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Gender Equality: The 21st Century Biggest Dilemma

by Amina Aslam
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Amina Aslam

As this is the 21st century, it contains dilemmas, theories, and conflicts. Before I pen down my thoughts on this paper, I want to clarify that the things I’m going to state here are merely my scattered and unstructured thoughts. So, with this disclaimer, let’s dive into the world of my gray thinking.
There are some new and famous terms I got to know about, like patriarchal, feminists, gender strain or role stress, masculinity, etc. These words are quite famous nowadays. On one side, feminists are screaming, fighting, and launching movements like ME TOO, trying to safeguard their rights and break the odds and norms that have led society over the decades. On the contrary, men are trying to secure their position in society. Where some are in favor of feminism and these kinds of movements, whereas some are referring to this as a “Blazing Fire” and “an attempt to lessen the influence and role of men in society”… I don’t know on either side you support, but here is my verdict on this baffling situation. If I talk religiously, then there is a crucial need to get our facts right. By this, I mean that we should know what roles are prescribed to us by Allah SWT and what kind of things we should do and support. This situation would be untangled and become more clear if we read the Quran and Hadith of Hazrat Muhammad SAWW.
Chapter 4, in verse 34, of the Qur’an, states that “men are the maintainers of women,”
(Surah Al-Shura (42), ayah 49). The Prophet (SAAS) says: ‘Women are the (equal) sisters of men’. Women make up half of society, and they are responsible for the nurturing, guidance, and reformation of the subsequent generations of men and women.

I’m never able to understand the conflict regarding gender roles and gender rights. There are some cases where women are struggling to get even their basic rights, and there are some cases where men are facing abuse and violence from their females. But what exactly are the core factors behind these dilemmas? In my opinion, I guess we are focusing more on what other genders have and care more about their rights and want the same for their gender, which is quite difficult. Wondering why? Keep reading, then.
This rivalry is creating more hate and differences and making the opposite gender more insecure despite fulfilling their desired demands. So what are the demands of women and the same for men? Where some women want equality in every aspect of life, whether it is professional life or at home. They want to break the stereotypes, whereas these demands are making the men insecure, and some are even angry and make aggressive comments like “these feminists are given thousands of dollars to run these organizations and to lead down the male dominant society.”

After thinking about all the above-stated things, there is an ocean of questions that hit my mind. These are the claims of both parties, but why are both genders making these claims? Are they true, or are they making these scenarios? Can we reach a win-win situation? What will be the consequences of this conflict? Will this hate and resentment lead to World War 3? Why are we not happy with our gender roles and responsibility? Why is gender role strain so often used in feminist speeches? Do they want something good, or are they misusing their power and influence? Do they want to play with the young girl’s mind? Are these movements and organizations funded by the West, or is there a real need for girls to fight and protect their rights? Has anything been done yet for the betterment of women or women’s empowerment? So many questions targeting feminism, right? To escape any biases or criticism, let’s address the questions and concerns regarding masculinity, toxic masculinity, and feminists’ favorite word, patriarchal society. Why are men not seen most often in these movements? Do they think this is the only way to lead down the men? Do men misuse their dominant and strong influence and position in society? Do they deliberately and unjustly snatch the rights of women, especially in professional and formal jobs and places? Is there gender role strain? Is there a certain standard for both genders to behave and cause gender roles, e.g., we thought that men don’t cry? They have to hide their emotions because they can not be as sensitive as women. Also, they cannot be so bold about their insecurities and cannot do catharsis as women do. Is this the reason men face mental stress and depression? Are these insecurities pushing both genders to fight or attracting the other gender to have the same equality as them? Is there any possibility of creating equality between the two genders? Will the government play its part in dissolving this rivalry? Or do we have to make ways for ourselves to reach a stable and permanent decision? Is there any common ground between these two to resolve these conflicts?? Ah, a lot of questions, assumptions, theories, myths, norms, conflicts, and consequences, and yet no one has a clear solution to solve this matter. There is one ayat in the Quran that makes things clear for me. The Quran (49:13) does not make any distinction based on sex and believes in human equality: O Mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other).

To Conclude, I just want the next generation would not to be able to see this cold war between the two genders, but this seems quite impossible, and maybe in the future, there will be 3, 4, or even 5 gender conflicts as LGBTQ will be a new twist in this baffling situation.
Let’s hope for the best.

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