Introduction: Islam and Christianity have certain perspectives that differentiate men and women based on gender roles. This distinction between genders is based on spiritual duties and functions in the physical world. These differences are further accentuated by comparing two predominantly Islamic and Christian countries, the UAE and the UK, thereby presenting the concept of the influence of religions on Gender roles.
Objectives: The primary aim of this study is to identify the role of Islam and Christianity in influencing the importance of women and, eventually, their role in women's empowerment by comparing religious views and the actual living conditions of women.
Methods: This explorative study was conducted through a qualitative secondary data analysis. The research followed an interpretive research philosophy coupled with an inductive approach to answer the research questions. Islam, Christianity and women’s role in the 21st century were comparatively analysed by contrasting the literature data. The literature was accessed through journals, newspapers, official statistics and research articles.
Findings: The study indicates that religion directly impacts a woman’s societal role. The nature of the impact, although it depends on social values, traditions and culture, changes from country to country. In terms of Christianity, it can be seen that in the 21st century, women practice freedom and are given rights. In terms of Islam, religious values provide rights to women over education, ownership and job. However, the reality is much different for Muslim women living in predominantly Muslim countries.
Recommendations: In the case of both religions, contradictions are seen in women’s role between religious text and reality. Therefore, the study recommends a change of mindset and people’s perception of religion regarding women’s roles, thereby highlighting the influence of religions on Gender roles. Social values play a greater role in gender biases than religion; hence, empowering values will result in empowered women.
According to Taghavi (2018), modernisation is the decline in traditional small communities which expands the scope of personal choices, increases the diversity in society, and is also a source of awareness for orientation in the future. Modernized people are more open to change in the context of religion, whereas modern society has changed the role women are playing now, which aids in the financial establishment of society from the tradition role identified in the religion as a caretaker (Kamla, 2019). According to Marshall (2017), religions like Islam and Christianity are religions that bring crucial freedom and salvation irrelevant of gender or status. Regarding religion in the 21st century, women respond towards modernisation in two ways based on their types: pioneers and fundamentalists (Richardson and Willis, 2019). Women with reformist beliefs firstly characterise religion by drawing out the fundamentalist women rationally and liberally. Secondly, accentuate, among others, the essential beliefs of fraternity, resistance, and social equity. Third, they decipher the lessons of religions like Christianity and Islam as unique characters regarding the scholarly and logical advancement of the present-day world (Al-Hajla et al., 2018).
This research aims to identify the role of Islam and Christianity in influencing women's importance and role in the 21st Century. The following objectives provide a comprehensive outlook of the study:
Boehnke (2011) states that there are two approaches to the position and role of women in Christianity, which are egalitarian and traditional views, and they are common among Evangelical Christians. The Traditional View explains the position of a woman with regard to the church, home and community and stresses upon dependence and submission of women to their husbands (Boehnke, 2011). According to Culver et al. (2010), the Traditional View also explains that women are free to practise their spiritual duties and gifts and can have their sphere but only under the leadership of a male head in the church. At the same time, the Egalitarian View states that women can practise and share leadership in the church and have an equal right to marriage that has the basis of interdependent love and mutual submission in the home (Boehnke, 2011; Culver et al., 2010).
However, according to the study by Clark (2014), the position of women in Christianity has been the centre of the debate over the past few years. The New Testament states that women played several roles in the time of early Christianity. Some women have been referred to as “deaconesses, " and others have been called “Apostles” in early Christianity. However, what these terms exactly refer to, is hard to discuss due to the gap in time (Clark, 2014). However, as per Alexander (2013), the New Testament emphasises women's position and states that women's role is majorly related to house churches, which gives power to women in the church. However, it is also noted that women cannot be priests or bishops in the church. Further, King (2014) reports that women's position, history and role have been completely revised in the last twenty years in ancient Christianity. There have been discoveries about women who contributed to the formation of early Christianity.
According to the study of Bedana, Laishram and Singh (2016), Christianity has influenced the role of women concerning development and liberation in the 21st Century. However, as per Njoh and Akiwumi (2012), Christianity has greatly influenced the role of women as it has given women a higher status in society, however, within Christian circles. As per the study of Hunt (2017), it is stated that the role and importance of women have changed since the third century New Testament Church. The study by Pui-lan (2010) stated that Christianity had impacted the cultural and social aspects of women in the 21st Century. Similarly, Bedana, Laishram and Singh (2016) added that Christianity has influenced women's traditional, social, administrative and cultural aspects in the current times. As per the study of Njoh and Akiwumi (2012), it has provided women with several benefits and opportunities and has greatly impacted their lives. Hunt (2017) states that Christianity has removed gender roles, leading to women's oppression in urban or large societies and religious settings.
Despite its uniqueness, the classification of modern women suggests an obscure false homogeneity (Moghadam, 2019). Be that as it may, because of the recurrence of its recorded use and abuse, the term ‘modern women’ has developed to be a political term instead of an analytical idea, presently utilised by assorted groups (Sharma, 2016). In the media, which consider the predominant Western societies, religions are employed to suggest the numerous sorts of oppression of women (Van Osselaer et al., 2020). The variety found in ways of thinking and practices among Muslim and Christian women in the 21st century affirms that these religions have ingested the conventions of verifiably, socially and financially modernisation (Warren, 2018). In countries with diverse religions and cultures like India, women have been subjected to gender bias, even though it conflicts with the very rule of these religions, which calls for uniformity among people (Mishra, 2017). The influence of religions on Gender roles of women could also be elucidated by explaining how modernisation has been joined into religious custom. In numerous religious societies, women are now provided with their legacy (especially land) in inconsistency with the standards of these religions (Elshimi, 2017). However, some cases outline that the utilisation of religion and culture is used to legitimise the subjection of a social gathering. Most ordinarily, ladies are political, and the essentialness credited to religion and culture is regularly a move planned for wavering ladies' interest from their human rights.
The study of Swain, Kinnear and Steinman (2015) mentions that the sociocultural theory acknowledges the division in society due to behaviour in gender differences and labour. For instance, the stereotype of women regarding increased nurturance is caused due to the task assigned by society to take care of the children. Similarly, the study of Bleidorn et al. (2016) mentions that gender-based and psychological differences in society often emerge from the stereotypical individual role assigned and proscribed to each gender. Furthermore, the study of Grysman, Merrill and Fivush (2017) identifies that the sociocultural theory also focuses on biological differences that reduce the role of women in society. For instance, men in the early Christian teachings were considered important due to their size and strength, which enabled them to pursue warfare activities, resulting in greater power, status, and wealth. At the same time, the women were perceived as delicate, caring, and weaker, resulting in their confinement for bearing children and establishing relationship skills.
