On Gender Balance in Positions of Power and Influence | The Islamic Monthly

On Gender Balance in Positions of Power and Influence – Mohamed Ghilan

Muslim women are living a schizophrenic existence in Western communities . On the one hand , many of them are visible in society and easily identifiable due to how they choose ( yes , choose ) to dress in ways that identify them as Muslims. On the other hand , these same women are hardly visible, if at all in most cases , in leadership and public positions within Muslim organizations . Furthermore, the underrepresentation of female Muslim scholarship means that the dominant androcentric perspective continues to maintain the current status quo where even women participate in their own marginalization in their sincere desire to be authentic to Islam.

Managing boards in Muslim mosques and organizations are led and in many cases completely dominated by men . In many mosques, women have embarrassingly small spaces and accommodation services because they are often an afterthought to all male building committees. A good majority of conferences and teaching events present rosters of all male teachers . Some communities form separate women chapters and say this is an “ Islamic ” way of giving women positions of leadership . It is as if women are a problem for men and must be isolated and self -contained.

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