economics, Faculty of Education, Mansoura University, Egypt.

Received: March 19, 2021; Published: March 29, 2021

This article discuss the following points
  • The concept of empowering women
  • Axes for empowering women
  • A West View of Empowerment
  • Islam's view of women's empowerment
  • The role of educational institutions in raising awareness of the concept of empowering women.
First: The concept of women empowerment

  The concept of empowering women is considered relatively recent, as it appeared in the mid-eighties of the twentieth century and became one of the common concepts, especially in the field of development and in writings about women and their rights. This concept replaced well-being, combating poverty and community participation, and the concept of empowerment emerged as a result of injustice and marginalization that women suffer. However, the concept remained ambiguous due to the fear of some of it and the misunderstanding of others [1].

  The concept of empowering women has become a common concept especially in the field of development, and in women's writings. Where the concept of empowerment essentially - whether in discussing policies or programs - replaced the concept of advancement, prosperity, combating poverty and community participation, and then addressed all the conferences that have taken place.

  There are those who call this concept (bullying) instead of empowerment Where [2] goes to say that the concept of empowerment has become a common concept in circulation in most Western and Arab countries, and it has constituted one of the most important concepts in local and international conferences and discussions. "The bullying of women" and not "the empowerment of women" as it is common, as the term bullying is derived from the term gender or gender ideology that arrived at the hands of Marxists, Westerners, and some western-supported feminist societies.

  The United Nations stated in its reports that the main obstacle to the full implementation of the concept of empowering women is the people's adherence to religion, so it considered it an obstacle, and to overcome this obstacle, the recommendation was issued at the Beijing +10 conference held in March 2005, to reach people through Islamic organizations, and that In the next stage, the speech will be an Islamic one, meaning that Islamic organizations are the front through which all the contents contained in international conventions are presented, but in an Islamic framework; So as not to receive opposition from religious peoples.

  Advocates for women's empowerment have laid many foundations by which women can break the societal (or religious) controls that impede the stability of the family and society as a whole, and they are as follows [3].

  • Women can make their own decisions
  • Women have the resources and information that enable them to make appropriate decisions for themselves
  • Woman has enough options through which she can say: yes, no, or otherwise
  • Being able to persist on her decision in the face of collective decisions
  • Being able to think objectively about situations that need to make a difference
  • Being able to learn skills that help her improve her personal or collective power
  • Being able to change other people's thoughts by democratic means.

To work to integrate itself in the continuous development and change processes, and to own the initiative to work to enhance her self-perception of herself, and to overcome the traditional perceived image of her life.

Second: Axes of empowerment of women

There are those who classify it into five dimensions [4].

The cultural dimension, the social dimension, the development dimension, the economic dimension, and the political dimension.

  Most of the literature, organizations, and conferences concerned with empowerment are roughly grouped together as three dimensions, namely the political dimension, the economic dimension and the social dimension.

The researcher tends to the tripartite division as it includes the cultural and developmental dimensions (in the five-year division).

Political empowerment

  The issue of empowering women politically has become one of the most important contemporary issues, and in recent times there has been a lot of talk about the need for women to participate in political life. There have been many titles and titles that concern themselves with their affairs. Women are half of society and they educate half of the other and we are now living in the twenty-first century where different cultures have affected societies. Because of their original culture, women emerged to have a new important role in their society other than the traditional role for them and despite the objection of many and despite the challenges and difficult circumstances women face, until they won their entry into parliament through the quota system, it is only the beginning of the end of the distinction within societies [5].

  Political empowerment is measured according to the opinion of those calling for it, by the number of parliamentary seats available to men compared to women, and by the participation of women in civil society organizations. Such as parties, trade unions, civil organizations and others.

  In the context of the political empowerment of women, the 1995 Beijing Conference called for allocating parliamentary seats for women in parliaments, (which is called the quota project). This project called for the necessity of raising female representation to a percentage of not less than 30 percent by the year 2005, and a number of countries have taken Arabic advanced decisions in this regard [3].

Economic empowerment

  The economic empowerment of women means the proportional distribution of men and women in administrative, organizational and professional positions, the proportional distribution of income gained by the economically active population of both sexes and the relative wages of females compared to males, and advocates for this type of empowerment of women assert that this is only achieved if the woman has a private income. Regular, and used all means of moral pressure in the press, the media, drama and curricula [3].

Social empowerment

  Social empowerment means that women exercise all their powers and capabilities in order to build a social culture that limits what they call male domination! In this context, they demand Islamic societies to change personal status laws, abolish the guardianship of men over women, and not consider the role of women in society as raising children. Rather, it must exist from their point of view alongside men in forums, artistic work, volunteer work, funerals and in the mosque. And inside the streets and dialogues of villages and in the battle of social construction [6].

