In the era of the Prophet Muhammad, men were being decimated by tribal feuds and wars thus generating many widows who were left alone to fend for themselves and their children. Since it was very harsh for them to survive in the desert, the Harems emerged. The concept was to shelter and protect these widows into the household of prominent men such as the Prophet among others. Harem comes from "Forbidden" implying a "DO NOT ENTER" dictate for outsiders vis-a-vis the women in the Harem, Over the years matters shifted and the culture evolved and the "DO NOT ENTER" sign slowly became a "DO NOT EXIT" also and then even primarily a "DO NOT EXIT".
Overprotection slowly developed into oppression. What was a good intention initially became abuse and exploitation of women. There is an arabic proverb that states: The Woman is the Mirror of Society. This may explain why the "DO NOT EXIT" sign did not take long to appear. If the women are the makers and molders of society, society better keep those women out of sight so as to not risk being tarnished, shamed or tainted, or worse straying from the Word of the Prophet. Most Muslim men tend to be very insecure that way and dread the effect that emancipated women would have on society.
The West is Evil for these Muslim men because western women run loose and wild and look what they do to their society: divorce, abortion, contraception, single motherhood, promiscuity, homosexuality, etc. Looking at the ever growing and disproportionate power and prominence women are enjoying in America these days, especially in certain progressive societal and political circles, I must say that some days I can see where Muslim men are coming from...Hec, I can even see as far back as Eve in the Garden of Eden, when she screwed it all up for Adam and all of us!
They do say behind every great man there is a great woman. They also fail to explain what that woman is doing to that man from behind. I once had such a woman and then divorce came...Now you understand!
One sure way Muslim women would bust out and tear down the "DO NOT EXIT" sign is through education, hence the fear of the Taliban, that caused them to commit this horrific crime on young Walala. They are on average 60-70 years behind us. That many years ago American and western families also did not see much point in educating their women. There was no Harem but if you were an unmarried woman you had no status in society.
Incomprehensible as it may be, several large Muslim States have had women leaders since Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan (1988): Indonesia the most populous Muslim-majority country, elected Megawati Sukarnoputri as president. Bangladesh, the third most populous Muslim-majority country, elected Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina as prime ministers. Turkey elected Tansu Çiller, who became prime minister in June 1993. Senegal's Mame Madior Boye was Prime Minister from 2001 to 2002. Kosovo, President Atifete Jahjaga was elected in April 2011. Unheard of: Atheist Roza Otunbayeva, an atheist, was sworn in as President of the Muslim-majority Kyrgyzstan in July 2010. Nearly one-third of the Parliament of Egypt- the fifth most populous Muslim majority nation- also consists of women.
Finally TALIBAN COUNTRY is now featuring many female politicians like Fauzia Koofi on her right and Sima Samar on the left.
I would say the above record is quite impressive and dwarfs our American women political achievements. For one, never a female president or Senate Leader. I was also going to say not even Speaker of the House then I remembered Pelosi...bummer! The puzzling fact is that American women constitute the majority of the electorate but they cannot seem to snatch the top posts. I guess women do not trust each other that much. Imagine a cat fight in the White House! Lincoln will die another day!
So there is a method to the Muslim madness about women. They have been snatching top positions in their respective countries right and left since the early 80s and seem to enjoy the trust of their people. That is quite progressive and inspiring for societies considered years behind us.
Maybe we should stop disparaging and start learning!