The study of Eagly and Wood (2016) mentions that the social role theory can be effectively used to analyse the role of women in society. Therefore, the social role theory argues that the stereotypes regarding women are often characterised due to labour division of women and men. For instance, in Western society, men were encouraged to participate in positions associated with higher power and status. In contrast, women were limited to roles related to nurturing and caring, resulting in established stereotypes of women. Furthermore, the social role theory also suggests that the division of labour between men and women is responsible for providing them with differentiated skills, resulting in different outcomes for men and women in similar situations.
Religion's perspectives greatly impact women's role and importance in society. The role and importance of women within specific religious doctrines and faiths regarding family and community have been examined for a long. Moreover, which gender has priority over the other has been a matter of debate (Klingorovaand Havlíček,2015). Many religions raise the status of women over men, while others elevate the status of men over women, impose strict laws against women and demand them to be submissive (Hussain, 2010; Phillips, 2009). These aspects further highlight the influence of religions on Gender roles of women in the past. However, in the 21stCentury, change has been witnessed in the role and importance of women in the family and society. Various religious practices now emphasise the same equality for women as men in education, worship, businesses and government. However, some fundamental concepts, practices and beliefs in every religion actively resist change (Sharma, 2016; Phillips, 2009).
According to Bala (2010) and Bouachrine (2014), the position of a woman in Islam is equal to that of a man. Islam treats both women and men equally in reward, obligation and education. Women are similarly obliged to worship God, be equally subservient to God and obey His commands in daily life as men (Bala, 2010). However, in the research by UUA (2020), it is stated that women are not considered equal to men in Islam and are considered subordinate to men. Many Muslim practices and texts restrict women’s access to transportation, education, employment, and self-determination, making them dependent on men for their basic rights (UUA, 2020).
Similarly, Ali Syed (2004) believes that Islam gives women lesser status; however, the author also states that Hadith and Quran place women the same as men, which are the main sources of Islamic laws. However, Bala (2010) says that Islam gives women the right to freedom of expression, property, marriage, equality in treatment and spiritual duties, political sphere and employment. Similarly, as per the study of Ali Syed (2004), women enjoy the right to marriage, financial provisions, divorce, coming out of seclusion, custody of children and taking part in political, social, legal and economic activities in Islam.
As per Okon (2013), Islam has done much work to enhance the position of a woman as compared to the Jahiliyya period – pre-Islamic Arabia. Moreover, Islam has been protecting, defending and preserving women's rights for a long time. Similarly, according to Milani (2011), before Islam, a woman was treated as a threat to family honour by her parents. She was considered worthy of burial at infancy, alive. As adults, women were considered sex objects and sold, bought and inherited. Islam removed the elements of legal incapacity and inferiority for women and elevated women to a position of prestige and influence in the community, society and family. Islam treats women on an equal footing with men, and in some cases, women are given precedence over men, for instance, as a mother (Milani, 2011).
In the study of Ahmad and Rae (2015), it is mentioned that Islam has influenced women's role in several ways and has removed barriers in the path of women to participate in businesses, religious constructs and peace-making decisions. Moreover, according to McIntosh (2010), Islam provides laws for women to operate in the economic and legal framework in which businesses function. Islam gives women rights and responsibilities that differ greatly from other religions. Further, Islam protects women by creating a supportive and moral business environment. However, Self and Grabowski (2012), Islam has influenced the role of women in such a manner that it has provided women with opportunities for social and economic influences and has removed the barriers that restrict various opportunities for women.
In the study of Speake (2012), it is stated that Islam gives importance to women’s sexual and reproductive rights and has socially empowered women in the 21st Century. Similarly, as per the study conducted by Oxford (2020), in the 21st Century, Islam has influenced women as it has empowered women in several ways, including education and literacy and job opportunities. In the 21st century, women can actively participate in mosque-based activities, Quran study circles, businesses, Islamic education, community services, and religious organisations. However, according to the study of Bahramitash and Kazemipour (2006), Islam's influence on women's roles is often perceived as negative. It is considered to be conservative and patriarchal.
According to Khoshdel and Hatamzadeh (2012), women still face issues in various fields even in the 21stCentury, and the issues related to women have been highlighted in several studies. In some areas, women are still deprived of their rights and human advantages, which has caused a great deal of misunderstanding regarding the role and status of women in the current times. Jean, Payne and Thompson (2015) state that the challenges related to the role of women in today's era are mostly associated with technology, science, math and engineering, as women are majorly presented in these occupations and degrees. However, Shiva (2013) believes that family-related barriers and challenges are major hindrances in the path of women in the 21st Century.
Moreover, according to Banerjee et al. (2018), women are under-presented in leadership over various platforms, and the advancement of women in the fields of science and technology is crucial for any country’s security, health, diversification, creativity and innovation. Similarly, Orser, Riding and Stanley (2012) added that even in the 21st Century, women face barriers in career advancements and technology sectors. In addition, the technology sector lacks a great number of women and women mentors.
Researchers such as (Notermans, 2016; Davie, Heelas and Woodhead, 2017; Ruspini et al., 2018) distinguished that a significant determinant for constrained roles of women in the modern world has been improper standards of religion that were incorrectly interpreted or altered for political or personal gains. Aplin (2019) stated that women had been the survivor of physical maltreatment and mental maltreatment, for example, dishonour of their capacities that assumed a prevailing job which affects their part in the social establishment. Samani and Marinova (2020) stated that extremist religious groups usually use the limitation on basic education and the need for young marriages in Islam to oppress women's modernisation and growth. Hilton (2017) argued and stated that religion plays a significant role in undermining the limit and quality of women in the general public. However, Ben-Nun Bloom (2016) argued that the limitations on women strengthened them to battle for their freedom in the 21st Century, and their empowerment is perceived by advanced society and recognised. Today’s scholars have different ideas of women's modernisation. None of them disacknowledged the independence of women in present-day times, and neither did they defame this by referencing their strict religious point of view to counter women’s freedom (Halberstam, 2019). Consequently, there is a need to study and understand women’s role in the 21st Century and how religion, for example, Islam and Christianity, help them fulfil this role.
