Does Islam Oppress Women?

Some Islamic majority countries have laws concerning women that are deemed oppressive by Western standards, and verses in the Qur'an seem to indicate that women are not as valuable as men. On the other hand, the Qur'an also stipulates spiritual equality between women and men and calls for men to represent masculinity and women to represent femininity.

The verses in the Qur'an most often used to show the disparity between men and women in Islam are Qur'an (4:11) and Qur'an (2:282). The first verse says that one man is equal to two women, and the second verse says that if two witnesses are needed but only one is a man, then two women must take the place of the second man.

However, in Surat al-Ahzab (33:35), the verse makes no distinction between men and women who follow Islam and takes pains to say they are all the same in the eyes of God. Islam works with men and women each having a sphere of influence. The woman's is the home, and the man's is the outside world.

The Qur'an also has verses commanding Muslim families not to reject their female children. Ibn Hanbal, No. 1957 says those who do not favor their sons over their daughters will find favor with God.