Isma: Feminism making women forget their place as homemakers

Isma president Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman said that while Muslim women are allowed to work, they should still prioritise the household before anything else. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
Isma president Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman said that while Muslim women are allowed to work, they should still prioritise the household before anything else. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

SHAH ALAM, April 26 — Feminism does not belong in Malaysia as it is causing women to neglect their husbands and children, choosing instead to work and socialise, Islamist group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) said today.

It’s president Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman said that while Muslim women are allowed to work, they should still prioritise the household before anything else.

“I believe that Asian women, especially Muslim women who still hold on to the principles, know that the main priority of the woman is at home,” he said during his keynote address at the Isma Women’s forum today.

“That (feminism) has a negative impact if it’s not filtered by culture or religion.

“The function of women, even though they can enter all career fields, they cannot prioritise it more than their basic roles because if this is to continue then there will be an extraordinary void in our family institutions where the children that need the love and attention of their mothers,” he added during a press conference, also noting that while feminism is appropriate in the West, it was not appropriate in Malaysia.

He explained that one of the most pivotal roles of women was maintaining a household and raising successful children, something that many are no longer seeing as a priority due to feminism.

“(Women) have a specific responsibility to educate their children. But the situation now needs to be re-examined as the lifestyle of women today are wholly influenced by feminism.

“(Women working) will create an emptiness in (children) that is very extreme for the next generation. And they will try to fill the void with other things that may happen irresponsibly and may affect the development of their character,” he said.

He added that feminism has also given women too much “space” and in turn robbed men of theirs as there no longer are gender-specific careers.

“Unlike before, when some fields are done by men and cannot be done by women, today women can enter all fields; in fact some women are considered more competent. Women can enter all fields and this constricts the space for men to function and there are no longer fields specially for men or specially for women,” he said.

He suggested that women instead only be allowed to work for half a day so that they can return to their families and prioritise the household.

“If we reduce their workday to 6 hours or half day but same salary we can save the family institutions,” he said.