On the occasion of
Sayyeda Fatima Zahra (s.a)
Ayatollah Khamenei's Opinion on Women's Issues
Women are not of secondary importance and are not servants
The typical image of women at home is the image of a creature of secondary importance who is responsible for rendering services to others. This image is shared by many people. Some people openly express it and some people do not, although they believe it in their hearts. This is the exact opposite of what Islam has mentioned. I have repeatedly quoted this well-known hadith: "Women are like flowers. They are not servants" [Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 31]. The Arabic word "ghahraman" means one's employee or servant. One example is: "He said to his ghahraman to do such and such a task" [Speaking in Arabic]. Another example is that a person who has many properties and lands orders his ghahraman to carry out such and such a task. This is the meaning of ghahraman. This hadith says that we should not think women are the servants of the house and that they should only do household chores. This is not the case. Well, notice that this is one of the several chapters about women: the issue of respecting women's work at home. They are not obligated to do household chores and their work can be bought. That is to say, they can receive money for the work that they do at home. These are the things which exist in Islam and Islamic fiqh. As the lady who delivered a speech in this meeting pointed out, our fiqh is really advanced and outstanding. Some people highlight some aspects of it and forget about the rest. Besides, they completely distort certain aspects of it in order to make it compatible with western deceitful and fallacious thoughts. We have witnessed this as well.
Men and women are equal in human and civil rights
If we adopt a comprehensive outlook, we see that there is no difference between men and women. Certain privileges have been granted to women and certain other privileges have been granted to men and this is based on their natural characteristics which Allah the Exalted has bestowed on them. Allah the Exalted has given each gender certain characteristics. Each gender benefits from certain outstanding qualities. Therefore, they have no differences in terms of human qualities. They have no differences in terms of the privileges which Allah the Exalted has bestowed on humanity such as human rights, social rights, spiritual values and spiritual perfection. That is to say, a man can become Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) and a woman can become Fatima Zahra (s.a.). A man can become Jesus (a.s.) and a woman can become Mary (s.a.). They are not different from each other.