A Thousand Splendid Suns Report Essay

1452 Words Sep 18th, 2010 6 Pages
“The Reasoning, Existence and Hope for Women’s Rights in the Middle East”

The Middle East is notorious for holding women to a lower social status than men. Middle Eastern women have not been allowed to flourish as individuals for hundreds and thousands of years. In her detailed journal on women in the Middle East, Haleh Afshar explains, “For too long, the analytical parameters for understanding citizenship, identity and the processes of war and migration have been set up by men” ( 237). Either these women rebel or protest against the discrimination, or they are forced to look from the bottom up at society. A Thousand Splendid Suns, written by Khaled Hosseini, narrates the lives of two Afghan women named Mariam and Laila who are
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Women were almost considered to be property instead of human beings. Women weren’t considered valuable because they couldn’t contribute to the family’s wealth or status. When boys were born, they were appreciated, and expected to carry on their family’s tradition. When girls were born, they were just expected to marry off when they got old enough.
These things started to change with the beginning of Islam. Initial teachings of the religion included ways of improving living conditions for women and giving them similar rights as men. The Qur’an, which is the sacred book of Islam, addressed many women’s rights such as, “the right to own property, seek an education, keep maiden names, ask for a man’s hand in marriage, refuse marriage, get divorced, and inherit property” (Crocco 110). Women’s rights were also promoted through the stories of Muhammad’s first wife, Khadijah, who was described as a very independent woman who was educated and free-willed. During the first Islam years it was not uncommon for men to sometimes lend a hand around the house by helping to clean or sew. This gender equality did not last long though, as “Muslim men came to interpret the sacred texts in ways that were negative for Muslim women as a means of consolidating their power over women” (Mernissi 67). The Muslim society

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