Written by Mehwish Khan
Department of Applied Psychology
The Islamia University of Bahawalpur
Rahim Yar Khan Campus
The issue regarding women’s survival is not a new one. In the past, there were distinctive differences between men and women, between their roles in society and their models of behavior. However, considerable changes have been found since those times. Today gender roles have been shifted, making strong impact on society. Women are now preferred to make their own careers and share the same rights with men.
Women continue to fight for their rights and happy life. Today, there are numerous studies about the difference between male and female but less about the equality. Our society is just beginning to delve into the true distinctions between men and women. Besides the obvious physiological differences, there are also differences in the way men and women think, speak and behave in a relationship. There is no much big difference in male and female regarding mentioned aspects of relationship. But due to lack of understanding and less awareness of such facts people are suffering from psychological problems due to conflicts in a relationship because of inequality considering the man has the more rights than woman. Here are some issues illustrating my point of discussion as follows:
It refers to an insistent and peremptory request, made as if by right to one’s partner, which is almost, must be fulfilled by the woman in majority of the cases in any relationship. Man seems to be more aggressive and woman as more subtle in such case.
The lack of trust prevails in a weak relationship that leads people to psychological and social problems. Now a day it becomes more difficult developing trust in relationships what gender you are because of repeating the same mistakes that causes a problem is having repeated versions of the same fight over and over.
Moral values of Feelings
I think the biggest problem is actually the moral-value in society itself. Example: People having affair everywhere. When a man has an affair, women have to forgive them. The society sees him as a woman-pleaser. But when a woman has an affair, men can’t forgive them. And the society sees her as a cheap woman that is a bad influence to our daily life and psychology. People think it is ok, when it is not, no matter what gender you are.
It refers to the state of looking forward to an event as about to happen. There are the same expectations from each other either you are male or female. But female is must be suffice on the expectations.
Being cared & loved
Everyone is thirsty for love and care but in the case of male he wants approval in every situation although he is at fault.
Researches (Men and Women: No Big Difference)
Studies show that one’s sex has little or no bearing on personality, cognition and leadership. A 2005 analysis of 46 meta-analyses that were conducted during the last two decades of the 20th century underscores that men and women are basically alike in terms of personality, cognitive ability and leadership. Psychologist Janet Shibley Hyde, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, discovered that males and females from childhood to adulthood are more alike than different on most psychological variables, resulting in what she calls a gender similarities hypothesis. Using meta-analytical techniques that revolutionized the study of gender differences starting in the 1980s, she analyzed how prior research assessed the impact of gender on many psychological traits and abilities, including cognitive abilities, verbal and nonverbal communication, aggression, leadership, self-esteem, moral reasoning and motor behaviors.
In a September 2005 press release on her research issued by the American Psychological Association (APA), she said, “The claims [of gender difference] can hurt women’s opportunities in the workplace, dissuade couples from trying to resolve conflict and communication problems and cause unnecessary obstacles that hurt children and adolescents’ self-esteem.”
- Self injurious behavior
- Low self esteem
- Sleeping disorders
- Suicidal tendencies
- Stress disorder
- Alcohol and drug abuse
Women’s Rights in Islam
The issues of women in Islam is topic of great misunderstanding and distortion partly due to a lack of understanding, but also partly due to misbehavior of some Muslims which has been taken to represent the teachings of Islam. To facilitate the discussion we can discuss the position of women from a spiritual and social standpoint. There are several points to remember:
- According to the Quran, men and women have the same spirit; there is no superiority in the spiritual sense between men and women. [Noble Quran 4:1, 7:189, 42:11].
- The Quran makes it clear that all human beings (and the phraseology doesn’t apply to men or women alone, but to both) have what you might call a human. [Noble Quran 15:29 See also 32:9].
- The Quran indicates again that one of the most honored positions of human is that God created the human, and as I referred to Surah 17 earlier, it means both sexes, as His trustee and representative on earth. There are many references in the Quran that reaffirm this.
- Nowhere in the Quran do we find any trace of any notion of blaming Eve for the first mistake or for eating from the forbidden tree. Nowhere, even though the Quran speaks about Adam, Eve, and the forbidden tree, but in a totally different spirit. The story is narrated in 7:19-27, and it speaks about both of them doing this, both of them are told that both of them disobeyed, both of them discovered the consequences of their disobedience, both of them seek repentance and both of them are forgiven. Nowhere in the Quran does it say woman is to be blamed for the fall of man. The Quran makes it clears again to remove any notion of superiority.
- The Quran explicitly, in more than one verse, 3:195, 4:124, specified that whoever does good deeds, and is a believer and then specifies “male or female” God will give them an abundant reward.
