The Definition of Women
Women can be defined as an adult female person; a grown-up female person, as distinguished from a man or a child; sometimes, any female person.(Brainy Quote, 2011). In other words woman is a wife and a mother which also characterized the roles of woman in the life context.
Before Being a Women
Before being a woman, this woman being a girl who belongs to be a partners (parents) daughter and a sister towards her siblings. To be woman, the process will go through many steps which it will involve mentally and physically developed. On their teenager’s time, the roles as a girl and women want to be already being hold by them by which they have to take care their parents’ dignity and to taka care of themselves. Different in western culture, the responsibility to take care of daughter was not tough as in Malay culture by which some elders also quotes that “menjaga lembu sekandang lagi mudah berbanding menjaga anak dara seorang”. This proves that to take care upon a daughter is a big challenges in Malay context as daughter will represent parents’ behaviours.
Though, it was a compulsory for girl’s teenagers to take care of their behaviour and even words. Every word that may come form them will be taken into account. Differ with boys with everything that boys did will not being cared by the society but if it comes to girls; the parents have to face the consequences that come form any action. For example, it is okay if boys go back to home late at night but it is inappropriate for girls if they came late at night even for study purpose. The gaps between these two genders being viewed in different perceptions in Malay context even the intention of the actions might being the same Thus, no wonder if girls become earlier matured compared to boys as since small they have to be responsibility towards many things especially regarding themselves.
Women’s Role After Married in Malay Culture.
Today as I read in Mingguan Wanita magazines, as usual I always opened up at the page the problems that always occurred in marriage. As usual the problems like husband having an affair, and the mischief husband always being in my concern when I am reading this magazine.
Let me share one article that I’ve read in this magazines but I am not so sure about which edition it was. The story begin with the woman who have education level high than her husband. At the beginning of married there were no problem for them as they did not have any kids yet but the problem start occurred when they have 4 children which to send all of the children to the nursery will take a lot of cost. So the women willing to give up her job which have more income than husband in order to take care of kids at home. After a few months, she can see how her husband changes in term of being so mean and disrespect towards her. At first, she was thinking that might be her husband tensed of works. The truth starting to invent when her husband had to outstation in Penang and after he arrived home, his wife take his bag to do some laundry and unfortunately, she found women’s clothes in her husband bag. She did not ask her husband at that time but she waited until morning and then she asked her husband about the clothes. The husband without mercy had committed to his wife about his ‘game’ and that things already started three months ago.
This is one of the examples of the situation that happened in Malaysian’s couples’s marriage. The situation which husband become forgets his root and will have other women whenever they have the chances was not a new thing that occurred in today situation. Who should being blamed on? The husbands? Or the wives?
Some men will put a blamed on women which most of them said that their wives become less attractive after married especially when they have children. They wives will have less sense of fashioned even at the home which make most of them take things for granted by having a scandal out from house. Is this just an excuse of the exact situation?
These are the challenges being women in Malay society. To being blamed was a nature since them in their childhood time. Everyone will find their mistakes and will blamed them on what happened but when the things was just in order not even single of them say thank you to them.
Firstly, the women roles in Malay context is to take care of the family in term of their families affairs like food, clothes and anything that related to house chore. Even planned family budget also on women part of responsibility that’s why many of today’s women preferred to have maid and sometimes assistant in order to assist them as many of today’s women is carrier women so, to do all of house chore by herself was not a easy task.
If a marriage couples getting married for many years but unfortunately does not have any kid yet, the blamed also be put on the women part. A man will always have the excuse to divorce his wife or to marry again if his wife fails to bear him children. A childless family is subject to all kinds of gossips and comments, the popular one being, “seperti rambutan jantan, orang berbunga dia berbunga, orang berbuah dia tidak”, (Like a male rambutan tree, others flower, it also flowers, but others bear fruit, it bears nothing). This shows how important it is for a family to have children, which by their presence, will not only provide at atmosphere of families in the home, but most importantly will strengthen the marital bond between the spouses.(Yaakob harun, 2009). So it was essential for women to tried and cherishes her husband all the time although it was beyond of her willingness.
For children, as a mother, woman has to keep looking on her children and also take care of her children education so that her children will not neglect their studies. Mother also a person that children will ask for protection if they are scare and feel insecure. So the task of women was not easy as we thought. Mother also the one that have to take care of daughter dignity as they did before on their teenager’s time. Malay parents will theoretically disown their children who bring shame to the family by their act of sexual misbehaviour. Such misbehaviour by the children is expressed in a saying, “menconteng arang ke muka ibu bapa” (to scribble charcoal on the parents’ faces). As a result of which, the family will be in disgrace. It is even worse if an unmarried girl ever gets pregnant for its effect could never be kept away from public knowledge. As the adage says, “bangkai gajah tidak boleh ditutup dengan nyiru, ” which literally means ” the corpse of an elephant can never be hidden under a sieve”. So, the mother again need to keep her eyes on her daughters especially so that the situation mentioned above will not happened in their families.
