Need for Islamic Girls Schools
Girls education can be improved and women can play a better role by having separate girl education. A decade of national research on gender difference in learning has documented clearly that girls learn differently from boys. Reports such as the American Association of University Women's 1992 "How Schools Shortchange Girls" and David and Myra Sadker's "Failing at Fairness," conclude that girls are not as well served by the coeducational learning environment as boys are. They receive less teacher attention and find fewer reflections of themselves in the curriculum; their unique learning styles and ways of knowing are often ignored. At all-girls schools, girls have 100% of the teacher's attention in the classroom. Unrestricted by the pressures of a coeducational environment, they find it safe to develop their own voices. Girls in single-sex schools speak up, unafraid to challenge themselves and others to think. They do so from a secure environment that builds upon the strengths, learning styles, sensitivities, and values of girls. In clubs, sports, activities, and in class, girls occupy every leadership role. Every resource available at the school goes toward the development of girls' minds and spirits. All-girl schools provide a place where girls from diverse ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds develop the academic skills, self-knowledge, self-confidence, self awareness and personal strength to achieve their dreams, as well as the empathy and communication skills to support each other on their journeys toward womanhood.
Separate education also helps girls concentrate on their fields, such as cooking, sewing, budget management etc. so they could be good daughters, sister, wives, and mothers.
Morally, a separate school for girls is also a must because it's against Islam to have free mixing of boys and girls. Even in the Masjid, free mixing is not allowed; there are separate sections for men and women. For women, the last row is best and for men the first row is best. Why should it be any different in schools?
There are certainly Islamic schools that provide separate arrangements for boys and girls in North America and Europe. These schools called Darul-Ulooms, specialize in religious teachings. The other "so-called" Islamic schools teach the secular subjects in an opposite environment. Although the subjects they teach may be different, the environment must be the same; both are Islamic schools. The Darul-Ulooms are influenced by the history of Muslims in which there always was a separate arrangement for boys and girls, while the "so-called" Islamic schools have been influenced by non-Islamic cultures.
There are about 400 full time "Islamic schools" in the US but none that meet this essential requirement. We strongly think that it is high time an initiative for a girls only school is started in the US.