Few religious male pioneers in Muslim social orders utilise the idea to legitimise their endeavours to control women and ensure their male-centric and political benefits (Sidahmed, 2018). Then again, religious activists women are progressively utilising the idea to present their imagined beliefs of women’s privileges and ethics (Fazakarley, 2017). Fideler (2017) stated that these activists portray the religious preservationists' activities for the modernisation of women to drag out their individual benefit. As much has been composed, however, on the abuse of the expression religious oppression of women in Western society, the study of Pugh (2019) highlights the assorted and opposing use of the concepts of women's modernisation in the context of religions such as Christianity and Islam. Fundamentally, the studies focus on quickly portraying various concepts of women's modernisation in religions. Therefore, by looking into ongoing patterns, Moghadam (2019) concluded how religions had been utilised to help conflicting political points by strict pioneers, governments and women's associations. The contradicting examples and progressions in the social request and the not-too-bad assortment in practices and feelings among Muslim and Christian social requests and systems highlight the need to investigate the distorted assumption that religion is the wellspring of women's mistreatment (McVeigh, 2017). This study focuses on this topic and provides a significant understanding of the role religion plays in the modernisation of women and their empowerment in the modern world.
The study by Al Alhareth, Al Alhareth and Al Dighrir (2015) mentioned that the religion of Islam perceives women as one the worthy creations of God. Furthermore, the study by Shah (2015) also agrees and states that the Islamic perspective of women is known as the caretaker of the family, such as children and spouses. However, the study of Alesina, Giuliano and Nunn (2013) discusses that according to Christianity, the women in the earlier Christian society were often forbidden to participate as a leader. Although the religious prominence of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, in Christianity as well as Islam has enabled women to take leadership roles in their respective societies and communities. According to the study of Lindsey (2015), women in the 21st century are still victims of the cruelty of a male-dominated society, such as lack of access to proper education, gender-based violence, woman trafficking, and limitations imposed on women regarding their contributions to society. However, the study of Allahdadian and Irajpour (2015) argues that the development of society in the 21st century has allowed women to expand their needs and enabled them to act and make a difference in society.
The study of Eteng (2015) mentions that some Christians are against the early concepts of Christianity regarding women and the limitations imposed on women's freedom in the Church. As per the study of Kok (2016), the Christian Bible focuses on women being submissive in various ways, such as being asked to become submissive to their husbands and the Church, society, and God. Similarly, the study of Sharify-Funk (2016) discusses that the Islamic faith has also imposed boundaries on women by giving men the dominant position in society and making women submissive towards their fathers, husbands, sons, and brothers. However, the study of Barlas (2019) argues that the misconception in Islam regarding women was due to the cultural norms in different eras. Therefore, Islam provided recognition to women by setting the standards of men and women equally and limiting the oppression of women.
Furthermore, Islam also encouraged the independent working of women and provided them with equal rights similar to men. However, Bierema (2016) study argues that with the progress of development in society, the role of women has improved in the 21st century. With the advent, women are actively taking on leadership roles in different cultural settings to promote women's rights and provide them with the liberty to make independent choices in life.
Most developed nations are Christian countries where women advance in the same capacity as men and break societal and gender stereotypes. However, Islamic society is still underdeveloped and backward in this regard, where oppression against women is still common, and women in many less privileged countries are deprived of education and basic needs. Furthermore, the study of Barlas (2019) suggests that Islamic society is backward because of the misconceptions and mistaken beliefs that religious scholars impose. However, according to the study of Toffoletti and Palmer (2017), women from Islamic backgrounds actively participate in sports, politics, and business, whereas Islam encourages such practices.
The study of Bierema (2016) mentions that in any society, the status of women is often determined by the subtle and elusive arrangement of factors associated with socio-politics, culture, economy, and religion. Furthermore, the status of women also depends on the operational and structural activities of the society responsible for allocating the conditions for women in the socio-political environment. Moreover, the study of Sharify-Funk (2016) discusses that throughout history, Islamic and Christian women have been known for facing various issues, challenges, and turmoil associated with the position of women in the different political domains of life. Therefore, the study of Kassa (2015) argues that the status of women in the political sphere is often questioned because the political environment in any country is likely to be male-dominated. However, the study of Allahdadian and Irajpour (2015) rejects the idea and states that many women leaders have risen to the socio-political challenges in the past and still are minimising challenges in the current situation. Islam promotes the role of women in politics by providing examples such as the Queen of Sheba, who was responsible for making crucial decisions for the state and her people.
Furthermore, the various Islamic texts also provide different examples of women possessing leadership roles, such as the wife of Prophet Muhammad, Khadija was a chief advisor. Similarly, the study of Jana (2018) mentions that even though different opportunities for women in Islamic texts are evident, the earlier generations had a different perspective regarding the political roles of women. Therefore, in recent years the socio-political conditions of women in Islamic states have declined due to the majority of women being deprived of basic education and being victims of gender inequality.
The study of Alesina et al. (2013) mentions that women were not allowed to participate in politics in earlier Christian societies and were confined to society's stereotypical roles. Therefore, the Old Testament of the Bible in Christianity confines the role of women differently than men, who are considered submissive to men. However, in the 21st century, due to changes in the world's political environment, many Christian women are presuming the role of a leader, such as Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern. From observation, it is evident that Jacinda Arden has been facing various socio-political challenges during her tenures, such as terrorist attacks on Muslims, natural disasters, the low-wage economy, sexism, and the pandemic of COVID-19. Similarly, despite not producing any strong women leaders in the 21st century, Muslim women are setting positive examples, such as Malala Yousufzai. The study of Ryder (2015) highlights that Malala is a strong example of a self-empowered Muslim woman due to the challenges she faced, such as terrorism and lack of proper education. Still, despite these challenges, she became a positive influence on Muslim women across the world.
The study of Allahdadian and Irajpour (2015) mentions that in the 21st century, the perception of the world regarding women's rights and equality is changing with a growing acknowledgement of cultural and gender-based diversity. Therefore, organisations such as the UN are developing various policies, frameworks, and economic incentives (Arat, 2015). Furthermore, the study of Maguirre, Ruelas and TORRE (2016) mentions that for the improvement in the role of women, people are now countering gender-based stereotypes by educating the younger generation. The world can see sustainable results by providing appropriate education related to women's rights. The study of Arizpe (2015) mentions that cultural transition in society also contributes positively towards women empowerment and that the transition from old traditions to technology has minimised the gender gap between men and women.