Third: The Western view of empowering women

Among the measures of empowering women (

  Empowerment of women can be measured through the Women Empowerment Scale (GEM), which shows the extent of women's participation in a country in the political and economic fields. This measure is calculated by monitoring the share of women in parliament seats and their share in legislative, high official and administrative positions, the number of women in the profession and technical workers. The scale also calculates the difference in income due between the sexes, which reflects the degree of women's economic independence, and then the scale ranks countries based on this information.

There are other metrics that take into account the importance of women's participation and equality, including: the gender equality index and the gender-related development index.

Criteria that are used as a measure of women's empowerment in secular societies [3]:

  • Participation of women in public committees and other than women's committees
  • Participation of women in leadership positions
  • Participation of women in decision-making
  • Providing non-traditional training opportunities for women
  • Change women's perceptions about their potential for effective participation in business outside the home
  • Women's confidence in their potential participation with men in public business
  • Changing men's perceptions of women's ability to hold public office
  • Women assuming positions and positions that are not specific to women's projects.
  • Proportion of females in administrative and professional positions
  • Percentage of women in the ministry, senior positions and decision-making centers
  • Percentage of women in business ownership-- percentage of females in the number of graduates from higher education institutions
  • The number of women who own a bank account
  • Woman’s feeling of economic independence from men
  • Percentage of women participating in the labor market who are of working age.
Women, work and the economy [7]

  The issue of the exclusion of women as an important and complementary element to the roles of men in most societies not only affected the economy, but also affected the progress of societies in general, which in turn neglected the number of women in good social, economic and health numbers. The population census indicators indicate that women represent nearly half of the number. Population of many countries of the world, 7% more than men work in Japan, 11% in Austria, 28% in Italy, and ten hours more than men in India, at an average of 69 hours per week.

  Despite the progress made by women in bridging the gender gap in the field of health, and contributing to work and political representation, so that the proportion of women is approximately 7% in Arab parliaments, and this percentage is low compared to women in other countries that represent 25% of the seats. In parliaments, however, the real reality of women's empowerment is marred by many challenges that impede its progress. Lawrence Johnson of the International Labor Organization says, “The reality of millions of women in some regions of the world is still worse than it was in the mid-nineties of the last century. The labor market, the progress of women in education has not translated into improvements in the field of work. The gender gap decreased by 0.6% between 1995 and 2015.

  According to the report of the International Labor Organization, the Arab countries, North Africa and South Asia recorded the highest level in the gender gap in the field of work, knowing that women constitute 49.7% of the total population of the Middle East and North Africa region, which is 345.5 million people.

Fourth: Islam's view of empowering women

  The empowerment of women is not rejected by Islam rather, it is a duty! If we review the vital and effective roles of women in the early days of Islam, we will find that women have a clear role, and that they have contributed to enriching humanitarian, cultural and administrative work. An example of this is the companion “Al-Shifa Al-Adawiya”, may God be pleased with her, who is considered the first woman to manage the markets after being appointed by Caliph Umar. Ibn Al-Khattab, may God be pleased with him, and it was "worthy of that" according to Ibn Hazm's narration. The role played by Al-Shifa Al-Adawiya is similar to the role of the “Minister of Trade” in our time, as the tasks entrusted to her are an approach to the Minister of Trade in the details of the burdens. Her giving did not stop here, so with the support of the Messenger, may blessings and peace be upon him, and his companions.

  "Al-Shifa" was the first female teacher in Islam and the best one to cultivate a love of knowledge and knowledge among the women of Medina and the Mother of the Believers Hafsa bint Omar, may God be pleased with them, who taught them. She also participated in the invasions of the Messenger, may blessings and peace be upon him, to play the role of a healer for her skills in medicine and caring for the wounded. These and other reasons were preferred by Umar ibn al-Khattab, may God be pleased with him, over the men in taking over the management of the market, so she was the best person who chose [8].

  Despite the existence of a formal consensus, even if formal, on the importance of involving women in efforts to develop Islamic countries, remnants of a negative view of society are still rooted in many societal circles, which considers women a weak, fragile and limited entity who is incapable of assuming responsibilities outside the walls of the home. These ideas are often wrapped in a religious quilt that considers the competition of women with men in the fields of work, contrary to the teachings of Islamic law. We can distinguish here between two currents, one of which takes a dark and radical stance that prohibits women from practicing any practical activity outside of their domestic duties, while the other current gives a specific field for women to work in certain professions, considering them to be professions suitable for women and not inconsistent with religious teachings (Talibna 2018).

