I have previously written an article on Hijab or veil in the Quran and in reality:
Now we look the women's rights in Islam ... Once more: in Islam! So not in the thousands of traditions of Arab, Iranian, Afghan, Pakistani and other families, but in the written revelation of Islam in the Quran. Of the many aya, here are just a few about equal treatment. There is no privilege for one or the other. In front of Allah man and woman is treated equally:
And their Lord hath accepted of them, and answered them: "Never will I suffer to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female: Ye are members, one of another: Those who have left their homes, or been driven out therefrom, or suffered harm in My Cause, or fought or been slain,- verily, I will blot out from them their iniquities, and admit them into Gardens with rivers flowing beneath;- A reward from the presence of Allah, and from His presence is the best of rewards." (Quran 3:195)
In Islam the equal status of the sexes is not only recognized but insisted on. If sex distinction, which is a distinction in nature, does not count in spiritual matters, still less of course would count artificial distinctions, such as rank, wealth, position, race, color, birth, etc.
If any do deeds of righteousness,- be they male or female - and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them. (Quran 4:124)
Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, verily, to him will We give a new Life, a life that is good and pure and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions. (Quran 16:97)
Faith, if sincere, means right conduct. When these two confirm each other, Allah's grace transforms our life. Instead of being troubled and worried, we have peace and contentment; instead of being assailed at every turn by false alarms and the assaults of evil, we enjoy calm and attain purity. The transformation is visible in this life itself, but the "reward" in terms of the Hereafter will be far beyond our deserts.
"He that works evil will not be requited but by the like thereof: and he that works a righteous deed - whether man or woman - and is a Believer- such will enter the Garden (of Bliss): Therein will they have abundance without measure. (Quran 40:40)
What is the consequence out of this all? If we are subject to equal treatment before Allah, this must also be true in our earthly life.
Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore, the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all). (Quran 4:34)
“Qouwamun” means stand for or protect. Maybe Allah has bestowed the privilege of strength and power for men over the women but He prescribed for men what to do with this privilege. Men has to protect women and they have not to take advantage from their position. Women have to obey men and guard the house and properties in the absence of men. Also, it is not allowed for her to speak out the secrets of the house. If women are disobedient or they show the signs of disloyalty (here doesn’t men sexual disloyalty), men can first give them warning peacefully. The second step is if men refuse to sleep with his wife. If women don’t give up to be disloyal than comes the third possibility to flap her. It is forbidden for men to hit women with strength and hurt her or cause wounds for her.
Conclusion: In the Basic Law of Islam, Allah judges man and woman equally. He did not create them in an unequal form or equal biological ability, but this difference cannot be a cause for subordination in front of law in the world of humans, for they are equal in the world of Allah. The protection of equal opportunities and of women's rights is the responsibility of men. This is what "Ar-ridjal Qoamun ala al-nisa" means in this verse, therefore men must stand for women… Anyone who argues that woman inherits half as much as the man, must know that the dowry is the man's burden, where women are the beneficiaries. So, in a long-term settled relationship, the burdens and benefits are levelling off. The dowry is the sole property of the woman what man has nothing to do with it after the marriage.
There is also the issue of testimonies. Here too, a misunderstanding must be dispelled. Each female vote is worth the same as a male vote, 1: 1. There is only one exception, where two female witnesses are equal to one male (Quran 2: 282). And this exception is the testimony of certifying the obligations of the debtor!
Why do we argue so much about women's rights? Because the reality is different. In many places local traditions override Islam. Even worse when local traditions are forced to follow as if they were Islamic obligations.
Societies are overwhelmingly patriarchal. Not just in the Islamic world, but in Europe, the US, virtually everywhere. It is men who determine attitudes within society, including the position of women. The Quran and other Scriptures cannot do much about it. Maximum there is a chance to twist and misinterpret their words. But once Sharia has reached the point of giving women equal rights and safeguarding their virtues, then at least in the developed Europe, it should be possible for men to protect women's rights and stand for women. Not on a legal basis, but simply because they are women! If a Muslim woman, at her own discretion and free will puts on a Hijab (not a Niqab what covers the full face), which does not prevent anybody to identify her, but she feels good about it, then she should have the right to wear it, that is my opinion. Everybody wears what they want. Piercing, body jewelry, all kinds of tattoos, I don't care about it and it is the right of people to do this. If our women are not able to exercise their rights in all Islamic countries, at least we have to provide for them the chance to wear Hijab according to their free will.
And if we, men, are proud of our European upbringing and of the "ladies first etiquette", let us not hurt them, insult them, but should be honored to protect our ladies. Remember, today it is a different world. Our 1400-year-old law may be in force, but the forklift replaced the man's muscle. And in the brain, the odds level out. The burden is divided between man and woman naturally. Not only in Europe, but also in the societies of Muslims. The right what is guaranteed by the Quran still exists today. We practice our religious life in the context of a new Sunnah where we do not need to develop a way of life for living in desert, but we have to maintain our faith and attitudes in the European circumstances:
The words of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him: "No man is privately alone with a woman; but their third is Satan" [Reported by At-Tirmidhi and authenticated by Al-Albani];
This cannot be followed today. A simple job interview undermines this regulation. Then, at least it should be allowed clothing that makes our ladies feel comfortable.