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Religion as Empowering to Women

While reading “Religion as Empowering to Women” (pg 600), a question begins to circulate my mind. Does religion empower women?

As I was reading “Women’s Voices/ Feminist visions” by Susan M. Shaw and Janet Lee, I noticed that in one of the readings it talked about how women employed in the U.S. army are not allowed to be generals or any other high positions. This reminds me of a real story in the Islamic world I would like to share. There was a battle that happened 1300 years ago in Islamic history. It is called “The Battle of Karbala.” The heroes of this battle were a man named Hussain and his sister named Zainab. After the martyrdom of Hussain, his sister Zainab took his place as the leader in the battle. She was a brave, patient, and wise woman that a famous poet in Arabic literature describes her as “if all women were like her, the women would be the dominants”. She stood against the most powerful oppressor tyrant named Yazeed and used her wise words by telling him that he is an oppressor, in the time that the bravest man couldn’t say that to Yazeed. In spite of seeing her brother killed in the most brutal way, she was strong and controlled her emotions by completing the triumph way in which her brother started. Although Hussain was martyred and Zainab was taken as a captive to the tyrant Yazeed, she was victorious in spreading her brother’s message of humanity. Her success is proven by the millions of Muslim people who celebrate The Battle of Karbala every year in the Islamic month of Ashura. Zainab is a great example of a woman who was a successful leader in the battlefield. On top of being a triumphant leader, she still sustained her role as a mother, wife, and sister. Women let us not underestimate ourselves regardless of the society’s perspectives on women. We could be anything in life if we have the will and power. We could be a leader like Zainab, a scientist like Madame Marie Curie, a poet like Leonie Adams and Fleur Adcock, and a writer like Eliza Acton and Sophie Dahl. Nothing will prohibit us from doing what we want to do, even religion. Zainab, the leader in the Battle of Karbala, was a very religious woman. Religion didn’t stop her from fulfilling her brother’s duties for humanity. Now back to the starting question which I asked in this blog, does religion empower women? I can definitely say, YES! Religion does empower women.


  1. gomezale says:

    I love this, great way of incorporating a real life story to prove your point. I would agree that indeed religion empowers woman. While I was reading your blog, I thought about an event that occurred in Catholic religion. It help me realize that even tough woman can’t always take leadership positions in many religions as priest or so on they can still have religion help them in their everyday life. They can have religion as a way to help them get a stronger set of mind to conquer any obstacle they might be facing. Again great job in your blog:).

    • alemara123 says:

      Thanks for your opinion on my blog, and I would love to hear about the story you mentioned above on the Catholic religion because I love learning about all religions and their accomplishing stories.

      • gomezale says:

        Thank you for interest and I can say we share something in common because I also love learning about other religions and of course. I’ll try to explain it as clear and concise as possible. This woman is now a saint in Catholic religion and her name was Joan of Arc. Despite the fact that she was a woman she still help lead an army with help of her strong Faith and with her great courage she helped France win battles and with that gained territories. She was only 19 when she died. She was burned at stake because she was betrayed by French. Her story is fascinating to me, I encourage you to search her biography it’s very interesting. I hope this helped:)

  2. lekwatson says:

    I like your review and I agree with you, religion does empower women. In my faith we recognize strong women in the Bible like Deborah the prophetess, the fourth judge of Israel but the first female judge of Israel. She was told by God to call upon Barak the son of Abinoam to take troops down Mount Tabor and set war against and defeat Sisera the commander of the Canaanite army of King Jabin, their oppressor. Sisera was killed by Jael another woman empower by God, who hammered a tent peg into his temple this was found in the book of Judges 5: 17 – 24
    Women just like men lead with logic, wisdom, tenacity,faith
    and yes emotions which is what gives them strength where others may fail.

  3. falmuhan says:

    Thanks for mentioning this story because I’ve never thought about women in our religion. You reminded me of her mother Fatimah who is regarded by Muslims (men and women) as the most significant historical figure, considered to be the leader of all women in this world.

  4. fatimafak313 says:

    This was a very insightful post. I agree with your stance, religion does empower women. It empowers them when they know its capabilities and utilize them. Religion should speak to a person regardless of them being male or female, that is why it is empowering. Overall, great post that sparks thought and interest.

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