By Sara Atta

Pioneers of nations

May 10, 2023 - 15:59
Women from the Leader's point of view - Part 1

TEHRAN – Throughout history, the central role of women in society has ensured the stability, progress and long-term development of nations. Women are the pioneers of the nations.

The traditional social roles of women and men have remained unchanged for many years. The traditional social role of women is that of the lady of the house, taking care of the family, and being focused on children and their happiness. However, in the last two decades, along with the deepening social and economic changes, the social roles of women and men began to undergo vivid modifications.

Since the mid-20th century, an increasing number of women can be observed in the labor market. Moreover, women have entered into male-dominated roles, e.g., leadership roles, including in politics. Since 1965, the proportion of women who have majored in business, medicine and law has risen significantly.

The role of women in the urban and rural workforce has expanded exponentially in recent decades. Of course, women’s opportunities still lag behind those of men worldwide. But, the historic and current role of women is indisputable.

The issue of women and how they are treated in different communities has been one of the most discussed and challenging points in different communities and cultures for a long time.
Women as half of the world’s population are the key to sustainable development and quality of life in the family. The varieties of roles the women assume in the family are those of wife, leader, administrator, manager of family income, and last but not the least importantly the mother.

In line with her educational role in the family, women can engage in economic, social and political activities in the community. They are likely to be the prime initiator of outside assistance and play an important role in facilitating changes in family life. Women, notably mothers, play the largest role in decision-making about family. 

For centuries Western civilization has been banging on the drum for fighting against religion and religious traditions under the pretext of defending and reviving women’s rights; this is in the case that evidence attests that women’s rights have not been yet completely recognized there.

Islamic thinkers have a different view on women’s issues. In Islamic sources, in the stage of creation humans are valued equally regardless of gender. In other words, human beings have an intrinsic value as human beings, and being human by itself gives them the possibility of growth and excellence, and enjoying the same rights and duties as other humans, and in this respect, there is no difference between men and women. So, every individual has an equally active role in society and enjoys its benefits. 

The major social mission of humans, both men and women, is to build a world in which the monotheism and perfection of mankind are crystallized, and femininity and masculinity are containers in which this task is poured and takes various forms. This perspective on human beings is the basis for the philosophical foundations on which Islamic politics rest.

It is to be emphasized that the said view on the essential equality of human beings is not limited to the theoretical spheres in Islamic principles and traditions and has had many practical instances throughout the history of Islam. In such scenes, women who were inspired by their religion, not at a lower status than men, but alongside them, have taken active and historical roles in politics and society.

In Iran, some extremist, westernized or traditional views have also created some problems in facing the issue of women.  For this purpose, in the upcoming chapters, we intend to discuss the role of women in various fields and also outline the views of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei regarding women.

The view of Islam and the Leader towards women is a comprehensive view that includes both divine values and human logic.

Ayatollah Khamenei has on many occasions made remarks about the importance of women's role in society. The issue of women and their roles have always been regarded as a main issue in the views of the Leader, as he states in one of his speeches, “The issue of women is an important issue... Paying attention to the issue of family - particularly the issue of women's health, security, tranquility and respect in the family environment - is one of the main issues.” (April 19, 2014)

In a series of articles, we will examine the opinions of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution about the position and role of women in society.

Leave a Comment