Gender Equality in Islam
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Definition of Gender Equality
Gender or another term is feminism. Feminism is the understanding that women are truly part of the human realm that demands equality with men in every aspect of life, regardless of their nature and nature. This equality is then referred to as gender equality. The word “Gender” or commonly read “gender” is a subject that is already familiar, although there are still many people who still do not understand what gender is in the right understanding. Because, in the Indonesian dictionary between gender and sex still do not have a transparent difference. Etymologically gender comes from English, namely “gender” which means “gender”. In this case it is fundamentally confirmed, gender is different from biological sex. In this case, biological sex (sex) is a gift from our God created as a man or a woman. Sex concentrates more on one’s biological aspects, including differences in the composition of hormones in the body, physical anatomy, reproduction and other biological characteristics. Whereas gender in that sense identifies differences in men and women from a non-biological angle. Between gender and sex (biology) it must be distinguished.
This concept of gender is sometimes often obscured by the understanding of sex (sex). Though sex is a biological concept as a categorical identity that distinguishes between men and women; male with female. Sex identity is natural from birth. Therefore sex or sex is permanent and universal. Whereas gender is a set of attributes and cultural roles that show others as masculine or feminine.
In other words, sex is generally used to identify differences in men and women in terms of biological anatomy. That is, the term concentrates more on aspects of one’s biology, including differences in chemical composition and hormones in the body, physical anatomy, reproduction, and other biological characteristics. Meanwhile, gender understanding as expressed by Mansour Fakih is a trait inherent in men and women who are socially and culturally constructed. For example, the woman is known to be gentle, beautiful, emotional, and motherly, while men are considered strong, rational, male, and mighty. These characteristics can actually be exchanged, meaning that there are men who have emotional, gentle, and motherly qualities and there are also women who are strong, rational, and mighty.
 Discussing gender issues means discussing women’s and men’s issues in people’s lives. In discussions about gender, including gender equality and justice, there are two schools or theories, namely nurture theory and nature theory. However, it can also be developed an inspired theoretical concept from the two theoretical concepts which is compromise or balance, called the theory of equilibrium.
Nurture Theory
According to the nurture theory, the differences between women and men are the result of cultural constructions that produce different roles and tasks. These differences make women always left behind and neglected by their roles and contributions in family life, community, nation and state. Social construction places women and men in class differences. Men are identified with the bourgeois class, and women as proletarian classes.
Theory of Nature
According to the nature theory, the distinction between men and women is natural, so it must be accepted. Biological differences provide indications and implications that between the two sexes have different roles and tasks. There are roles and tasks that can be exchanged, but some cannot because they are indeed different in nature.
In the process of its development, it was realized that there were some weaknesses in the concept of nurture which was felt not to create peace and harmony in family life and society, namely gender injustice, then turned to nature theory. The aggregate of gender inequities in various lives is more experienced by women, but this gender injustice also affects men.
Equilibrium Theory

Besides these two streams there is a compromise known as equilibrium which emphasizes the concept of partnership and harmony in the relationship between women and men. This view does not contradict women and men, because both must work together in partnership and harmony in family life, society, nation and state. In order to realize this idea, in each development policy and strategy to be taken into account the interests and roles of women and men equally. The relationship between the two elements is not contradictory but complementary relations to complement each other. R.H. Tawney said that the diversity of roles is because biological, ethnic, aspiration, interest, choice, or cultural factors are essentially the reality of human life.
The relationship between men and women is not based on dichotomous conflict, nor is it functional structurally, but rather is based on togetherness needs to build a harmonious partnership, because each party has advantages as well as weaknesses that need to be filled and completed by other parties in equal cooperation.
Centuries of women have continued to be under male rule where women are inferior to men and must submit to male power for the smooth and sustainable family. The arrival of Judaism and Christianity has not yet been widely distorted by its adherents but has not guaranteed the position of women as it should be. Then came Islam which tried to elevate the position of women to the level of men. This parallel does not mean making men and women exactly the same in everything. Of course there are certain limitations that distinguish women from men.
Therefore gender in Islam is different from the views of Western feminists or Westernized, Islam is revealed by Allah the Most Just and Most Knowing the nature of Eve, women are placed in a proper position for their interests and happiness in the world and in hereafter. Therefore, if traced in the concept of Islam, what is really interesting is that paradise for women is more easily achieved than men. Like the dialogue that took place between Asma bint Sakan with the Messenger of Allah. Asma ‘said, “O Messenger of Allah, have you not been sent by Allah to men and women alike. Why are some Shari’a’s more pro-men? They are obliged to jihad, we are not. In fact, we take care of their property and children when they are jihad. They are obliged to perform Friday prayers, we are not. They are ordered to deliver bodies, while we are not. ” Rasulullah saw. stunned by this woman’s question while saying to her friends, “Notice! how good this woman’s question is.” He continued, “O Asthma!” Giving our answers to all the women behind you, that is, if you are responsible in settling down and obeying your husband, you will get all the rewards of that man. ” (Freely translated, HR Ibn Abdil Bar)
If you explore the existing gender notions, then the meaning that approaches the meaning of the information above is what is stated by the Indonesian Ulama Majlis, namely gender can be said as a social relationship that distinguishes between men and women according to their respective positions, functions, and roles. various conditions and fields of life.
In the Qur’an, women are placed at least in three positions, namely:
1. Women as male companions, because they are one human being. Word of God Almighty,
ومن آياته أن خلق لكم من أنفسكم أزواجا لتسكنوا إليها وجعل بينكم مودة ورحمة إن في ذلك لآيات لقوم يتفكرون
“And among His signs is He created for you wives of your own kind, so that you will be inclined and secure to him, and He will make you love and affection. Verily in that there is truly a sign sign for those who think. ” (Ar-Ruum: 21). “

