Salaam alaikum everyone, insh'Allah you're all doing well and are in a great state of health and iman.
One of my friends on Facebook shared an interesting article about some changes that are going to be made to Turkish mosques. Read it HERE
Personally, I'm very happy that something like this is going to be done. Mosques are not only for men...but for men AND women! Unfortunately, this is something that a lot of people seem to have forgotten in our ummah, which is so sad. Not having a separate wash room for women to make wudu is just absolutely ridiculous. It's also unacceptable for men to be offered a wide, open, clean, and beautifully ornamented space in which to worship Allah(swt), yet all women get is a cramped, dirty little corner. A lot of people seem to use the excuse that it's "better for a woman to pray at home anyways" not to offer nice women's areas in mosques. However, these same people also seem to forget that the Prophet Muhammed(saws) said “Do not prevent the female servants of Allah from the Mosques of Allah.” [Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 0886] However, this is exactly what these people are doing by not providing an acceptable prayer space for women within the mosque!
As for taking down the barriers...personally, I like having a barrier. I know that some sisters do not, and feel that it is sexist, but I find that it helps me to concentrate, and I like the added privacy. I'm also aware that in the time of the Prophet(saws), men and women didn't have any barriers between them in the masjid. However, I have been to masjids both with and without barriers...and I always felt weird at the ones that didn't have at least a curtain separating the brothers from the sisters...mostly because certain brothers can't seem to be able to keep their eyes to themselves, may Allah(swt) guide them -_-' All the mosques that I've been to in Morocco have a barrier, but you can still hear the imam nice and clear. Usually, the women's areas in Moroccan masjids are on a balcony above the men, and have a decorative wall in front of them so that brothers below cannot see in. They have also all have had separate toilet and wudu areas, separate entrances, and they have all been clean and spacious (with the exception of a few which were a bit crowded...but it might have just been because it was Ramadan, and the mosques are always crowded during Ramadan...heck, I had to pray Eid al Adha prayer this year on the SIDEWALK outside the masjid because there were so many people attending, subhan'Allah!) Anyways, Morocco gets a thumbs up in my book for their women's areas in their mosques. Heck, a lot of them are 100 times better than some of the women's areas I've been to in AMERICAN mosques.
In short, I'm so glad Turkey has decided to make its mosques more women friendly, the way mosques should be.