In the Qur’an, different numbers of witnesses are called for different crimes. For example, it takes four reliable witnesses to condemn a woman for adultery:
Those who accuse chaste women and then fail to produce four witnesses to support their allegations, the court shall order eighty lashes to such accusers. And, never in the future accept their testimony. They indeed have drifted away from morality. (Qur’an 24:4)
(And if you notice, the Qur’an kind of immediately takes her side. The punishment for adultery is the same for both men and women–one hundred lashes, lightly as to not penetrate the skin.)
Different requirements are outlined for different trials. And yet the absurd idea that two women are needed to equal a man is incorrectly inferred from one verse describing a situation that isn’t even nearly as serious as adultery.
O believers, when you contract a debt one upon another for a stated term, write it down, and let a writer write it down between you justly, and let not any writer refuse to write it down, as God has taught him; so let him write, and let the debtor dictate, and let him fear God his Lord and not diminish aught of it. And if the debtor be a fool, or weak, or unable to dictate himself, then let his guardian dictate justly. And call in to witness two witnesses, men; or if the two be not men, then one man and two women, such witnesses as you approve of, that if one of the two women errs the other will remind her; and let the witnesses not refuse, whenever they are summoned. And be not loth to write it down, whether it be small or great, with its term; that is more equitable in God’s sight, more upright for testimony, and likelier that you will not be in doubt. Unless it be merchandise present that you give and take between you; then it shall be no fault in you if you do not write it down. And take witnesses when you are trafficking one with another. And let not either writer or witness be pressed; or if you do, that is ungodliness in you. And fear God; God teaches you, and God has knowledge of everything. (Qur’an 2:282)
This verse is basically about an interest-free loan, and the misconception comes from the lines in bold. As anyone with even an ounce of common sense can see, nowhere in the verse is it stated that the testimony of two women is needed to equal the testimony of a man. Nor does the verse prefer male witnesses to female witnesses. Instead it addresses the composition of the court for each sex, and asks for the presence of two women in case one of them is threatened or intimidated. Juries have always been dominated by men, and, from the beginning of forever, places of power such as within juries have been hostile toward women. There is still a glass ceiling in legal systems. (There was a quote on microaggressions of someone saying something along the lines of, “It makes us look bad when people see women in our firm.”) Verse 2:282 provides women strength by virtue of number=power. If a man dares condescend on her due to her sex she will have support to keep her from being bullied into a certain perspective.
It’s ridiculous that anyone would come up with two women = one man from this one verse, especially with the entire Qur’an stressing equality, and yet here we are, because insecure men panicking about power are just that desperate. They’ll look for anything–anything!–and because they are privileged in society, they will have no problem finding way to make it explode into deceptive validity.