  The Islamic vision for empowering women is working to push for the recruitment of their energies and mobilize their potentials not only for individual salvation and emancipation, but also for the overall process of change and social enlightenment. And not only as a worker and activist in the economic and political public sphere, but also as a master of her no less dangerous role in the private sphere of the small family and within the scope of medium social networks such as the extended family and neighboring societies. This is because any belittling or belittling of these roles only reaps on the woman herself before it is murdered by those around her in her intimate family, familial and societal surroundings [9].

Islam and women's rights

Islam gave women their rights and raised their status, and a simple comparison of the conditions of women before Islam and after Islam.

  The conditions that Muslim women live in between stagnant traditions and immigrant ideas require the ummah's thinkers and scholars in various disciplines to devise a program stemming from our culture and Islamic law on women's issues, and this program is a reference that is spoken with other advocates aiming to popularize their culture and ideas and if there are positive aspects in some social and economic welfare programs called for by the United Nations; It must include both sexes, without the slightest discrimination; Because the problems of the poor man are the same as the problems of the poor woman. (Islam and women's rights (Anwar, 2010).

  Some Western thinkers have called for rationality in calling for the empowerment of women so that the issue does not turn into a conflict and a desire to humiliate the man and displace him in favor of women, which leads him to take revenge on her by all means, and for this reason, spreading education and awareness in all its forms is the ideal and best image.

Affection and compassion are the counterpart to the power struggle unleashed by empowerment theory.

  The position of the woman within the family in Islamic theory is not in return for the money she spends on family expenses, but rather in return for the warmth and love that she bears and the responsibility she bears that no oversight except God. With a difference in the details of responsibilities.

  Empowering women from an Islamic perspective means her emancipation from all that is judged to be slavery to anyone other than God and emphasizing her identity as a human being who lives and deals with the other according to the requirements of humanity that transcend sexual privacy, whether male or female. Islam urges women - as well as men - to break down the shackles of exploitation and oppression in all its forms, chiefly the exploitation of capital and political tyranny, and the shackles of the outdated ideologies of backwardness and the inferiority of the West, which already complains of disintegration and crises. The amount of corruption and tyranny that our Arab societies suffer from should push women to confront its reform and arm itself with boldness and courage to storm the fields and institutions of a comprehensive renaissance without hesitation and within the framework of the humanity of Islam.

  The brilliant presence of women in general and the veiled religious woman in particular in the Arab revolutions is nothing but a reflection of the prevalence and popularity of the theses of contemporary Islamic thought in this field [9-11].

Fifth: The role of educational institutions in raising awareness of the concept of empowering women: Family, school, mosque/church, media

Thus, what, goals, and how to empower Arab women can be elaborated in the following points [9]:

  • Women must set out for private and public work through a comprehensive vision of human life in this world as an opportunity for his boundless advancement and transcendence - through internal and external struggle - and not as a frantic race over pleasure and cheap material pleasures.
  • A refusal to dissolve the woman’s personality and integrate it into the man’s personality to the extent that it is a refusal to consecrate individual selfishness in her psyche, so she lives in an isolated world enveloped with individual ambitions that clash with the natural and social aspect in their composition and the composition of every human being, male or female.
  • Not to arbitrarily separate the individual empowerment of women and the renaissance of their society and nation, and work to mobilize the energies of women to carry out a comprehensive liberation revolution at the psychological, social, cultural and political level within the framework of the values of Islam. This is because the renaissance of society will return with good and prosperity, the first thing that will accrue to its members, men and women.
  • Benefiting from the experiences of women in different cultures, including the Western ones, while always preserving the right to say or reject what is proposed to us by international women's organizations in accordance with the specificity of our cultures and the challenges of our circumstances.
Education and the concept of empowerment

  If there is a positive concept of empowerment it should include both genders, without the slightest discrimination. Because the problems of the poor man are the same as the problems of the poor woman, and some Western thinkers have demanded rationality in calling for the empowerment of women so that the issue does not turn into a struggle and a desire to humiliate the man and displace him in favor of the woman, which leads him to take revenge on her by all means, and for this the spread of education and awareness in all its forms It is the ideal for gender empowerment.

If we think well of the concept of empowering women from the Arab concept, how would that be?

  Empowering women in its positive, constructive concept is more available whenever the woman is educated, has productive skills, has capital and confidence in herself, and from here she can advance on the basis of her skills, capabilities and abilities.


Citation: Mehany Ghanaiem. “The Role of Educational Institutions in Raising Awareness of the Concept of Empowering Arab Women”. Acta Scientific Women's Health 3.4 (2021): 36-40.


Copyright: © 2021 Mehany Ghanaiem. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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