Many a time I have been asked about the the harsh punishment for adultery in Islam and how it is justified etc... This article talks about the Quran and the women's perspective...but an excerpt I thought was particularly poignant:
...verses were revealed to prevent men from slandering innocent women, which we can infer was (and still is) a regular occurrence. ...With the objective of making this as difficult as possible, the Qur’an demands a man produce four witnesses to accuse his wife of adultery; or, in the absence of four witnesses, he may swear to God she is an adulteress four times. And then, to seal the testimony, one more time. But the woman is excused if she then swears four times, and then finally once more, that he is a liar. If she did indeed commit adultery, the wrath of God is upon her, but she is discharged of any worldly chastisement, and the court is dismissed.
Not only this, but as the preceding verse states, the testimony of a man who gives it falselyis to never be accepted again.
Isn't that interesting, and unprecedentedly pro women?
Nahida, the author, sums it up perfectly when she states:
Most of the Quran’s provisions (from inheritance, to divorce [in which men are obligated to provide for their wives for three months afterward in case they are pregnant], to female infanticide, to testimony) are absorbed in preserving women’s interests, so that when the Qur’an notes male privilege it is only recognizing that men have power unjustly, not condoning patriarchy or authorizing this power.