How Does Religion Portray Women’s Rights?

The issue of women’s rights is a serious discussion that is currently taking place in all societies across the globe. So, what do the religions say about women’s rights? How are the roles of women portrayed in both the Bible and Qur’an? Are women really seen as less than men? The contemporary narrative about religion and women is; religion is sexist, and in order to build a strong and powerful society, we need women at the forefront of global decision making. To what extent do both religions support this narrative? How does religion define equality amongst men and women?


The Bible portrays women to be weaker vessels and as such, men are to treat them with respect and dignity. Also, it made it clear that women are the same before God. As a result, they are to be loved unconditionally. However, women are under the control and protection of men. Therefore they are to be submissive wholeheartedly to their men.

1 Peter 3King James Version (KJV)

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.




In Islam, women are given rights similar to those of men. In fact, it is the responsibility of men to take care of women. A woman at a young age is under the care of her father. When she gets into her husband’s house, it’s the responsibility of the husband to cater for her needs. When she’s old, it is the responsibility of her children to take care of her. It is the responsibility of men to give women protection. Women also have equal rights as men when it comes to education, inheritance and any other thing in the society. A man is in no way superior to a woman. Women are mothers the mankind.

“And for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women.” Qur’an 2:228
“Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so - for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.” Qur’an 33:35
“Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer - We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.” Qur’an 16:97
“O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion. And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them unless they commit a clear immorality. And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them - perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good” Qur’an 4:19
“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” Qur’an 30:21

  • Felicia Amos

    I see the Bible as a balanced Book,it portray’s the rights of both the male and female equally,is just the understanding and the right way of application that we lack.