Should Women and Men Have Different Rights and Responsibilities in Spousal Relationships?
Gender equality has been an issue on the agendas of social activists throughout many centuries. People have been putting under question the similarity between male and female rights and responsibilities, especially for married people. A spousal relationship determines the rights and obligations of a man and a woman and, in particular cases, the law and religion regulate it. Considering the marriage as a meaningful social unit, women and men should have equal rights and duties because they help create a safe environment for the growth of all family members.
Equality in gender roles is the result of the evolution of a successful marriage. Many social and political figures fought for equal civil rights and liberties for both male and female parts of the population. Since a family is an essential compound of the social realm, it should undergo the principle of equality between citizens to correspond with the general order of human relations. Global society has been passing a long way toward the recognition of equal conditions for both genders, which the United Nations Charter chose to be a fundamental rule after the end of World War II (“Universal Declaration of Human Rights”). The very fact that people pay such significant attention to universal gender roles and put enormous efforts in achieving equality between men and women leads to the logical conclusion of the need to establish the same responsibilities for the spouses.
Equality between partners should not be underestimated because it contributes to the proper social and economic development of a family. It is no secret that both genders long for material and spiritual well-being based on an adequate relationship. Thus, men and women should comprehend and accept the modern ideology of the equal spouse relationship to achieve success in their further life. As for the marriage, it is based not merely on a romantic feeling; it is about the household, money, children, and ownership (“Equal Rights and Responsibilities”). Equal contribution to household chores, financial welfare, and upbringing of offspring ensure a prosperous future for the family. The idea that women are homemakers and men are breadwinners was popular centuries, and even decades, ago. Instead, the modern spouses should be aware of the necessity to build their relationship on the respect to each others’ dignity as well as themselves. If the partners follow this principle, they will hardly face any problems relevant to the social and economic aspects of the marriage.
On the other hand, one may argue that women and men should have different rights in spousal relationships. Indeed, such a statement may emerge when it comes to the influence of religion on the social unit. In particular, people may claim that Muslim families do not have equality, where women face critical discrimination. Despite the complexity of the Islamic world, this is a myth which they may debunk by consulting the Quran. According to Amini, Muslim “women and men are identified as two chief pillars of the society” (4). Additionally, the Quran narrations emphasize the value of mutual respect to each others’ civil rights within the marriage (5). As for the Muslim family stereotype, it may derive from the inaccurate interpretation of religious tenets by Muslims themselves. Nevertheless, any religion should be a barrier to an equal relationship between spouses.
Therefore, a husband and a wife should have the same rights and responsibilities within a marriage. If they are aware of the necessity to show respect and make a commitment to each other and the family, they will overcome obstacles on the way to a successful and happy life. Gender equality breaks walls and unites people, especially within the family.
Amini, Ayatullah Ibrahim. “An Introduction to the Rights and Duties of Women in Islam.” Al-Islam.org, Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project, https://www.al-islam.org/introduction-rights-and-duties-women-islam-ayatullah-ibrahim-amini/standing-women-islam. Accessed 16 Feb 2019.
“Equal Rights and Responsibilities in Marriage.” Endvawnow.org, http://www.endvawnow.org/en/articles/766-equal-rights-and-responsibilities-in-marriage.html. Accessed 16 Feb 2019.
“Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Un.org, United Nations, http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/index.html. Accessed 16 Feb 2019.
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