As conclusion, the roles of women was continuously without non stop as in order to take care of her family the big sacrifice was needed in term of they have to sacrifice their leisure time by which filled it with the time for family.
The Values of Women in Malay Perspective
Nowadays, women roles on daily life are something irreplaceable. Yet, we should admit that women was a soft creature with tow hands but she still doing all of the works by herself with I think men was not capable to do the same although they being asked to do the same thing like women does.
As a mother, all of us also have the same values towards mothers in term she is the one that we will share everything and always light us up whenever we upset. That’s why most of the women always put away their feelings in order to cherish people surround them.
The role of women as homemaker is almost universal, particularly in traditional cultures. Household chores like preparing meals for the family, cleaning, washing, ironing, and taking care of babies and children have always been regarded as women’s responsibility. The Malays regard the wife as “ibu rumah” or the nucleus of the family. The nickname of “orang rumah” or the person who manages the house given by the husband to his wife explicitly explains the expected role position a woman should undertake when she gets married. Malay parents also give the nickname of “orang dapur”, or the person who manages the kitchen to their new-born baby girl, as opposed to the nickname of “orang balai”, or the person who sits in the hall, given to their new-born baby boy. It has been the society’s perception that a woman’s place is in the home. The notion, “no matter how educated a girl is, she eventually ends up in the kitchen’, had, at one time, greatly influenced the minds of the Malay parents, to the extent that daughters were deprived of their chances of getting good education. Only after Independence that more educational opportunities were extended by the Malay parents towards their daughters. When a married woman assumes the role of homemaker, it does not mean that she is solely held responsible for the management of the family or of the house the family lives in. Tasks such as repairing the house, painting, fixing roof tiles, etc., still fall under husband’s responsibility. He is to be blamed if the house he and his family live in, is in a dilapidated state. In the eyes of the general public, it is a disgrace to see a woman climbing up to fix roofs, or taking up the tasks of house repair, even though help from her husband, or from any male member of the family is not readily available.
Women in Islam Perspective
As in Islam, the violence’s towards women was prohibited. As women is one of the most people that should being please most. Islam condemns all forms of violence towards women as it is the basic Islamic premise of equality between women and men cannot be achieved so long as violence against women persists.
The example form of violence against women is that committed by husbands on their wives. Islam requires that husbands treat their wives with respect and it prohibits any form of physical or emotional abuse. The Quran requires that spouses treat each other with love and mercy. (Quran 30:21). Moreover, the Quran repeatedly warns against the use of injurious statements by a husband against his wife. (Quran 58:2-4). (Muslim Women Leagues, 1995)
If it happened that women being raped, as society we should not put a blame on her as it was not her fault to being raped by the criminal. As being mentioned in the Muslim Women Leagues, 1995 rape, unfortunately, remains a common form of violence against women. In addition, the woman is often blamed for being the victim of rape. Islam views rape as a violent crime against the victim, against society, and against God. The perpetrator has committed a crime and hence is morally and legally responsible. The victim is an unwilling partner in the sex act and thus bears neither blame nor stigma. To either ostracize or condemn the victim because she was compelled to engage in sexual intercourse is against the laws of Islam as the victim was an unwilling, and therefore, a blameless participant.
As conclusion, women should give the honour in the society as the roles that they played were unidentifiable as the roles that they did was not easy as other task. In today reality in which most of the women have their own career and sometimes will let go their career just to take care family affairs. So, the credit should being given to them.
Let’s leave the bad perception and the stereotype about women behind and start to put men and women on the same level. What we can do is start from the family by avoiding stereotype and classified our children in their specification of task like boys just did the boys’ chore while girl just doing girls chore. Sometimes just let them did other gender task. For example, it is not wrong if sometimes boys helped mother in the kitchen while girl helped their father did repairing chores. What we should do now is letting they mingle around with other tasks sometimes.
Women In Islam (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2011, from Women In Islam: http://www.uga.edu/islam/Islamwomen.html
Harun, Y. (2009, September 3). Malay Family. Retrieved April 24, 2011, from Malay Family Values: http://malayfamilysystem.blogspot.com/2009/09/malay-family-values.html
Women Aid Organizations. (2001, March). Retrieved April 24, 2011, from Women Equality in Malaysia: http://www.wao.org.my/news/20010301statusreport.htm