This term describes a female human adult. In different cultures, women have their place and roles to play. Their roles vary from regions as in some they are appreciated as the pillars in their families while in others they are considered as inferior (Bradley, 2006). This study is based on the place of women in religion and philosophy among different communities.
Role of women in religion (Christianity)
Various religious groups have divergent views concerning the position of women. Some faiths have assisted in propagating the oppression of women, a belief that has been condemned as unethical by many. In most Christian beliefs there are roles which women cannot perform in the presence of men. They are not given a chance to play same or full roles thus enhancing the justification of violence against women.
According to Woodruff (2008), there are believes that women are inferior before the eyes of God thus there is also the conviction that all human beings are equal before their Creator. This has prompted many men to batter their wives; companies have a variance in salaries based on gender and termination of a female embryo by couples. In traditional African societies women were not even allowed to preach in churches or an even seat on the front seats, but with liberation, this tradition is slowly dying off. This is considered as a violation of women rights.
In the modern religious world, most churches have embraced the role of women in priestly leadership. The Pentecostal ministers have empowered ladies by trusting them with authority, this has encouraged them, and their opinions have been respected. This is a solution to the issues that seemed to have been brought by religion especially on harassment of women. In many denominations, it has been agreed that the rights of every human soul should be considered sacred and should not be biased on gender.
Role of Women in other Religions
In other faiths, such as Islamic, and Judaism, women rights were equally violated. In Islam, the women lived under strict dictatorship from their male counterparts. They are hard pressed with Sharia laws right from childhood from every male figure in their lives. In tender ages, they are forced into arranged marriages by their fathers and their restrictive dress code of veils and long dresses. Even after the wedding, they enjoy no freedom since their creed allows polygamy where the man is allowed to marry as many as four wives. In this tradition, a woman’s place is at home as her major role is being a faithful wife and looking after her children.
According to Hammurabi law sec 137, it states that when a man divorces a lady that he had children with, be it his wife or concubine he shares his property. He also returns the dowry to enable her to bring up the children. When the children grow up the assets are shared among them and the wife gets an equal share of a son and she is free to marry another man. In sec 192, if an adopted male child denounces his foster parents, his tongue is cut off.
Women are not allowed to work or acquire education as the man is considered as the sole bread winner. In some Islamic states, certain punishments are imposed on women. In Afghanistan, a woman can be stoned to death for attending school while in Pakistan a girl was raped by a group after it was alleged that her brother had a union with the daughter of a village elder. Nevertheless, the Khilafah State now allows women to access knowledge and acquire positions in employment (Bradley & Woodruff, 2008).
Other convictions like Judaism believe that the woman defines the atmosphere and character of the family. Giving her home a real Jewish environment is her greatest privilege and task and her primary role. She is also honored with the lighting of the candles for ushering the Shabbat on Fridays; this is a symbol of brightening her home with harmony and piece of mitzvot and Torah.It is believed that through this, God blesses her entire household.
The supply of beverages and food that enter her kitchen are also entrusted to her for dining preparations. The identity of Jewishness in an individual is determined by the mother if a child is born of a Jewish dad and a non-Jewish mother he is not considered a Jew. This is an indication that the woman ‘s primary role is to maintain the values and uniqueness of her community. It is believed that the women were created with enough capability to execute their duties on a daily basis to the fullest.
Role of Women and Philosophy
A theory is said to be the science of living. I believe the women and men have received the same ability of reasoning from their maker. It is not the people alone that have the eagerness to learn advanced things but also the female. Philosophers agree that a woman must keep her household in order and focus on what is essential to her home. A woman must free herself from illicit love affairs, and she ought to be chaste and avoid quarrels. She must not also be extravagant or be overcome by any emotion and anger. Therefore she must be self-controlled.
Bradley, Woodruff & Kennedy (2010), allege that equality of education for daughters and sons should be balanced since there are no diverse set of virtues for men and women. When animals are trained, they are given same lessons for the same tasks, like in a case of horses both male and female are expected to do their jobs efficiently, and the same situation applies to humans. In this opinion, both sexes ought to be given equal opportunities in education since childhood.
Marriage brings two people together and requires a contribution from both partners as promised in unions. Besides bringing forth offspring, companionship is the exceeding expectation and if one spouse is self-centered the other lives in extreme loneliness and they can even end up in separation. Therefore, the roles of strengthening family values have to be exercised by both companions unlike in most communities where the burden solely lies on the woman, but the praises go to the man.
For decades, women have been considered as the weaker sex but in the real sense, the strength of a lady ought not to be underestimated. With the advancement in technology and ideology women must be given equal opportunities as men, and as a matter of fact, women the can multitask better that men in their responsibilities. Every woman needs the courage to overcome cowardice and rise above fear, intimidation, and oppression.
- Bradley, T. (2006). Challenging the NGOs: Women, religion, and western dialogues in India. London: Tauris Academic Studies.
- Kennedy, E., & Mendus, S. (2008). Women in Western political philosophy: Kant to Nietzsche. Brighton: Wheatsheaf.
- Woodruff, T. K. (2010). Oncofertility: Ethical, legal, social, and medical perspectives. New York: Springer.