Throughout history, women have struggled to free themselves from abuse and mistreatment. In most ancient cultures — and even some modern ones — women were considered property to be bought, sold, or inherited like animals. They were looked down upon morally, socially, and spiritually and were considered inferior to men in every way. They were blamed for all human misfortune. In order to atone for their despicable nature, women were expected to serve and please men.
Women of Pre-Islamic Arabia
The position of women in the Arabian Peninsula was no exception. At the birth of a girl child, families would go into mourning and hide themselves from the community in shame. Many girls were buried alive in infancy. Those who grew up were treated as slaves or servants until they reached the age of marriage. Then they were sold as wives or slaves to their husbands, who could sell, trade, use, or abuse them as they wished.
In most of the world, gains in women's rights have been realized just in the past century. In France, women were finally granted the right to own property in 1938. American women gained the right to vote in 1920, after a long and arduous struggle.