Bint Assalaam | 11 April 2014/10 Jumadal Ukhra 1435
There has been shock and outrage after pictures and video footage emerged of a 21 month old baby girl, bound and gagged with packaging tape, at a Johannesburg Day Care Centre. The horrific images of the toddler trying to free herself from her bonds in the crèche’s bathroom were published in the Daily Sun on Tuesday. The tabloid quoted an insider saying the child had been bound for three hours to keep her quiet as the crèche supervisor watched television.
Numerous incidents of abuse of children left in the care of nannies, day care workers and day mothers have been reported. It’s a service that many working mothers – and fathers – regard as the best solution for their needs despite the growing number of incidents. Seeing a limited number of options available to them, many mothers – from all races and religions, weigh the risks and opt to place their children in the care of these “service providers”.
In the United States a Pew Research Center report, released the same day as the above video, shows the rising cost of child care is among the likely reasons for a rise in the number of women staying home full time with their children. And these women are reportedly happier.
A survey conducted by Mumsnet four months ago concluded that “having a child is a real career killer”. “It’s time we support working mothers by offering better subsidised childcare, and a bit of understanding in the workplace.” Because being a professional comes second to being a mother?
The cruel incident and these surveys bring back that contentious debate: Should women – particularly mothers – be in the work place at all?
“My personal feel. Islamically the only time a parent may leave a child under 2 in another care is when a woman suckles them. A foster mom. This ensures motherly love and tender care. And she is allowed to earn an income thereby. The system of crèches before the age of weaning are completely unIslamic and therefore will have risks, [sic]” said Shabana when Cii Radio posted the video on its Facebook page.
Another user wrote, “This is the status of many creches in our country, this sector is not properly regulated, many creches operate whilst not being compliant to the health and safety regulations, they are not registered And operate only to generate an income, the best interests of the children are not considered and practitioners Are not trained to take care of these kids, an appalling state. However, as parents we have the responsibilty to ensure that we put our children in a creche that has their best interest at stake, it is safe and allows them to be stimulated and not be abused. we fail to realise how important the first four years of a child’s life is and hence goverment should prioritise this sector and ensure it is well regulated [sic].”
And They Called it Women’s Liberation – How Women Were Lured out of the Home in the USA, a paper written by Areeba Bint Khalid 10 years ago delves into how single women were drawn into the workforce as cheap labour in the early 1800s.
“It was only when economic or political factors made it necessary to get more workers that women were called to work. The Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, and the World Wars, all the major events which increased the proportion of women workers, were times when the capitalists required more workers in order to be successful in their plans and so they used women.
The move of women from home to the public workforce has been gradual. First poor women went. Then unmarried women. Then married women without children. Then married women without young children. And then, all women. The same thing can be seen to be happening in developing countries around the world, as the West spreads its propaganda of freedom for women to work.”
Areeba’s historical outline of how women were enticed into the workplace documents the increase in the divorce rate, teenage crime and the breakdown of the family unit. Contrary to the 1930’s, women today are encouraged to seek professions outside the home so much so that the “rising cost of child care” and the need for “government subsidised childcare” has become the driving force for mothers to stay at home and – be mothers. Not motherhood.
Single mothers might hit back and say the options open to them are very limited. While that may be true, there is the option available to them to work from home and raise their kids, albeit this being much more difficult, there are many women who have succeeded. What of the women who have no formal education, capital or family support to aid them in initiating a start up company?
A government subsidy would be invaluable to those women juggling work with motherhood alone and should be encouraged, especially by Ulama and Muslim governments. It will allow single mothers placed in the position of having to work the opportunity to be their children’s primary caregiver and make a living from home within the confines of hayaa and hijab, instead of seek employment outside.
Instead society encourages “better child care solutions” and a “subsidy” for women who are not in this difficult situation and who willingly put motherhood second. Ways are also being sought to adapt to a modern family lifestyle, shifting future generations further from the norm than we already are.
Videos like this prove the extent of the degradation of earth’s inhabitants. Amorality has become the order of the day. The lust for material gain initiated the breakdown of the family unit and continues to erode it under the disguise of gender equality. So much so that the natural way has become obsolete, misunderstood and redefined.
With complete faith in Allah SWT and choosing to adhere to the guidelines prescribed in the Quraan, Hadith and Sunnah, nothing is impossible and there is surely help and relief.
In a perfect world fathers would be fathers and mothers would be mothers. People would truly understand the roles they were created for. In a perfect world, stigmas wouldn’t be attached to widows and divorcees. In a perfect world, society would become beacons of support to those in need around us. In a perfect world, humanity would not be in danger of becoming an extinct human quality and cruelty so normal we are desensitized to it.