Displaying items 16 - 30 of 91 in total
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    Feminist Voices and the Regulation, Islamization and Quango-ization of Women's Activism in Mubarak's Egypt

    This chapter examines the context in which diverse forms of women’s activisms thrive in Egypt today. It is a politically volatile context, in which political space expands and contracts in unpredictable ways. It is also a context in which women’s national machineries are making claims as the principle actors mediating between the international community and the state on gender matters, and between state and society. …

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    From Status to Rights: The Shifting Dimensions of Women's Activism in Iranian Family Law Reform

    This chapter will examine the contemporary legal, social and religious (jurisprudential) debates over the recent revisions to Iran's Family Protection Act (2011). By highlighting the differential tenor of these debates in various sectors of Iranian society, this chapter will reveal the tensions over women's status and rights in Iranian society, the role of law in shaping that status from 'above,' and, finally, the disparate groups claiming the authority to define women's roles in the Iranian social order. …

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    Getting Hotter By The Day: The Debate On The Legalisation Of Abortion On Demand In Brazil

    Article on the debate around abortion legislation in Brazil. Currently abortions are only legal in Brazil when the pregnancy results from rape or when it puts the mother’s life in risk. Unlike middle and upper class women, who can afford to pay for a clandestine abortion in modern, safe clinics, many young, poor, black women die from illegal abortion. …

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    Interrogating the Rights Discourse on Girls' Education: Neocolonialism, Neoliberalism, and the Post-Beijing Platform for Action

    This article examines how girls’ education since 1995 has emerged as a prominent symbol within the ‘rights’ discourse coming out of the Beijing Platform for Action. By highlighting the neo-liberal and neo-colonial processes during this time, particular shifts are traced which show how girls’ education has been a symbolic part of the geo-political canvas in Pakistan and Afghanistan alongside the ‘war on terror’ and universalisation of education. The article refers to alternative voices which have attempted to disrupt the global narrative of the post-Beijing ‘rights’ agenda and points to the problems of this in the context of occupations, militarisation, and markets being used simultaneously as strategies for global governance and order. …

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    Islam And Abortion: The Diversity Of Discourses And Practices, IDS Bulletin, 39.3

    One in four world citizens across the globe identify themselves as Muslim, and they represent a striking diversity of values and interpretations of Islam’s tenets towards female sexual behaviour and abortion. This is characterized both in the social stigma associated with abortion, and the varying legal status abortion holds in Islamic countries, ranging from legalization to decriminalization in certain cases to full criminalization. In many places, the changing face of society and attitudes towards family size have not kept current with policies and access to contraception, resulting in an increase in the number of abortions and high levels of maternal mortality rates where abortion remains a criminal offense. This article illustrates how a range of strategies including documenting and sharing women’s experiences, advances in abortion techniques, and learning from model countries can be used by a variety of actors and organisations to advocate, on religious, human rights and political grounds, to gain greater access to safer abortion and sexual health services. …

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    Islam and Feminism, Contestations, Issue 1

    Islam and feminism have had a troubled relationship. Over the last two decades, scholars and activists have questioned the western credentials of feminism and claimed justice as a purpose and possibility that can be captured via religious routes. Religion provides women with an ethical framework and a moral foundation that recognizes their rights as individuals and as a collective, albeit redefining equality in the process. The mosque movement in Egypt has empowered women to find dignity, companionship and comfort through piety and conformity to a religious ideal and challenge the less-than-perfect world around them. …

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    Islam In Urban Bangladesh: Between Negotiation And Appropriation

    In the past two decades, women en route to places of work and education have become a very visible part of the urban landscape. In the past five to seven years, women’s active engagement with religion via taleem groups has also left its mark on the public space through, among other things, the proliferation of the hijab - the covering of the head. In light of the new spaces that have opened up for women, this paper, presented to 'Pathways: What are we Learning?', Analysis Conference, Cairo, 20-24 January 2009 explores what it means for these women - the factory worker, the student and the taleem participant to be Muslim. It investigates what it means for these women to have faith, and how they negotiate the performance of rituals. …

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    Islam in Urban Bangladesh: Changing Worldviews and Reconfigured Sexuality

    Samia Huq discusses the reconfiguration of sexuality at the heart of changing worldviews in urban Bangladesh. Until recently, the modernity of the state had been predicated on the notion of a ‘modern woman’, which Islamists have sought to unravel. …

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    Islamism And Secularism: Between State Instrumentalisation And Opposition Islamic Movements

