According to the 2019 American Muslim Poll conducted by the Insitute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU):
41 percent of Muslim women experience gender discrimination from within their community, the highest of any faith group examined
But the misogyny they suffer from the public at large is still greater, at 52 percent.
Muslim women are also more likely to report gender discrimination from the public than are any other group of women surveyed (36 percent or less)
In other words, Muslim women face hardships not just from Islamophobia, but from obstacles within their community as well. Apart from the statistics above, anecdotal evidence makes it depressingly clear that we are still failing: Dilapidated women’s spaces in Masjids, for example, and the lack of women on boards of trustees and decision-making bodies in our Islamic centers and organizations. These are just two persistent problems, despite years of raising awareness about them.
March is Women’s History Month. It’s an ideal time to not only share with other Muslim women’s contributions and perspectives, past and present. It is also a time to re-assess how well we are doing in removing the obstacles that allow Muslim women to thrive in our relationships, families, Masjids, Islamic organizations, and the community as a whole.
Allah orders us to stand up for justice (Quran 4:135). Collectively, we are long overdue in applying that ideal to half of the Ummah.
Sound Vision Team