Violence against women in Latin America has been classified as an epidemic in the region, sexual abuse is one of the chief types of violence, and the situation of women in the rest of the world is not very different. According to a report by the World Health Organization and data in the UN Women,”recent statistics of the international prevalence indicate that one in three girls in the world (35%) has endured physical and/or sexual violence of a couple or sexual abuse by third parties at a certain time in their lives”.
In the aftermath of the expanding wave of violence against women, protests are organized in various areas of the world, in an unsuccessful attempt to stop it, particularly after cases are heard that shake the people due to their cruelty and sadism. And in those protests, you may read countless posters with phrases of repudiation of violence and support for girls. Among those phrases that caught my attention and that I’ve seen repeatedly is:”We live in a world where they teach women to take care to not be raped, Rather than teaching men NOT TO VIOLATE”… I was called to attention for two reasons:
The first, since I saw a harsh truth in that phrase, since I was born and raised in a macho society where it is taken as normal for men to harass women in the street, to tell them obscenities or to touch them impudently; where it is not uncommon for men to beat their women because they have”rights” to them in some areas of my country, women consider their husbands have the right to hit them, since they are their husbands, and they get angry if someone tries to shield them!!! It seems a joke, but it is not-, and I think that to a large extent the high rate of sexual violence against women in my country and in the rest of the world is machismo.
The second, because I would have liked to explain to the man who wrote that phrase that Islam does teach guys to”not offend”. Moreover, before referring to the issue of women’s behaviour and dress, the Koran calls men’s attention to their behaviour and gives them a strong warning: Tell the believers [oh, Muhammad!] God is well informed of what they do [Quran 24:30]. Here God is telling men that they shouldn’t even look at women undulyup to that level guys have to respect women, even with their eyes! And they’re cautioned that God knows what they are doing, even if nobody else knows, God knows. Then, in the first place, God addresses men and orders them to behave well and respect women; then he addresses women and requests them to behave well and dress modestly, since Islam is fair, and teaches us that both men and women must meet our share of responsibility to make this a better world and live in harmony. So Islam teaches men not to rape because if they are even forbidden to look at women unduly, they are far more forbidden to touch them .
Islam has approached the issue of good treatment of women in a detailed and detailed manner, emphasizing the special respect it deserves in each of the various phases it goes through throughout its life – when it is a daughter, when she’s a wife and when she is a mommy -, as we will see below.
Respect for daughters
Before Islam was revealed, among the Arabs was considered a hardship the arrival of a girl. While men were the cause of the pride of their parents and relatives, girls were cause for despair and disappointment; and for that reason, they had the horrible habit of burying alive the newly born girls. God categorically condemned this attitude and these offenses, saying: When one of these is declared [the birth of] a girl, the affliction and distress is reflected in her face because of what’s been declared to her, she hides from the people ashamed and doubt whether he’ll let her live in spite of his disgrace or bury her alive. What a terrible thing they are doing! [Quran 16: 58-59]; and cautions that one day will come, the Day of Judgment,When girls are asked to be buried alive for what sin they had been murdered [Quran 81: 8-9]. In this way God forbade this wild practice considering it a very serious sin. But also, but it made the upbringing and education of the brothers a motive to win the blessings of God and eliminate the fire of Hell; said the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him):”Whoever has three daughters whom he cares for, provides them with what is necessary and treats them with mercy, Allah will make him enter Paradise without a place of Doubts”. Then a man in the crowd asked:”What if he has just two daughters?” The Prophet replied:”Even if he has two daughters.”
This is how Islam establishes the value of women from birth and provides them a place of honor by making them a source of blessing for their parents in this life and at the other.
Respect to the mother
Islam commands respect and good treatment towards our parents but elevates the status of the mother over the father. It is related that a man appeared before the Prophet (peace and blessings of God be upon him) and asked him: “O Messenger of Allah! Who’s the person who deserves my company?” He responded:”Your mother.” The guy asked:”Then who?” The Prophet responded:”Your mother.” The Prophet said:”Your mom.” And the man asked again:”And who?” And the Prophet said: “Then your father” (Bukhari and Muslim).
A man went to speak with Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said:”O Prophet, I have committed a grave sin. He asked:”Does your mom live?” He replied no, then the Prophet asked him:”Have you got any maternal aunt alive?” The man said yes, then the Prophet said to him:”Be nice and considerate for her” (Tirmidhi, Al-Hakim, Ibn Hibban); and he also said:”The mother’s sister has a status similar to that of the mother” (Bukhari).
Respect towards the wife
Said the Prophet Muhammad:”The best among men is the one who best treats his wife.”
The Koran commands: … kindly treat girls in coexistence. And if something of these should displease you [be tolerant], it might be that you dislike something in which God has set a great for you [Koran 4:19].
During the past sermon given by the Prophet Muhammad before his death, he said:”… Treat your women well and be kind to them, because they are your companions.”