- Secondly, there is no restriction in Islamic law that says a woman cannot work nor have a profession that her only place is in the home. In fact, by definition, in a truly Islamic society, there must be women physicians, women nurses, women teachers, because it’s preferable also to separate teenagers in the volatile years in high school education. And if she chooses to work, or if she’s married with the consent of her husband, she’s entitled to equal pay, not for equal work, but for work of equal worth.
- From the marital standpoint, the Quran clearly indicates in Surah 30:20 and 42:11 that marriage is not just an inevitable evil; marriage is not somebody getting married to his master or slave, but rather to his partner.
- Secondly, the approval and consent of the girl to marriage is a prerequisite for the validity of marriage in Islam. She has the right to say yes or no.
- Husbands’ and wives’ duties are mutual responsibilities. They might not be identical duties, but the totality of rights and responsibilities are balanced. The Quran says: “Women have the same rights (in relation to their husbands) as are expected in all decency from them, while men stand a step above them.” [Noble Quran 2:228]
- “Dwell with your wives in kindness for even if you hate them, you might be hating someone in whom God has placed so much good.” [Noble Quran 4:19]
- As a sister in faith, in blood, we find the Quran speaks about men and women, that they should cooperate and collaborate in goodness. Surah 9:71 speaks about men and women as supporters and helpers of each other, ordaining the good and forbidding the evil, establishing prayers and doing charity. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) echoed what the Quran said, “I command you to be kind to women.” In one of his last commands in his farewell pilgrimage before his death, he kept repeating, “I command you to be kind and considerate to women.” In another hadith, he said, “It is only the generous in character who is good to women, and only the evil one who insults them.”
How to make a healthy relationship
Healthy relationships are important for our happiness and well-being. Yet with more than 40% of new marriages ending in divorce, it’s clear that relationships aren’t always easy. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep your healthy relationship in good working order. Some people confuse subtlety of woman with weakness; in truth, it is stronger than the most aggressive physical force imaginable. True human dignity does not shout; it is a strong, steady voice that speaks from within. The nature of a woman, while subtle, is not weak. And the nature of a man, while aggressive, is not brutish. For man and woman to be complete, they must each possess both energies
Focus in life
It is vital to get to the root of the conflicting issues that our focus in life as man or woman, must not be simply to satisfy our own ego or needs, but to serve Allah. If we as people put Allah in the center of our lives then we would learn to appreciate and respect each other.
Communication is a key piece of healthy relationships. Healthy couples make time to check in with one another on a regular basis. It’s important to talk about more than just parenting and maintaining the household. Try to spend a few minutes each day discussing deeper or more personal subjects to stay connected to your partner over the long term. That doesn’t mean you should avoid bringing up difficult subjects. Keeping concerns or problems to you can breed resentment.
When discussing tough topics, though, it pays to be kind. Researchers have found that communication style is more important than commitment levels, personality traits or stressful life events in predicting whether happily married couples will go on to divorce. In particular, negative communication patterns such as anger and contempt are linked to an increased likelihood of splitting up. So it is necessary to improve communication and find healthy ways to move beyond the conflict.
Listening to your partner
Disagreements are part of any partnership, but some fighting styles are particularly damaging. Couples that use destructive behavior during arguments such as yelling, resorting to personal criticisms or withdrawing from the discussion — are more likely to break up than are couples that fight constructively. Examples of constructive strategies for resolving disagreements include attempting to find out exactly what your partner is feeling, listening to his or her point of view and trying to make him or her laugh.
Keeping it interesting between kids, careers and outside commitments, it can be difficult to stay connected to your partner. Yet there are good reasons to make the effort. In one study, for example, researchers found couples that reported boredom during their seventh year of marriage were significantly less satisfied with their relationships nine years later.
Marital education programs
You don’t have to wait until a relationship shows signs of trouble before working to strengthen your union. Marital education programs that teach skills such as good communication, effective listening and dealing with conflict have been shown to reduce the risk of divorce.
Build togetherness based on a shared intimacy and identity, while at the same time set boundaries to protect each partner’s autonomy. Besides this nurture and comfort each other, satisfying each partner’s needs for dependency and offering continuing encouragement and support.
Use of humor
Use humor and laughter to keep things in perspective and to avoid boredom and isolation.
Keep alive the early romantic, idealized images of falling in love, while facing the sober realities of the changes wrought by time.
Birditt, K.S., Brown, E., Orbuch, T.L., and McIlvane, J.M. (2010). “Marital conflict behaviors and implications for divorce over 16 years.” Journal of Marriage and Family, 72 (5): 1188-1204.
Hyde, J. S. (2005). The Gender Similarities Hypothesis. American Psychologist, Vol. 60, No. 6.http://www.islamswomen.com/articles/do_muslim_women_have_rights.php
Tsapelas, I., Aron, A., and Orbuch, T. (2009). “Marital boredom now predicts less satisfaction 9 years later.” Psychological Science, 20 (5): 543-545.