Moreover, promoting equality and economic empowerment among women can bring major changes to improving women's roles in society. According to the study by Cornwall (2016), society can witness reduced poverty, prosperity, proper access to education, and better health conditions by providing equal economic opportunities to women. Inequality in gender opportunity is often prevalent in underdeveloped nations. However, strong campaigns on improving the role of women are developed to minimise the issues, such as domestic violence, inequality, and lack of education and healthcare. Similarly, improvements regarding women's empowerment can be noticed in the UNDP report of 2015, which highlights that women are now taking charge of their households by doing domestic work (World Health Organization, 2016).
Furthermore, various women's education initiatives are also being taken to promote educational diversity and provide them with adequate education to succeed in life. However, the study of Bushra and Wajiha (2015) argues that men should also be educated regarding the role of women in society because understanding gender in underdeveloped countries is different than in developed nations. Therefore, by focusing on women's educational, economic, and social status, women's role in society can be improved positively.
The study of Bierema (2016) mentions that the role of women in society has always been a subject of controversy in many societies and cultures, largely due to the role of religion. Similarly, the study of Eteng (2015) discusses that religion has played a major role in creating positive or negative perceptions regarding the role of women in society. However, the study of Jana (2018) argues that the interpretations of religious texts by men are responsible for the oppression of women in a religious society. However, the conditions for women in modern society are changing as women are provided with equal economic and social opportunities to grow and attain prosperity (Bushra and Wajiha, 2015). While the change is evident, women's problems and challenges persist in underdeveloped regions or countries worldwide. Furthermore, the literature gap identified in this study is that most researchers focus on women's empowerment while neglecting the role of religion in this situation, such as the influence of religion on Gender roles of women in the 21st century. Therefore, this study bridges the gap between women's empowerment and religion by providing different perspectives.
Chapter 2 of the study provides different perspectives on Islam and gender roles. Therefore, the chapter offers a detailed introduction to the research area and emphasises its importance. Furthermore, the chapter also highlights the position of women in Islam and identifies the challenges and barriers associated with women's role in the 21st century. The study also descriptively highlights the influence of Islam on the role and importance of women in the 21st century. Furthermore, the chapter briefly discusses the key elements pertinent to the role of women in the 21st century by creating a comparison between Islam and also discusses Muslim women in the socio-political turmoil of the 21st century. Chapter 2 also provides a literature gap in the study.
According to Duflo (2012), women have played a key role in developing several societies and human progress. Women have played a major role in history and are still contributing to the development and economy of many countries. Women have contributed to progress, stability, and long-term development in the past. Moreover, educated women have the power to reform any nation at local, regional, and global levels. As per Blossfeld and Kiernan (2019), women have been serving as engineers, teachers, administrators, and carers for a long time. However, on the other hand, women have faced challenges of sexual harassment and domestic violence, and their position in society has been questioned in the past and are still facing these issues even in the 21st Century (Shiva, 2013). Therefore, this chapter looks into the contribution and role of women, particularly in the UK and UAE. Moreover, this chapter will also address the challenges related to the role of women and the religious factors that affect women’s role in the 21st Century. Further, the chapter will also look into the influence of Christianity and Islam on the role of women and the differences between the role of women in the UK and UAE in the 21st Century.
According to English Heritage (2020), women have majorly contributed to the history of the UK, from being nurses in the Frist World War and medical professionals and photographers in Second World War to great medieval queens. However, their role and contributions have always been overlooked. Similarly, according to Historic England (2017), although women’s experiences and accomplishments have made a great impression on the historic environment of the UK, their contribution has been made invisible by society. Many women remain unnamed in history, while some accomplished success and high statuses. Women in the UK have contributed to the areas of experiments in gender, shaping England’s gardens, archaeology, and nursing (English Heritage, 2020). Similarly, as per the study of Burek and Higgs (2007), women have contributed in the areas of technology, science, and geosciences.
Whereas, UAE-embassy (2009) reports that women have played a major role in the UAE's development, infrastructure, economy, evolution, and growth. Women have been at the forefront of the UAE's government and private sector workforce. Women in UAE have contributed to politics, education, aviation, army, and other fields. Moreover, women have played a key role in raising several issues in UAE and have actively participated in job creation, economy, demographics, transportation and housing, and in campaigns including health and social issues and other substantive issues in the past. Similarly, as per the study of The National (2014), women have participated alongside men in invasions by British forces and political discussions through newspapers and radios. Women have presented in UAE on several platforms as ministers, diplomats, artists, entrepreneurs, healers, and teachers in the past. Furthermore, Almutawa (2016) states that women majorly contributed to the economy of UAE in the pre-oil era, i.e. the 1960s and between 1900 to 1930.
According to Statista (2019), women face challenges and issues of sexual harassment, equal pay, domestic violence, physical violence, and sexual violence in the 21st Century in the UK. Similarly, according to Sophie (2020), in the UK, women face issues of pay gap (51%), equal opportunities, providing competency (31%), discrimination, workplace policies of paternity and maternity and advancement procedures (42%), and microaggression (64%) including elusive comments, racism, and sexism. Furthermore, as per the study of Sutton et al. (2020), even in the 21st Century, a great lack of women can be seen in positions of power, including courts, corporate boardrooms, and political leadership roles. Women face issues of patriarchy, due to which women are considered less competent and less qualified than men in the workplace. Moreover, women are still believed to be less worthy of educational opportunities and are facing challenges of educational inequality (Sutton et al., 2020).
According to Nammour (2008), women in UAE face challenges related to job opportunities, leadership, appearance on forums, and international conferences in the 21st Century. Moreover, most women are not allowed to work outside the home. In contrast, women who are allowed to work outside the home and want to pursue highly visible jobs face discrimination due to negative public perception by the media. Further, UAE women face challenges in entry, preparation, and practice in the media field (Nammour, 2008). Al jenaibi (2015) states that women in UAE are considered less hardworking and less intelligent than men at work. This discrimination has increased the levels of dissatisfaction, demotivation, and stress among women. Moreover, it was found in the study of Salam (2016) that women in the UAE face the majority of the challenges due to traditions. 30% of women who work reported that the stereotypical portrayal of women has caused issues for them at work, in addition to gender discrimination and sexual harassment.
According to Klingorova and Havlíček (2015), religious factors have imposed several issues for women living in the UK, and the practice of religious traditions and norms in certain areas has made the issue more complex. It is because these norms and traditions contribute to the formation of gender inequalities and make the role of women subordinate in the community and society. Religious factors have created social and cultural differences between men and women and have negatively affected the role of women in decision-making and doing business in a community. Further, religious factors have also affected society's socio-political activities, cultures, and behaviours towards women. Similarly, according to Woodhead (2012), religious aspects have limited women's social patterns and norms in a social and organisational settings.
