بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
A Mother, Wife and a Housewife: the Price for the Slavery of Childbearing!
This is How Secularism Corrupted Women's Lives!
What is the meaning of the woman being a mother, a wife and a housewife according to a doctrine that denies all human, moral, or spiritual values because it views that benefit is the criteria for actions and that benefit is the balance and what is weighed? This doctrine views that humans are valued according to their productivity within the society and by their level of material income! Therefore, the housewife is not among the productive individuals because the rule that evaluates the individual is: “If one works he will succeed”. But the mother and the housewife are outside the new international formula because they do not have paid work, and because they have linked themselves to the husband, children and the family as mentioned in the Beijing document.
If a woman works without pay or reward; she works hard and gets tired and sacrifices her time, health and effort without a material gain, it is considered stupidity and backwardness if it is by her consent, or is seen as oppression and infringement of her rights if she was forced into it.
This is why women as mothers, wives and housewives are classified as either unfair to themselves or oppressed; either they voluntarily chose to live a minor traditional role, to distance themselves from participating in the building and development of their society, and to establish themselves and build their independence. And by depending on men to spend on them and care for them, they become a burden on the family and are useless. This classification entraps women in their choices, and puts them to accountability and questioning if they complained or demanded any of their rights. After all, the law does not protect the fools and those who neglected themselves! And before that, it exposes women to scorn and even contempt by other women! And they may be abandoned by their husbands if they hold the belief that marital life is a partnership in roles and responsibilities, and not that each has their own specific roles; so he refuses to be the only spender and the breadwinner, and the woman becomes the beneficiary and exploiter!
The second category receives the sympathy and support because the woman did not choose to put herself in this box, but marriage, family and children are an inevitable evil. And this is the dark fate that awaits the women who are failures, who did not achieve academic achievement! The woman receives these opinions that depict her as the victim, and the opinion that if she had a job in life, it is more precious than being tied to the walls of the house, cleaning, cooking and raising her children, and that her work inside her house is reducing her and depriving her of her rights. The question - “What is your job?" - brings her worries and aggravation, and often the answer is a shy and ashamed: "Unfortunately I'm sitting at home!”
Women who are the model of appreciation, respect, and rank travel and are ideal They are those who work to prove themselves and challenge the limits of their instinct, and do not accept to be unemployed or marginalized and to have their role restricted as a “baby making machine” and looking after the house, and they compete with men in sometimes stressful and difficult work. They overcome the traditional roles that were prepared for them, and break the barrier of dependence on men. This woman may marry and give birth, but does not adhere to the stereotype of the mother and wife and raising children, but she doubles her effort and energy at her own expense and that of her family and children, so as to not lose the Medal of Honor received by Governments, associations, media and feminist organizations as being the iron lady who is capable of confronting the challenges!! But the question remains: Who has put down these challenges and conditions that do not grant her full humanity only if she stretches herself and neglects her instinctive roles under the pretext of self-assertion? Was the purpose behind this achieving the interests of women or the interests of the greedy capitalist individual?
All of these opinions coincided with the industrial developments in Western countries, which saw the need for women to participate in work outside the house with men in order to increase production. And since the labour force must be cheap, women are the best choice. Even today, the pay gap between men and women can be seen and among those who hold the same jobs as men despite calls for equality and allegations of elimination of differences and discrimination between men and women! This is secularism in its ugliest and dirtiest deals; it exploits women at the expense of their motherhood, family and natural environment by selling some false claims to fool women!
Secularism violated the woman’s instinct and tampered with her life the day it undermined the role of the mother and restricted it to giving birth only. This role was delegated to nannies and maids. The role of caring for children is no longer that of the mother’s only. Even the idea of the mother who gives birth was abandoned and replaced by the alternative mother who hires her womb (surrogate), giving the original mother the opportunity to work and prove herself and maintain her fitness and body form!! So the only link between the mother and her child, the umbilical cord, has a material substitute provided by the capitalist regimes in the West in a formal and legal way; thus, wiping out the female instinct completely, and infringing on the most basic right: to be a mother carrying a baby in her womb!! This allowed the feminist to be audacious and blame the woman’s biological make up. Simon De Beauvoir wrote in the book entitled The Slavery of Childbearing, "Giving birth restricts the freedom of women, it is in fact slavery that must be fought, and the crux of the oppression of women is their role as being pregnant, nursing and raising children!”
