On November 11, 2002, 20 women in the Middle East were returned home after spending more than two years in jail simply for dating men outside of their pre-chosen rout. This is not an uncommon practice in many Muslim states, and many women are treated much harsher than this, some even being killed . The media has covered many stories like this, and many more go unreported. It is a major problem in Muslim countries, and rightly so Americans have a stereotype that all Muslim women are treated like this. This is almost all a result of government officials misinterpreting the Quran, believing that it is telling them to not treat women equally to men. This is wrong, as the Quran clearly states in many different places that men and women are equal beings and should be treated accordingly.
One of the clearest demonstrations of women's equality to men is on line 2:226 of the Quran: "And for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women."
Those who are arguing that the Quran treats women as lesser beings than men would be quick to point out the use of the world similar, not equal. While this is a valid point, use of the world similar does not detract from my point. The Quran is still showing that men don't have any more power over women than men have over women. Obviously there have to be some rules that only apply to women and some rules that only apply to men, such as those dealing with birth, and this is what the similar is referring to.
The second prominent example of Allah seeing men and women as equal beings is his constant references to them being equal in the afterlife. As is written in the Quran 4:124,