    In Palestine, a reassertion of the ‘secularist’ identity of the ‘Palestinian national project’ is taking place against a deeply divided political society characterised by a Palestinian authority in conflict with Hamas. This article argues that the instrumentalisation of religion by the state has backfired leaving secular feminist activists in an unenviable position – without a constituency or a socially legitimate framework through which to address gender and social justice issues. At the same time, a reassertion of the ‘secularist’ identity is taking place against a deeply divided political society characterized by a Palestinian authority in conflict with Hamas. This conflict accompanying the ‘secularization process’ resulted in crushing the very structure of the notion of citizenship and the figure of the secular citizen subject itself. …

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    Islamist Women Of Hamas: Between Feminism And Nationalism, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 12.2

    In December 1995, when Hamas announced the establishment of the Islamic National Salvation Party, a political organization separate from its military wing, it opened the way for involvement of the Islamic movement in the political processes brought about in the West Bank and Gaza with the signing of the Oslo Accords and the arrival of the Palestinian National Authority. In speaking of the rights of different groups, including women, in its founding statement, and in setting up in Gaza a Women's Action Department, the new party opened its doors to the ‘new Islamic woman’ and to a significant evolution in Islamist gender ideology in Gaza, if not in the West Bank – where, due to Hamas' policy there of targeting only males, there exists no parallel to the Salvation Party or organisational support for women like that represented by the Women's Action Department in Gaza. Hamas' gender ideology, like that of the secularist parties, remains contradictory, and doors to women's equality only partly open; nevertheless, Islamist women have managed to build impressive, well‐organised women's constituencies among highly educated and professional women coming from poor and refugee backgrounds; and the Salvation Party shows an increasing tendency to foster gender equality and more egalitarian social ideals, while holding fast to the agenda of national liberation. These advances have been achieved both through alternative interpretations of Islamic legal and religious texts, and through positive engagement with the discourses of other groups, whether secular feminists or nationalists. …

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    Just Between Us: Identity And Representation Among Muslim Women, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 12.2

    Postcolonial feminist representations of Muslim women as subjects and agents have successfully cleared a space for unsettling oppressive colonial representations of Muslim women as unchanging victims of patriarchal religion and Muslim men. This space has also brought into view new problems and issues that divide Muslim women into feminist and fundamentalists, secular and religious, diasporic and native. This paper focuses on one of the most contentious issues of Muslim women's representation: secular feminists' attempts to represent women in Islamic religious movements. In this process I examine some of the normative and ethical dimensions of feminist research as they emerged in my research with women in the Jamaat‐e‐Islami, a movement for religious reform and renewal in Pakistan. …

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    Laughter, The Subversive Body Organ

    Ana Francis Mor describes how laughter, brought on by cabaret theatre in health workshops in Mexico, was key to changing people, not just their minds, but their hearts and their bodies and what they do with them. Mor describes how women learn gender ideologies from the television soap operas, all-pervasive in Mexico, which take their cue from Catholicism. Mor describes trainings on health run in rural Mexico for women, men and children. The three year programme trained over 30,000 people in total, in four day-long trainings that included participants first identifying key health issues in small groups, and a cabaret theatre working on these issues in the afternoon, and performing them in the evening. …

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    Men Aboard? Movement for a Uniform Family Code in Bangladesh

    In the late 1980s and early 90s, the Bangladeshi feminists mobilised for a uniform family code. Despite the extensive groundwork by the feminists on the required legal changes, the movement failed to attain its goal. The demand for a uniform family code not only challenged male privileges based on Shari'a law but also those based on religious laws of the minority communities. This chapter explores the movement building strategies and negotiations for a uniform family code, particularly feminist efforts to contest the pitting of the ‘right to equality’ against the ‘right to religion’. …

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    Motivated by Dictatorship, Muted by Democracy: Articulating Women's Rights in Pakistan

    Women’s rights activists often cite the repetition of military dictatorships in Pakistan as being responsible for arrested democratic development, worsening gender discrimination and increased theocratisation of state and society. This chapter argues that in fact, whether the nature of dictatorship was repressive and misogynistic (as under General Zia ul Haq, 1977-88) or purportedly liberal and ‘enlightened’ (General Musharraf, 1999-2008), women’s activism has been arguably the most energised and even incomparably influential, during such regimes. This is especially so in terms of mobilised political expression. In comparison, democratic interregnums have tended to mute women political actors, both in government and in civil society or sometimes through self-censorship. …

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    Nari O Dhormo: Akti Poribortonsheel Shomporko

    This report focuses on a project which looks at resurgent Islam and its influence on the formation of female identities and sexualities. The researchers explore the ways in which women in their daily lives engage with religious tenets and observance, focusing on new forms of religious organization and the appeal it has for women of various classes. …