A woman is an individual whose rights are equally important and protected as those of a man. At the dawn of Islam, when women were degraded throughout much of the civilized and agrarian world, Islam introduced rights and legislation pertaining to women that was radical at the time. In fact, many of these rights were not afforded in the Western world until as recent as a century ago, such as the protected right to inherit from one’s parents and the right to own land, assets, and businesses; the equal right to be educated and become scholars, artists, and teachers. As for dress, much is said about this, particularly with regard to the Muslim woman. It must be stated that both men and women are required to dress modestly, though for women attire is specified to greater detail only when women are in public. Throughout religious history, dress and piety have been closely associated. Only recently has this bond been severed to a severe degree in modern societies.
Islam stresses equality and fairness between men and women, which is most important on a spiritual plane. A man and a woman are equally charged to do good and observe rites of worship, and when either of them fulfill their obligations they are equally commended and rewarded by God Himself. Throughout Islamic history, there have been many well-known women scholars of Sacred Law and other areas of study. Women worked and participated in public life.
The iniquity that many observe these days regarding women in some Muslim lands must not be attributed to Islam per se but to the cultural deviances that have become particular to that land and time. They are deviances that must be urgently addressed by Muslims themselves.