The treatment of women in Islamic societies is deplorable and primitive. The lack of an active female role in Islamic society is probably one of the main reasons for the aberrant nature of Islamic society and the tendency to violence in Muslim countries.
In Saudi Arabia for the first time women were allowed to vote in local elections and even to stand for office, and several have been elected. But, look at the reality, they can’t drive to the polling station, they have to be driven by a man, and polling stations are separate for men and women. They can’t apply for a passport, travel or do practically anything, including go outside their house without the permission or accompaniment of a man, including a 15 year old son. Women in strict Muslim countries are infantilized, they are the property of their husbands and their status is that of a child. In several Islamic countries there are “decency” patrols that actively beat women who they decide are not properly dressed (showing hair for example) or behaving improperly. To learn more about this situation I recommend reading “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” by Khaled Hosseini, about the treatment of women in Afghanistan and “Nine Parts of Desire” by Geraldine Brooks, about women in Saudi Arabia. A more recent book is “In the Land of Invisible Women” by Qanta Ahmed, a Western-trained doctor who practiced medicine in Saudi Arabia and has written about her experiences.
What is disconcerting is the lack of apparent concern by western feminists about the status of women in Muslim societies, where they could indeed hope to exert some change. Instead many radical feminists are busy supporting anti-Israel activities such as BDS, because they have an anti-western, anti-colonial and anti-imperialist bias, that is based on ignorance and prejudice.
What is clear is that the influx of tens of thousands of unattached young Muslim men into western Europe is having dire consequences. In a recent report it was revealed that although Muslim men constitute only 2% of the population of men in Sweden, they account for 76% of the rapes. In fact Sweden’s rape statistics is now the second worst in the world after S. Africa and has increased nearly five-fold in the past 15 years. Nearly 1 in 4 Swedish women report that they have been raped! I note that this phenomenon is not limited to Muslim society, for example in predominantly Hindu India the rate of rapes is also very high, including some notable cases of murder and infant rape, that can be attributed to the strict separation of men and women in conservative society. However, Indian society is not as violent and women in India have achieved notable progress in a predominantly democratic society.
What I am proposing is that Muslim society is aggressive, dominating and violent because of the lack of an active female role in society, not only due to the role of women themselves, but the influence they have on the men they interact with on an equal level. If that is true, then we cannot expect the nature of Islamic society to change significantly unless and until women are treated as co-equals by men, an almost impossible expectation, since Muslim men enjoy their dominance over women and are fighting to retain that.