Religious cultures that perpetuate inequality should not command deference.
Islam, like most religions, imposes centuries-old dogma on women and demands their submission. Their role is as silent servants first and individuals second—and their treatment in Islamic states reflects this fundamental inequality. In too many of these states, women are explicitly denied rights afforded to men—freedom of movement, freedom to work, and freedom to wear what one pleases. More broadly, troubling patterns in Islamic scripture and custom exacerbate gender inequality. It is women who bear the guilt and shame of “modesty culture,” not men. In many countries, women cannot initiate the process of divorce and are not entitled to any of the couple’s shared possessions, nor can they seek meaningful justice if they are raped by their husbands. And in the most extreme cases, a woman who fails to remain chaste and in her place risks honor violence. Human rights—to blaspheme, speak, and live freely—are universal and do not discriminate by sex. No woman’s freedom or agency should be impeded for the sake of a religious text, and a religious culture that perpetuates inequality should not command deference.
what you need to know
Number of countries with no specific domestic violence prohibitions
Percent of the WPS Index's 10 worst countries for women's rights where a majority practices Islam
Percent of Muslims who live under a system where women are forced to wear head coverings
how we address this issue
what we advocate for
Ex-Muslims of North America advocates for the following policy actions in defense of the right to blaspheme:
All countries must explicitly grant women the same rights to secular divorce, inheritance, property ownership, and child custody as men.
All laws that place power over a woman's freedom of movement and autonomy with male guardians must be revoked.
Countries which mandate that women wear certain garments, or refrain from wearing certain garments, must revoke the relevant laws.