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Ibn Battuta and the Role of Women

The role of women in society of Dar al-Islam in the 14th century and the world of Utopia have some similarities and many differences. The attitude toward the women of both societies differs for the most part. The location, different centuries and different religious backgrounds tend to account for the differences in opinions of the roles of women.
The role of women in the 14th century society of Dar al Islam is limited to very few tasks. Under the guise of the patriarchal society, the males do not feel that the women can manage work, marriage, free choice and the right to make independent decisions.The women are domestic workers preparing food for many men to eat, preparing rooms for these men to meet in and sleep in, raising children and fulfilling men’s desires. Many of the women are slaves and do many menial tasks. They do not seem to have any free time nor do they seem to be able to further their education.
Ibn Battuta observes different customs as to the treatment of women.He did not agree with many of the local practices concerning women.He thought they were inconsistent with Islamic rectitude.In many cases he is very critical of women having a high status or being able to meet socially with men. He is also critical of women who in his view are not modest in dress, going ;topless;, and not having their faces covered. He praises women who cover up and are thereby ;modest;. Ibn is extremely strict, as a Muslim qadi would be about adultery and prostitution.
One of Ibn Battuta’s greatest aberrations was the women’s modesty and the male;s acceptance of it. While Ibn was in Iwalatan he commented that,”most of the inhabitants belong to the Massufa, and as for their women they are extremely beautiful and are more important than men” (Battuta, 37). This seems to differ from the beliefs Ibn was raised with. The women in his life and religious settings were not more important then men. They wore …


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