The women role as wife is confined to house hold work and rearing children. The situation after American invasion of Afghanistan has not changed at all and the society has reverted to the practices of pre-Russian control period. Afghanistan is a symbol of repression for women and the situation is unlikely to improve until the hold of tribal leaders is liquidated. Unfortunately, after the US invasion of Afghanistan the role of these tribal leaders has become even stronger. There is a clear need to improve the status of women in South Asia and Middle East. Women in Muslim countries have a lot of ground to make up to reach gender equality.
A World Bank Report shows that through out the world women have not achieved equal status with men. Figure-1 shows the comparison given in this report [World Bank, 2000]. Developed countries of Europe, America and Eastern Europe are well ahead of the rest of the world in achieving gender equality but women have not achieved equality with men anywhere in the world [World Bank, 2000]. This may appear to be rather suffocating but family is an important component of life in the subcontinent. The values taught form early childhood and reinforced by practical example of the parents and extended family.
Even if the family leaves the restrictive cultural environment of Indian subcontinent and moves to a developed country where these social and economic compulsions are not present, most women of Indian Muslim families respect the traditions of strong families and with the financial security of the developed country still maintain strong family bonds and traditional values. The high rate of divorces, the psychological effects on children of broken families and loosening of the family bond in developed world is often presented as a negative impact of gender equality in traditional societies.