The West has sought to weaken the immunity of the Muslim society through spreading of the word “women's liberation” to suggest that a woman is a slave that must be liberated and that she is lost and needs to be saved. The only obstacle to her liberation were those advocating it!. The attack was fierce on the concept of "mother, wife and housewife" until the word wife became a description of the civil situation away from the deep and rooted meaning held by Muslim women about the husband, her relationship with him, the concept of obedience and good relationship, respect , affection and mercy. These inherent concepts, which are stipulated in the Shariah texts, are presented in a tacky manner on satellite channels, and are met with contempt and sarcasm, or through some preachers and religious lessons on screens and channels, exaggerating the description so as to show us that a good wife is a mythical creature and not a normal human being.
Films, series, stories and novels have created a new image for the Muslim woman about marriage as a conditional bond based on equality of rights and duties, respect for freedoms, the right of rebellion, exchange of family roles, financial independence and other corrupt concepts that deviate from the Shariah understanding of marriage and the husband. And it turned it to the arena of conflict in a fabricated competition in which a woman must prove her worth and sovereignty; otherwise, she will end up as a wife waiting for her husband in the evening to bring her flour to bake!
Governments in our Islamic countries have reinforced such misleading concepts by enacting laws contrary to the Shariah understanding. Such laws are dictated from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the powerful bodies that hold conferences and seminars, producing decisions that Muslim women are oppressed in their homes under the guardianship of their husbands and calling for abolishing of the traditions and customs that strengthen this mentality. The CEDAW Agreement considers that forms of discrimination against women start with limiting their roles to motherhood, marriage and childcare, and therefore, the clauses signed by most Arab countries have been to lift the forms of violence by criminalizing early marriage, the right to abortion and divorce... and the latest in Tunisia, the right for Muslim women to marry a kaffir man!!
The status of the housewife is much marginalized and despised, and even in official identity cards in many countries, the profession section is filled as "unemployed". It even came down to calling her "nothing" in some countries that claim to be the leader of women's rights!! Unfortunately, the role of a housewife has become the most unfair and contemptuous in our Islamic countries. Work became binding and not in response to women's need for it or the need of the society for her work. In addition, the work is not suitable for the nature of women. The worst tragedy is that work became an economic pressure that drains the woman's energy and exploits the deteriorating material conditions, depriving her of her natural role as a mother caring for her children, a wife caring for her husband and a housewife caring for her home without thinking about the necessity of securing a living and ensuring the decent living that the husband failed to provide, or more accurately the state failed to provide!
The results were catastrophic; family neglect became widespread within many families, and marital problems have become rampant due to the heavy burdens and physical and psychological pressures that surround married couples. The rates of delinquency among children have increased due to the absence of their guardians in follow-up and monitoring. Many families disintegrated and rates of divorce, rates of spinsterhood and reluctance to marry and break of contract have increased!!
Because the family institution is a series of interconnected rings, it is structured and protected by the Shariah of Allah. The West realized the importance of the role of women in this institution and targeted them as mothers, wives and housewives in an attempt to reproduce a picture of Western women in a very turbulent version!
But it is undeniable that the list of priorities of many Muslim women has turned upside down. The role of the mother, the wife and the housewife is no longer their first mission. The great role and reward of the mother from Allah (swt) is lost unless she (as a mother) does her role well, fears Allah and cares and is responsible for her house.
Islam has guaranteed a stable and tranquil life for women as a human being, taking into account their instinct and gave them duties in a manner consistent with their environment and nature. It remains to be said that the implementation of these divine legislations is a Shariah responsibility of men and women and these legislations must be implemented by the state which creates an appropriate environment for men, women and families.
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by