However, Suwannaphoom (2016)believes that religious factors can empower the role of women in the UK, legitimise and reinforce power interests towards women, and generate resistance to dominancy towards women. At the same time, Woodhead and Catto (2013) believe that religious factors are not the only reason that affects the role of women in the UK. Still, other factors contribute equally or greatly to impacting women's role, including geographic, economic, political, and cultural factors within a region or country. Moreover, literacy, political and educational factors can help women gain power in society through religious factors (Woodhead and Catto, 2013).
Whereas, according to Alibeli (2015), religious factors in UAE have constantly forced women to honour modesty, limiting the role of women in several areas, including businesses and communities. Moreover, in UAE, society places several religious factors over women in public participation. Further, women are believed to perform only traditional roles in their homes and communities. Moreover, AlMazrouei and Pech (2015) state that the religious factors in UAE have impacted attitudes and behaviour towards women, and men were found to have significantly lower levels of attitudes towards women. It is stated by Soffan (2016) that besides religious factors, there are other factors, such as marital status, age, education, employment, and religiosity, that have impacted the attitudes of men towards women in the UAE. However, as per the study of Madichie and Gallant (2012), religiosity can decrease the negative behaviour of men towards women and support women in opting for their equal rights and education.
The study of Bedana et al. (2016) states that in the 21st century, Christianity has positively influenced the role of women by providing them with liberation and opportunities for personal development. Furthermore, the study of Hunt (2017) mentions that the New Testament Church has played a major role in improving the status of women in Christian circles. Moreover, in recent years, Christianity has successfully influenced women's traditional, social, educational, and cultural aspects (Bedana et al., 2016). Furthermore, the study of Sharma (2016) mentions that in a developed nation like the UK, Christianity has been successful in eliminating the gender roles which were prevalent in earlier times and led to the oppression of women in Christian societies. Furthermore, the study of Ahmad and Rae (2015) suggests that Islam has also played a key role in influencing the role of women by eradicating barriers and enabling them to participate in businesses and religious activities. The study of Alibeli (2015) mentions that in states like UAE, certain laws are set in place that allows women to actively participate in the economic and legal activities associated with the functions of a business.
Furthermore, the study of Wodon (2015) discusses that Islamic laws are implemented to protect women by providing them with a supportive and moral environment for business. The study by Oxford (2020)also mentions that Islam has successfully provided opportunities to Muslim women through education, literacy, and career opportunities. It has mainly been because the people and followers focus on comprehending the teachings of Islam instead of highlighting the stereotype that has been developed against Islam pertaining to the freedom and rights of Muslim women.
The women in the UAE are aided by the support of the government and its commitment to providing equal opportunities resulting in improved standards of women in Arab society. The study of Gupta and Mirchandani (2018) mentions that women in the UAE are an important part of the workforce and are considered essential in contributing to the economy and government of the UAE. Women in the UAE are allowed to actively participate in politics and business and have the right to education. According to the report of the UAE Embassy (2020), women outperform men in the educational department, with 77% of women in the UAE registering for higher education. Similarly, Christian women have been given improved societal statuses within the Christian community. The study of Briggs and Harrison (2015) mentions that countries like the UK in the 21st century have seen major development of women in society, which was less common in the past. The aspect of feminism is prevalent in developed societies such as the UK, which is actively playing a key role in providing equal opportunities such as men. However, the study of Collier and Raney (2018) argues that women in the UK still face gender inequality and sexual harassment.
The study of Gupta and Mirchandani (2018) mentions that in recent years women in the UAE have achieved certain measures that ensure their legal protection. However, the study by Hussain (2015) argues that UAE also has discriminatory laws against Emirati women where permission to remarry must be taken from a male guardian. Furthermore, Islamic Sharia Law has been used since 2005 to impose such restrictions on women. Women also have to face clothing challenges that restrict them from wearing low-cut skirts and bare shoulders. Due to Islamic Sharia laws, women were confined to homes and had few opportunities. However, in the 20th century government established official networking systems for women in business, eliminating the lack of networking between women.
Similarly, the study of Briggs and Harrison (2015) mentions that the role of women in the UK is far more diverse due to the developed economy and infrastructure. Women in the UK actively participate in politics, have better access to education, and can gain financial benefits. Similarly, despite strict Islamic laws, women can achieve proper education, take part in business, and have job opportunities in the UAE. Therefore, the study of Zeidan (2018) mentions that Islamic and Christian societies in the 21st century have successfully tackled the misinterpretations of religious scriptures and are now providing equal opportunities to women.
This chapter of the study focused on providing different aspects of the role of women in the UK and UAE. Therefore, the chapter briefly introduces the topic of the chapter and discusses the contribution of women in the UK and UAE from a perspective of history. Furthermore, the chapter also highlights challenges that affect the role of women in the UK and UAE in the 21st century. Moreover, the chapter also identifies the religious factors affecting the role of women in the UK and UAE in the 21st century. This chapter further discusses Islam and Christianity's influence on women's role in the UAE and the UK, specific to the 21st century. Chapter 3 also highlights the differences between the role of women in the UK and UAE in the 21st century in light of Islam and Christianity.
There are three major research philosophies, realism, interpretivism and positivism. Realism is a realistic human view of society in which the human mind’s perception of reality is presented, while in interpretivism, research findings are interpreted based on human interest (Packard, 2017). Keeping this in mind, the research philosophy adopted for this study is interpretivism. The justification for interpretivism, as identified by Pham (2018), is the ability of the researcher to acknowledge and appreciate the variations among people and studies while conducting research. As this study is qualitative, an interpretive philosophy will help simplify and explain the acquired data.
The research design has been broadly divided into two main groups; quantitative research and qualitative research. Silverman (2016) has explained qualitative research as a collection of information without quantifiable value. The type of research design employed in this study is the qualitative approach. As noted by Glaser and Strauss (2017), the qualitative method helps the researcher to understand changing perceptions, attitudes or events for their study. As this study is exploratory, in which literature findings are interpreted, a qualitative design will ensure constructive results.
The research approach is divided into two groups; the deductive approach is specifically performed on established theories to reach a single conclusion (Zalaghi and Khazaei, 2016). While the inductive approach is based on empirical observations, in which additional data is collected and observed to test hypotheses and reach a general conclusion. The current study has used an inductive approach to comprehend the research phenomenon subjectively.
