Women's Day: Feminism and Muslim women

International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8. Western societies must do more to educated Muslim women about their rights and opportunities, some commentators urge. Others fear that feminist discourse individualises and isolates Muslim women.

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Politiken (DK) /

No false respect for foreign cultures

Muslim women must be better informed about their rights and opportunities in Western society, the centre-left daily Politiken demands on International Women's Day:

“There is a broad consensus that the lack of success in integration attempts over the past 25 years also has to do with a misconceived respect for foreign cultures. This has stopped us from making it clear to Muslim women that they must take their destinies into their own hands. ... The state cannot and should not dictate how Muslim women live. But it must make sure that they know what options are open to them, and - very importantly - that society expects them to seize these opportunities. It must be clear to everyone who lives here that people are not just family members but also citizens in a society.”

Yeni Şafak (TR) /

Feminism tears women away from the family

Columnist Kemal Öztürk describes himself as an opponent of International Women's Day in the Islamic conservative pro-government daily Yeni Şafak:

“The language, tone and arguments you hear on this day claim to defend women, but in fact they have just the opposite effect. As mothers, wives and sisters, women are full-fledged family members. The feminist discourse, however, uproots, individualises, isolates and alienates them from this context. Whereas within their families women are protected, loved and exalted, they are isolated and forced into another role by the [feminist] jargon and philosophy. Things are taken to such lengths on March 8 that the quest to train women as lone warriors fighting for their rights incites their anger against their families, husbands and children.”