Since the 18th century, there were voices that would advocate for women rights and their participation in the public sphere more vigorously. The advocates of women rights and their participation in public life were Europeans. While Europe attribute feminism as the outcome of the Enlightenment project, it is also important to credit a Muslim scholar of early 12th century, Ibn-Rushd who could be rightly called as the first proto-feminist. He for the first time argued that women and men were the same. He saw no difference in their intellectual capabilities.

He advocated their active participation in society and performance of all tasks, including those that had been the prerogative of men. He insisted on allowing women a greater role in public affairs for the benefit of the entire state.

In present times, when female liberties are under frequent attacks both in Europe and especially in the Muslim world, scholars and human rights activists can refer back to his work to counter the extremist and conservative narrative that is presently dominating the public and intellectual spheres of our lives. How aptly the above-quoted words describe our society that is amongst the most unsafe places for women to live in!