Ladies, it’s quite a holy problem

Published in Deccan Herald: Ladies, it’s quite a holy problem


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Ladies, it’s quite a holy problem…

Arefa Tehsin Sep 28, 2013 :



During the country-wide protests and debates over the rape and acid burn cases and status of women in society, most people call for change – change in the societal mind-set as the long term solution for the strengthening of women rights. But how can we do a quick-fix job to the age-old mould of our culture? Moreover, how did the culture come to be so? 

This therefore questions the basis of a society’s morals. Ex-President of the US, Jimmy Carter, says that religion is one of the basic causes of violation of women’s rights. The statement adds an interesting dimension to the whole debate. Let’s examine the evidence that backs this statement.

Born cursed

The three Abrahamic religions share the story of Adam and Eve. Adam was made first by God and then Eve as an afterthought for his company. She was the temptress who induced the noble Adam to defy God and subsequently being exiled from Heave
n. “Of the woman came the beginning of sin, and through her we all die.” (Eccles. 25:22)
Apparently, sin began with Eve and it seems that the womankind has never stopped paying for that sin, starting with the way nature has made them. The believers across religions consider a menstruating woman unclean and forbid her to touch religious scriptures. Many orthodox Jews may not shake hands with a woman for the fear that she may be ‘unclean’. Numerous Hindu households in India don’t ‘allow’ a woman to step in the kitchen or touch anyone else’s food during her periods, as the food would get spoilt on her touch. 

The Catholic Church forbids abortion, even if the woman is a victim of rape or her life is in danger due to pregnancy. Several temples and mosques prohibit women to pray there or enter the premises. The official witch hunting trails till the 18th century were backed by the verse, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” (Exodus 22:18-20)

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