In a study conducted by Ghauri, Grønhaug and Strange (2020), it is explained that data collection aims at identifying and collecting quality evidence that enhances the current scope of research and adds to the field of study. Data collection methods have been divided into two distinct groups primary and secondary. In primary methods, the researcher is responsible for gathering first-hand knowledge from participants about the subject of study (Keusch, 2015). On the other hand, in secondary data collection methods, previous research is explored and assessed to be used to answer the current study’s research questions. For such a research topic, a secondary data collection method was used so that literature, journals, newspapers, official statistics and facts could be quoted and analysed. In the secondary collection, it is easier to recognise and categorise alternative perspectives and find previously unidentifiable linkages (Johnston, 2017).
The data analysis technique used in this study is the comparative analysis to compare and contrast the data obtained from the UK and UAE. Onwuegbuzie and Weinbaum (2017) have elaborated that in-depth and critical topic analyses can be easily given by comparing multiple variables. Keeping this in mind, the researcher has opted for comparative analysis so that each variable can be assessed based on one another. This will make the study critical and provide an effective result. Another justification for comparative analysis in a qualitative study is that it proves completely unbiased, increasing a research’s validity (Thiem, 2016). As the current study is on religion and specifically comparing religious values of Islam and Christianity, a comparative analysis has been employed to make the findings neutral and credible.
While conducting the current research, the researcher was aware of the sensitivity of the research topic. Therefore a review of the literature was done with the utmost respect to ensure the integrity of the primary research. Distorting or manipulating results and findings of previous research is against research ethics (Boutron and Ravaud, 2018). In this study, the researcher ensured the integrity of the initial research findings by avoiding discrepancies and quoting conclusions of the study. Contrarily, plagiarism is another ethical consideration while conducting secondary research, which can jeopardise the validity of a study (Mhute, 2013). To avoid this, the material was paraphrased along with accreditation in a well-maintained referral list.
WHAT IS THE INFLUENCE OF RELIGION ON GENDER ROLES COMPARING THE TWO COUNTRIES?
This chapter has focused on carrying out data analysis for research based on the perspective of the influence of religions on Gender roles of women, whereas the religions targeted include Islam and Christianity on influencing the importance and role of women in the 21st century. The chapter has carried out a comparative analysis for developing and identifying the key research findings of the study. The comparison will be carried out between the two countries, which are the UK and UAE. The comparative analysis is based on the secondary qualitative analysis for collecting and assessing the research reports and different research articles that will provide information related to the topic.
Hunt (2017) states in his work that Christianity has removed the gender roles that tend to lead to the oppression of women in urban or large societies and religious domains settings. This means that the UK society is presently focusing on the aspect that men and women should be provided with equal rights, which Christianity also supports. The author further cites that the role and importance of women have changed significantly owing to the third-century New Testament Church. The notion is also supported by Pui-lan (2010), who mentioned in his study that Christianity had positively affected the cultural and social aspects of women in society. This has made it clear for both genders to be allowed to have independent rights from all aspects without feeling pressured.
However, Schnabel (2016) cites in his study that the influence of religion on gender roles in the UK has been extensive. The researcher further
states that Jesus and early
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Christians lived in a male-dominated society, and the Bible reflects this particular aspect. The beliefs are that men and women must have different roles that are still common in certain Christian communities presently. It would not be wrong to state here that religion, in this case, Christianity, has a significant impact on gender roles in the UK. This notion is further supported by Aune and Nyhagen (2016), who reveal in their work that Christianity has a significant impact on gender roles in the UK because a particular guideline is set for both genders. It is vital that both men and women follow the established guidelines and do not try to opt for equality.
Apart from Christianity, the UK society also has Islam as the religion that is followed by numerous of the country’s citizens. As per Bala (2010) and Bouchrine (2014), Islam ensures that women are given equal positions to men. Religion offers rewards, obligations and education equally to both genders. It can be said here that in the UK, Muslim men and women are given rights and responsibilities per their religion.
However, McMorris and Glass (2018) do not agree with the notion of Bala (2010) and Bouachrine (2014), citing that Islam has always focused on ensuring that women are oppressed in every way possible. The author further mentions that the UK is a country where implementing Islam is not considered a positive aspect, due to which women's rights are looked down upon. On the other hand, men continue enjoying all the benefits given to them in the name of religion.
UAE is a country where the focus is more on the aspect of implementing religion and ensuring that most of its operations are carried out under this particular aspect. Different religions co-exist within the country; however, the major one is Islam. Therefore, t the influence of religions on Gender roles of women will be contrary in UAE as compared to the UK. In his study, Bala (2010) clearly states that Islam has ensured that gender roles are carried out in the UAE by providing that both genders are given equal rights. Moreover, the author further mentions that Islam has given women the right to freedom of expression, property, marriage, equality in treatment and spiritual duties, political sphere and employment. It can be analysed from this notion that women are not oppressed in any way by religion, but women empowerment takes place in this particular aspect.
However, Darakchi (2018) does not agree with the aspect of the positive influence of religions on Gender roles of women in the UAE. The author is of the view that Islam focuses on restricting women from moving forward in their lives and ensures that they remain part of the household only. This particular aspect is supported by Ruspini, Bonifacio and Corradi (2018), who states that Islam does not consider women to be equal to men and has implemented the notion that women are subordinate to men in every aspect of life. At this point, Okon (2013) rejects the ideology while citing that any oppression of women was seen in the Jahiliyya period, which was pre-Islamic Arabia. Presently, Islam has been working towards providing women with their rights and ensuring their rights are protected.
Apart from Islam, Christianity is also one of the religions followed in the UAE. King (2014) mentions in his study that women's position, history and role have been revised in the last twenty years in ancient Christianity. This means that women are now given equal rights as men, along with ensuring that they are empowered to work as well. This can be seen in the society in the UAE, where numerous Christian women tend to work and enjoy similar rights and responsibilities that men have as per this religion.
However, Eliason et al. (2017) assert in their study that there are many Christian men and women that do not have equal rights in the light of their religion. The author further states that men are given more preference than women regarding employment or other aspects. In the UAE, the situation is the same as well. In this situation, the notion that Christianity provides equality to men and women is not right.