يا أيها الناس إنا خلقناكم من ذكر وأنثى وجعلناكم شعوبا وقبائل لتعارفوا إن أكرمكم عند الله أتقاكم إن الله عليم خبير
“O mankind, verily We created you from a man and a woman …” (Al-Hujuraat: 13).

يا أيها الناس اتقوا ربكم الذي خلقكم من نفس واحدة وخلق منها زوجها وبث منهما رجالا كثيرا ونساء واتقوا الله الذي تساءلون به والأرحام إن الله كان عليكم رقيبا
“O people, fear your God who created you from one person, and from him Allah created his wife, and from both of them Allah multiplies many men and women. And fear Allah who by His name you ask each other each other … “(An-Nisaa ‘: 1).

هو الذي خلقكم من نفس واحدة وجعل منها زوجها ليسكن إليها فلما تغشاها حملت حملا خفيفا فمرت به فلما أثقلت دعوا الله ربهما لئن آتيتنا صالحا لنكونن من الشاكرين
“He has created you from one and from him He created his wife so that he will be pleased with him.” (Al-A’raaf: 189).

والله جعل لكم من أنفسكم أزواجا وجعل لكم من أزواجكم بنين وحفدة ورزقكم من الطيبات أفبالباطل يؤمنون وبنعمة الله هم يكفرون
“Allah makes you wives of your own kind and makes for you from your wives, children, and grandchildren, and gives you blessings from the good ones. Then why do they believe in the heart and deny the blessings God?” (An-Nahl: 72).

2. Women’s faith is the same as that of men, even women can dispensary not praying when they come / menstruation.
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَتَنُوا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَتُوبُوا فَلَهُمْ عَذَابُ جَهَنَّمَ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابُ الْحَرِيقِ
“Those who bring trials to those who believe in men and women, then they do not repent, for them is the punishment of Hell and for them the punishment of fire.” (Al-Buruuj: 10).

وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ بِغَيْرِ مَا اكْتَسَبُوا فَقَدِ احْتَمَلُوا بُهْتَانًا وَإِثْمًا مُبِينًا
“And those who hurt the Mu’min and the Mu’minat without their mistakes, then they have carried a lie and a real sin.” (Al-Ahzab: 58).

فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنْبِكَ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مُتَقَلَّبَكُمْ وَمَثْوَاكُمْ
“Then know that there is no God (the Haq) but Allah and ask forgiveness for your sins and for (sin) the Mu’min, male and female.” (Muhammad: 19).

3. The response in the world and the hereafter between men and women is the same.
من عمل سيئة فلا يجزى إلا مثلها ومن عمل صالحا من ذكر أو أنثى وهو مؤمن فأولئك يدخلون الجنة يرزقون فيها بغير حساب
“He who does evil works will not be repaid but is equal to the crime. And whoever does good works, both male and female, while he is in a state of faith, they will enter heaven, they will be given rizki in it without reckoning . ” (Al-Mu’min: 40).

Thus the view of Islam places women in an honorable position. So, whatever their role as children, adolescents, adults, housewives, professionals, etc. they are respectable from childhood to old age.
Prophet Muhammad SAW. Allah sent Islam to spread love for the universe (rahmatan lil alamin) as stated in the letter Al-Anbiya ’/ 21: 107, as follows:
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ
“And We did not send you, but to (be) a mercy to the universe”. (Al-Anbiya (21): 107)