A Woman’s Right to HerPhysical Integrity

Gamal Serour is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Director of the International Islamic Center For Population Studies and Research and former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. He won the United Nations Population Award in 2013 and the Nile Prize for Science in 2018. Since 2019, he has been a member of the Islamic Research Council Al Azhar.

This paper argues that Islamic law protects a woman’s right to bodily integrity and honor.

  • Preserving the Body and Honor: Islamic law considers a woman’s safety and honor to be of high importance. It forbids harming a woman’s body or violating her honor. Penalties are prescribed for assaults.
  • Woman’s Guardianship: The woman herself has the primary right to protect her body and honor. This is supported by Quranic verses emphasizing individual responsibility and judgement.
  • Autonomy and Consent: A woman’s will and decisions regarding her body must be respected. This applies to marriage, medical procedures, and family planning. The paper cites Quranic verses promoting gender equality and mutual responsibility among believers.
  • Examples of Bodily Autonomy: The paper mentions a woman’s right to choose marriage, practice family planning, and avoid harmful practices like female circumcision.

The paper concludes that Islamic law grants women significant control over their bodies and decisions that affect them.

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