This may come across as a non-answer, but I wanted to point out that there is a difference between "male" and "husband" and "female" and "wife". I am pointing this out because in most popular Islamic discourse about gender (at least up until recently), any discussion of "woman" was basically equivalent to a discussion of "wife" and the two terms were used interchangeably.
Whereas, in reality, a woman's existence is more than being a wife (there are times in her life when she won't be a wife, and times when she may be), and so one can't entirely reduce the question of gender in Islam to shariah laws regarding marriage.
Regarding the Quran, the only place where it actually discusses men and women differently is with respect to a few details about marriage (such as the 'iddah after divorce), pregnancy, or related issues (I would categorize the verse about khimar as relating to marital issues). By and large, the Qur'an doesn't have a lot to say about the nature or "role" of women in society or everyday life and seems to leave it open to people to choose how they want to live.
Regarding laws of shariah which might seem to be unbalanced, there are two views. One is that they are all correct and reflect the will of God in a perfect system. The other is that many of them are correct but some of them might have been misunderstood over the ages and are worth another look. For instance some people question the view why a husband should be allowed to prohibit his wife from leaving the home, since marriage is not supposed to be imprisonment, and in extreme cases this can disadvantage a woman severely. (Even though most people do not live this way and actually keep their wives imprisoned at home, but it does happen and is justified in the name of religion.) This is not the dominant "mainstream" view and is more of a reformist view but may become more mainstream in the future. God knows best.