I know the high status which Islam gives to woman. But a non-Muslim asked a scholar if Allah is so Merciful then why woman experience much hardship than man, like she has to undergo painful menses every month, if she has menses just 5 minutes before sunset in Ramadhan she has to make it up, besides the other fasts missed due to menses, she has to bear the child for 9 whole months and experience labour pain for every delivery. The Scholar agreed. I would like to know how is the best way we can explain this fact to a non-Muslim.
Any “hardships” in life are relative. Speaking strictly based on the sex of the person it should be appreciated that God has given each individual the will and the proper abilities to deal with the conditions of life; whatever they may be. Thus, there is no reason to think that women have a more difficult life than men do. They each deal with their own respective matters of life. We could go on and on in regards to comparisons such as, historically. men have had to fight in wars and other such physical hardships but such discussions are meaningless if one considers the big picture. As it relates to the physical matters such as menses or child labor it can be appreciated that both lead to one of the most significant events in a person’s life; the bond of a mother and a child. While in many cases the experiences can be painful the end result is something that the men, who do not suffer this, can never experience. Thus, while it seems that women have a difficult time because of their nature it is balanced out with other aspects of that very same nature.
The argument that women miss their fast even 5 minutes before sundown in Ramadan is a bit unrealistic. Women tend to know when their cycle is about to arrive, so typically this “accident” would not occur as often as it is made to seem. Another point to consider is that the same would be the case for a man who had to break his fast due to a contingency. The complaint about such things being unfair, are a personal opinion that may have only considered one aspect of the matter rather than a deeper consideration of the reality. One can only wonder if God did not exist who would these people blame for women’s “hardships?”
I hope I have clarified the issue.
God knows best.