Religion May Not Be Reason For Muslim Women’s Lack Of Education

Muslim women have faced a vast degree of institutional oppression at the hands of their religion

Women who live in Muslim societies are often viewed as being under an oppressive patriarchal society. This limits the power that women can hold as well as the way in which they can advance themselves in their respective communities. However, studies from the Pew Research Center have found that religion is not the most significant factor that undermines a woman’s ability to be educated in Muslim nations. It is economics.

Muslim women have faced a vast degree of institutional oppression at the hands of their religion, often relegating them to the home. However, there have been gains in education. Religion has become less of a constraint and predictor of educational outcomes.

However, women in Muslim nations are still lagging behind in education overall, and the Pew Research Center’s determinations have posited that the fault often lies with economic situations. The research found that the nations that had the highest financial stability and attainment, as measured through gross domestic product per capita, also had the most educated women.

This is mainly due to the overwhelming wealth of some Muslim countries, like Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Conversely, states with the lowest gross domestic product per capita had the lowest level of education for women, no matter the predominant religion. Yemen and Iraq, nations that have struggling economies, posted low numbers of female education.

The study used several factors to determine whether or not a nation’s religion had a negative impact on the women’s education. The researchers used gender discrimination in laws, the number of people who said faith was fundamental to them, and the overall percentage of the nation that is comprised of Muslims. Overall, the study found that none of these factors had a significant impact on the total educational outcomes of women in the nations studied. 

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