A recent study of 30 European countries including Britain, published by the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology found that depression amongst women in Europe has doubled over the last 40 years due to the burden of having to balance family and home responsibilities with the heavy pressures and demands of work. It reported that women aged 25 to 40 years are 3 to 4 times more likely than men to become depressed due to the ‘tremendous burden’ of juggling home, children, and employment expectations and that 1 in 7 European women are likely to be affected by the condition at some point in their lives.
Dr. Nazreen Nawaz, Central Media Representative, Hizb ut-Tahrir commented, “The Western toxic capitalist system that places the pursuit of economic benefit as its supreme ideological goal, has treated the physical and psychological wellbeing of women as an irrelevant casualty of its overwhelming addiction to material gain. Under capitalism, women no longer simply have the right to employment but are treated as slaves to the economy and expected to work, often long-hours, regardless of the stresses caused or the harm to the rights of children and the family unit. Being ‘chained to the kitchen sink’ has been replaced with ‘being chained to the economic market’.”
“The success and worth of women has come to be evaluated upon their level of wealth creation and tax contribution, such that a pregnant woman or one with young children is often viewed as a burden to a company rather than an invaluable asset to society. Capitalism’s constant drive to secure profit over all else has undervalued motherhood and family life, pressuring women into the workplace, leaving them little time to bring up their children effectively. This is an ideology that has consistently placed profit over people, finance over families.”
“Furthermore, Western feminism and its flawed concept of gender equality placed the man’s traditional role of breadwinner above the woman’s traditional role as home-maker, devaluing motherhood and defining employment as the mark of a woman’s success rather than the successful rearing and upbringing of her children. This has generated a social pressure for women to work in order to feel valued.”
“The oft-repeated argument that respect and liberation of women is not compatible with economic dependence on her husband is often used to label Islam’s prescribed roles of men and women in family life as oppressive. However, in reality this argument has forced many women to become ‘do it all’ superwomen who not only continue to shoulder the bulk of home responsibilities but now are burdened with the heavy injustice of having to also hold down a job and financially maintain the family. It has caused women to often feel failures if they are not able to juggle a successful career with their home duties, as well as suffer from an overarching sense of guilt due to the limited time spent with their children. It is this that should be more aptly described as physical, psychological, and emotional oppression.”
“In stark contrast to capitalism, the Islamic ideology is not based upon securing monetary gain over all other values. Its laws are geared towards looking after all human needs – economic, moral, psychological and social including maintaining strong family units and ensuring the effective care and upbringing of children. Although Islam prescribes the right of the woman to employment and a career, it rejects any expectations for her to work, for it states that all times she is to be financially maintained
by her husband, a male relative, or by the state, such that she is not pressured to compromise her family responsibilities – lifting from her shoulders the great injustice of having to embrace the long-suffering identity of the ‘superwoman’. In addition, Islam does not place the role of breadwinner above that of home-maker but rather appreciates that both are essential for the effective functioning of family life and society overall. It rejects the notion that the success of a woman correlates to her level of tax contribution, and rather bestows great status to motherhood. Consequently, stay-at-home mothers do not feel undervalued but rather are held in high esteem and recognise their great worth in nurturing their children to become upright citizens who are a source of goodness for the community and society. It is the Islamic system therefore that can truly liberate women from the shackles of capitalism.”