The influence of religions on gender roles of women in the UK and UAE is different in some ways, as well as similar in some ways. If the focus is kept on the more prominent religion in both countries, it would not be wrong to state that gender roles are seen with equality. Hunt has said it (2017) states that Christianity under the New Testament Church has ensured that women are given the importance that they deserve in society, along with women. The same can be said for the UAE as well, in which Bala (2010) has stated that Islam ensures that women are given the rights to freedom of expression, property, marriage, equality in treatment and spiritual duties, similar to that of men. The idea here is that women are not oppressed in any way by Islam. It can be assessed that when it comes to the specific religion that is followed in each country, gender roles are considered equal.
However, in a similar scenario, if that religion is brought into focus which is not the main religion followed in the country, the gender roles are not equal in both countries, thereby highlighting the influence of religions on Gender roles of women. In simple words, the aspect of Islam allowing women to have equal rights to that man in the UK is not widely accepted. McMorris and Glass (2018)stated that in the UK, women are seen as more oppressive and have to ensure that they can attain permission from the men of the family for every little activity they need to carry out. This notion is supported by Fiddian-Qasmiyeh (2016), who cites that the life of women under the light of Islam to attain equal gender roles in the UK is difficult as the chances of her getting support in this area are extremely limited. The situation is the same for women that follow Christianity in the UAE. Eliason et al. (2017) believe that Christian women cannot enjoy equal rights in the name of gender roles in the UAE as the focus is usually on men for any employment. However, (Pearce, Uecker and Denton (2019) contradict the view citing that in comparison to gender roles under the light of Islam, gender roles in Christianity tend to see more equality in UAE as well. Women and men are able to have similar freedom, with a minor issue. Many Christian women cannot attain high-profile jobs in the UAE as they are not seen as fit for their positions.
Bierema (2016) states that in any society, the role of women is considered to be of high value, which is determined by the subtle and elusive arrangement of certain factors, of which one is the socio and economic aspects. The author further cites that women tend to depend on the operational and structural activities of society which are seen to be responsible for allocating the conditions for women in the socio and economic development of the society. The same can be true for the UAE and the UK society. There is a need to ensure that women are part of the socio and economic development as that is how progressive societies succeed.
However, Davis and Williamson (2019) cite that making women part of the socio and economic development is an approach that should not be carried out at all. The author reveals in his work that women usually do not have the capability and thought process to play a positive role in society's socio and economic development. Moreover, Leszczyńska and Zielińska (2016) reveal in their work that it is usually the men who should be part of socio and economic development because they are aware of the areas that would help in making the society a success.
Allahdadian and Irajpour (2015) have stated that women leaders are known for rising to the socio, and economic challenges in the past and are continuing to do so in the current situation. The authors further state that Islam has been known for promoting the role of women in politics, with a clear example seen in the Queen of Sheba, who was responsible for making crucial decisions for the state and her people. Similarly, Ryder (2015) cite that many Christian women have started to take up the role of leaders, with a clear example seen in Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, who has tackled various issues of terrorist attacks on Muslims, natural disasters, the pandemic of COVID-19 and so on. So it would not be wrong to state that religion promotes women to be part of socio and economic development in society.
However, Pfafflin (2019) believes that despite religion promoting women to be part of socio and economic development in the UK and UAE, certain aspects must be considered when bringing women into the socio and economic development. These aspects are the fact that these societies are male-dominated. Therefore, the chances of women surviving and succeeding in these societies are significant low despite the religion allowing them to be part of the development aspect.
Women's religious challenges and barriers in society, irrespective of the country they are in, remain the same. Some of the major challenges and obstacles have been linked to religion owing to the various thinking patterns that people of different religions have towards other religions, creating conflicts (Singh, 2017). One of the major forms of religious challenges and barriers that tend to occur for women is extremism in Islam. Samani and Marinova (2020) cite in their work that extremist religious groups usually use the limitation on basic education and the need for young marriages in the religion of Islam to oppress women's modernisation and growth. This notion was further supported by Hilton (2017), who cited that religion has started to play a major role in undermining the limit and quality of women in the general public. The notion of extremism is linked to Islam deeply that it reflects in the UK and UAE.
Muñoz-Fernández, Assudani and Khayat (2019) do not accept the notion that there are any religious challenges and barriers that are preventing women from moving forward in society in the UK and UAE. The author further cites in his work that it is not about the societies of the UK and UAE having any religious issues. Rather, these countries have male-dominated societies that prevent women from moving forward. At this point, March (2019) cites the religious challenges and barriers that are not linked to Islam only; Christianity has its fair share of issues. The author cites that the religious difficulties and obstacles that Christian women face are related to the change in symbols representing the religious works. Many analysts believe that if the religious symbols are changed, it will change the numerous aspects of Christianity, affecting women willing to work and be part of society.
Although countries like the UK and UAE have made certain to prevent religious barriers and challenges from taking place, issues continue to exist that prevent women from becoming part of the developmental aspects. Azizah, Qoyum and Prasojo (2019) state that the governments of these countries have taken measures to protect women. Still, they have not been successful, due to which the women continue to face challenges and barriers in society. According to Al-Asfour et al. (2017), not enough is being done to prevent the religious challenges and obstacles from occurring, and it continues to pressurize women to become successful in life.
There is no doubt that gender roles exist both in the UK and the UAE. Tackett et al. (2018) cite that the preference for giving men employment is significantly higher in UAE than in the UK. The author further highlights that, to a certain extent, the UK is seen balancing the gender roles in some areas by ensuring that women are also made part of the job sector. However, this notion is not seen in the UAE as it is seen to be a clear male-dominated society. Longman and Anderson (2016) cite that women currently hold two-thirds of public sector jobs, with 30% in leadership roles and 15% in technical and academic roles. This is quite a low number compared to what percentage of men held in the job sector. However, Marler (2016) does not agree that the UAE is a male-dominated society. The author believes that equal opportunities are provided to both genders. There is no differentiation in any way as the government of UAE strongly believes that both genders would bring the success required for the economy.
In contrast to the above situation, the UK has been working towards ensuring that gender roles are carried out equally in society. The government does not focus on the religion of the individual they are hiring but on the individual's capabilities to the organisation. Bleidorn et al. (2016) cite that gender-based and psychological differences in society tend to emerge from the stereotypical individual role assigned and proscribed to each gender. This is an area that the UK government ensures to not become prominent in society.
