February 28, 2005
The following story was written by Nadia Karim, from Etobicoke, Ontario. Nadia was recently enrolled in the LBS Program at the Toronto District School Board. Her story was entered and won in The Bread and Roses Writing Contest. Nadia wrote a powerful story about women in Muslim society. She wrote, "It's very hard for me to think that Muslim women have gone through a lot in the past and still some of them are going through these same problems even today."
The Bread and Roses Writing Contest is a unique event that encourages women in literacy to write for an audience. It situates learner writing within the culture and politics of International Women's Day and the fight for fair wages and a decent quality of life. This Contest is powerful because of the bravery women learners show in writing for the Contest and in reading their work in public with pride. This year's theme of women and work drew quite a response. There were 38 submissions from across Metro Toronto resulting in four winners.
As a women, for me I will say the life is not easy for women especially in the Muslim Countries.
In the past years, they were not allowed to get education and achieve their career goals. They were forced to stay home and look after the children while the men go out and do the work.
There was no future for Muslim women because they used to get pushed into a marriage with a stranger without asking their permission. In this condition they had to struggle all their lives because of their families and their religious beliefs.
There were such strict rules and regulations that women used to be beaten up and killed by their husbands and inlaws.
It's very hard for me to think that Muslim women have gone through a lot in the past and still some of them are going through these same problems even today.
Thanks to the international pressures, things have been slowly changing for Muslim women. While many women had freedom and rights but some of them have very hard lives to live. Some of them are still getting pushed and forced into marriages without getting asked.
Many Muslim women living in the Western society face too many problems because they come from different culture and it's very hard for some of them to live in Western society.
Still some of them married. Women are struggling with their families to make their lives easier and to fulfill their wishes.
There are many Muslims woman who are still getting forced to stay home and look after the children and extended families. They have to cook, wash the dishes, make the beds and clean the house and look after the house work whether they are married or not.
Now, women have choices. They can get education and make their careers worthwhile.
For many families, especially in Western countries, it's normal and even necessary for the women to have a job outside the home. They have to do certain things like shopping and doing groceries for their families. Now, it would appear that the men are changing their ways and behavior toward women although they still have a long way to go. Example, more men and women are working in and outside the home. Some men even help to look after the children and prepare meals.
In conclusion, I must say that as a young Muslim women, I am happy for the opportunity to live in North America. Since I came here, my life has changed and most of all, I have the freedom and opportunity to get an education. I wish life was the same for all women throughout the world.