Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog
This is a post that I had a lot of fun putting together, since I had so much interest in it. When I told some of my friends that I was going to Dubai, they had no idea what the culture of live there would be like.

Being a woman activist myself, it was important to find out how women were treated in Dubai. As Dubai is a Muslim country, I found some very useful and interesting information on Wikipedia.com. There is also a slideshow included that just shows pictures of how the women use to dress in Dubai.

The complex relationship between women and Islam is defined by both Islamic texts and the history and culture of the Muslim world. Sharia (Islamic law) provides for differences between women's and men's roles, rights, and obligations. Muslim-majority countries give women varying degrees of rights with regards to marriage, divorce, civil rights, legal status, dress code, and education.

Even where these differences are acknowledged, scholars and other commentators vary as to whether they are just and whether they are a correct interpretation of religious imperatives. Conservatives argue that differences between men and women are due to different status and responsibilities, while liberal Muslims, Muslim feminists, and others argue in favor of more progressive interpretations.

Islam gives women the right to own, which entitles them to have personal possessions. While women have no financial obligations like men, some of their financial rights are less. Women's share of inheritance, as outlined in the Qur'an, is typically less than that of men, but in some cases, women get more, depending on their placement in the family, and the existence of other heirs. Women's right to work is also disputed.

A woman, when compared with her husband, is far less burdened with any claims on her possessions. Her possessions before marriage do not transfer to her husband and she is encouraged to keep her maiden name. She has no obligation to spend on her family out of such properties or out of her income after marriage. A woman also receives a mahr (dowry), which is given to her by her husband at the time of marriage. Women are not required to provide financial support for their family under Sharia Law. Men as with women also have the right to be supported financially by their families or State.

In Islam, women are entitled the right of inheritance, but often a woman's share of inheritance is less than that of a man's. In general circumstances, Islam allows females half the inheritance share available to males who have the same degree of relation to the deceased. This difference derives from men's obligation to financially aid his parents, wife, children, and sisters, while the women's share would be entirely at her own disposal.

Women are allowed to work in Islam, subject to certain conditions, and even recommended to do so should they be in financial need. This is supported by the Quranic example of two female shepherds. Islam recognizes that the society needs women to work for the sake of development.

In general, women's right to work is subject to certain conditions: The work should not require the woman to violate Islamic law (e.g., serving alcohol), and be mindful of the woman's safety. If the work requires the woman to leave her home, she must maintain her modesty. Her work should not affect more important commitments, such as those towards her family. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the Muslim community to organize work for women, so that she can do so in a Muslim atmosphere, where her rights are respected.

The status of women's testimony in Islam is disputed. Some jurists have held that certain types of testimony by women will not be accepted. In other cases, the testimony of two women can equal that of one man ( although Quran says 2 women and 2 male are needed but if a male cannot find another male he may carry this testimony out himself). The reason for this disparity has been explained in various manners, including women's lack of intelligence, women's temperament and sphere of interest, and sparing women from the burden of testifying. In other areas, women's testimony may be accepted on an equal basis with men's.

Islamic criminal jurisprudence does not discriminate between genders in punishments for crimes. In case of sexual crimes such as zina (extramarital sex), for both men and women four witnesses are required to testify that they have seen the accused individuals having intercourse, in the eyes of the islamic law if the woman commits zina and as a result becomes pregnant she cannot be tried for zina if four witnesses are not available. The punishment for zina varies depending on the marital status of the guilty individuals. If they are single then both get a hundred lashes. If they are married the punishment is death, by stoning, or rajam. The difficulty of prosecuting rapists and the possibility of prosecution for women who allege rape has been of special interest to activists for Muslim women's rights. In the past decades there have been several high profile cases of pregnant women prosecuted for zina who claim to have been raped.
The overwhelming majority of Muslim scholars believe that there is no punishment for a woman coerced into having sex. According to a Sunni hadith, the punishment for committing rape is death, there is no sin on the victim, nor is there any worldly punishment ascribed to her. However, the stringent requirements for proof of rape under some interpretations of Islamic law, combined with cultural attitudes regarding rape in some parts of the Muslim world, result in few rape cases being reported; even the cases brought forward typically result in minimal punishment for offenders or severe punishment for victims. It can be difficult to seek punishment against rapists, because a zina case cannot be brought without four witnesses. Most scholars, however, treat rape instead as hiraba (disorder in the land), which does not require four witnesses. The form of punishment and interpretation of Islamic law in this case is highly dependent on the legislation of the nation in question, and/or of the judge.

According to law professor Noah Feldman in the New York Times, Islam "condemns the vigilante-style honor killings that still occur in some Middle Eastern countries." So-called honor killings (murders, nearly exclusively of women, of persons who are perceived as having brought dishonor to their families) are often identified with Islam. The hadith refer to a case where Mohammed sanctions the stoning of adulterous women. Honor killings are sanctioned in Iran's and Afghanistan's penal codes in which honor killing is legal or lightly punished. Honor killings are more common in Muslim-majority countries, though they occur in other countries as well. Many Muslim scholars and commentators say that honor killings are a cultural practice which is neither exclusive to, nor universal within, the Islamic world.
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