Gervais (2018) cites that the UK is not focusing on having a balanced gender role in society as it is visible that women are given low-grade jobs compared to men. The country still prefers to ensure that men are given high-profile jobs with high earnings. This does not put the country providing a balanced gender role aspect. At this point, Schnabel (2016) states that the UK is working towards ensuring that a balanced gender role is offered to both genders. The author further cites that the UK is considered a more liberal country than the UAE. The chances of the UK having a balanced gender role for both genders are high than in the UAE. For the UAE, the notion is that while living in a male-dominated society, men should be given high-profile jobs while women should be given low-grade jobs or stick with jobs that do not play a major role in the country's success.
Islam and Christianity are two religions that have had a significant impact on the role of women in the 21st century. The studies by Hunt (2017), Bedana et al. (2016), and Ahmed and Rae (2015) suggest that in their respective works, Christianity and Islam have positively influenced women in ensuring that they become part of society through various aspects. Both religions focus on the aspects that women should not be restricted by certain barriers and prevented from taking part in businesses that could also work towards bringing success to the respective countries in the 21st century. The notion is further supported by the UAE Embassy (2020), which cites that women are starting to outperform men in the education department, with 77% of women in UAE registering in higher education. The source further asserts that even Christian women are being given improved statuses in society in the Christian community.
However, Aune and Nyhagen (2016) do not agree with the above notion. Aune and Nyhagen (2016) believe that there is a significant difference between Islam and Christianity regarding the role of religion and the role of women in the 21st century. The author believes that Islam still perceives women as being restricted to certain low-grade jobs or, in some cases, restricting them to their homes. In comparison to Islam, Christianity allows women to become part of the 21st century by working in different fields and interacting with the opposite gender. McMorris and Glass (2018) state that another oppressive area in that Islam is not letting women come out is the interaction with the opposite gender. Many analysts indicated that women should not interact with the opposite gender as that is not part of the Islamic religion. This further prevents women from becoming part of diverse businesses. It can be said here that this is one of the reasons which has made UAE more of a male-dominated society, while the UK is continuing to become a more liberal society. There is a need to ensure that women are not restricted due to religious aspects.
The findings of this study are based on the research material imperative for the research. Therefore, the study suggests that in early Christianity, the role of women was considered weak and was only confined to stereotypical roles. However, in the 21st century, Christianity has improved the role and importance of women in Christian societies and communities while removing the gender roles that often led to women's oppression. Similarly, the research also mentions that Islam has raised the status of women by eliminating various legal incapacities and inferiority while also providing them with prestige and influence in the Islamic community and society. More specifically, it is important to mention that the perception of the world towards Islam and teaching are now getting due to the continuous efforts made by scholars and Muslim leaders in highlighting the true preachings of Islam, especially in the context of the role and right of Muslim women. Therefore, in the 21st century, women in Islam actively participate in businesses, sports, community services, and Islamic education. However, the study's findings also show that in the 21st century, Muslim women still face various challenges and barriers associated with a lack of education and are often deprived of their rights.
The research also emphasises that due to misinterpretation of Islamic texts for political gains, women often become victims of violence and oppression. However, the findings of this study highlight that various steps are being taken to minimise the challenges Muslim women face. Furthermore, the study also emphasises the role of women in the Christian and Islamic societies by comparing them in detail. Moreover, the study also presents that many Muslim and Christian women can break stereotypes in tough socio-political conditions and overcome barriers by becoming leaders. Furthermore, the study also finds that countries like the UK and UAE have built certain policies to protect women and provide them equal opportunities.
The UK also strongly focuses on gender roles through religion because of the beliefs related to the different roles of men and women in society. According to the study's findings, Christianity in the UK significantly impacts gender roles. Similarly, the UAE also ensures that gender rights are carried out by implementing equal rights. The religion’s influence on gender roles in the UK and UAE is different in some ways, as well as similar in some ways. The study suggests that making women part of the socio and economic development is an approach that should not be carried out at all. However, women leaders are known for rising to the socio, and economic challenges in the past and are continuing to do so in the current situation. Therefore, the chances of women surviving and succeeding in these societies are significant low despite the religion allowing them to be part of the development aspect.
Women in various parts of the world face challenges and issues that require the immediate attention of policymakers, advocates, and non-governmental organisations. Similarly, many aspects of women's empowerment have seen major progress. However, women still suffer from the gender pay gap, small business proportions, living in poverty, remaining lessened in public offices, and experiencing domestic violence. Furthermore, women still suffer from significant disparities associated with race and ethnicity, which is responsible for damaging women's status, health, and well-being. Therefore, certain policies and programs can be developed to address the inequalities against women and improve the status of women while impacting the lives of women, men, and children worldwide. Therefore, recommendations to improve the role of women in the 21st century are mentioned below.
The study focuses on the role of Islam and Christianity and their influence on the role of women in the 21st century. Therefore, the study investigates the contribution of women in the 21st century from a perspective of religion and identifies that the early perceptions regarding women have been eliminated from society. However, women in Islamic and Christian societies still face challenges and barriers that damage the role of women in the 21st century, such as domestic violence, abuse, sexual harassment, and low opportunities. Furthermore, the key elements pertinent to the role of women in the 21st century are the Islamic and Christian scriptures, which are quite distinct from one another. Islam promotes equality for women, whereas the Christian scriptures highlight the submissiveness of women.
Furthermore, the study contemplates the influence of Islam and Christianity on the importance of women and analyses that Muslim women in the 21st century face more problems than Christian women despite the contradicting scriptures. Even though most Christian societies are developed in the 21st century, women still face challenges associated with career, sexual harassment, and domestic violence. However, by following the recommendations provided in the study, women in different societies can improve their roles.
This study can be beneficial for women worldwide and educate men regarding the role and importance of women in a developed and progressing society. The research provides appropriate recommendations and strategies to improve the role and status of women in the 21st century, enabling them to benefit from society. Therefore, by practically implementing the recommendations provided in the study, policymakers can create safety measures for women, ensuring their importance in society. This study is also important for religious leaders across the globe because the research offers and provides an in-depth analysis of Islam and Christianity and their influence on the importance of women. This study also provides an opportunity for social workers to address the points necessary for women's empowerment.
Furthermore, the research also successfully provides details regarding the role and importance of women in the UAE and UK, which might be beneficial for different states and regions where women face violence and oppression and allow the local authorities to raise concerns about the situation. Moreover, governments of various countries can obtain essential data from this research to identify the problems faced by women and create plans to mitigate such challenges. Therefore, this study is important for religious scholars and students worldwide because it enables them to obtain accurate information and understanding regarding the Islamic and Christian religious scriptures, which emphasise the importance of women in society.
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