Displaying all 14 items
  • Archive Resource

    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. …

  • Archive Resource

    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. …

  • Archive Resource

    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. …

  • Archive Resource

    Local Feminism: Between Islamism And Liberal Universalism

    In this paper Islah Jad argues that the spread of universal women’s rights discourse, based on the liberal individual notion of rights, potentially ignores the different contexts in which ‘indigenous’ forms of resistance by feminist movements takes place, and risks sidelining some important knowledge and gains that have been achieved by these movements. In the Palestinian context detaching feminist struggle from the wider context of the emancipatory struggle for national liberation has led to the marginalization of women’s movements and the subordination of their claims for rights to a universal donor agenda. …

  • Archive Resource

    Local Power and Women's Empowerment in a Conflict Context: Palestinian Women Contesting Power in Chaos

    Palestinian women’s political participation is marked by the Israeli occupation and a volatile political situation. This chapter argues that the political chaos following the Oslo Agreement of 1993 has led to civil society fragmentation and the marginalisation of certain groups. However, women’s traditional involvement within the Palestinian national movement led to their assumption that society would adopt a non-gender biased perspective during elections. …

  • Archive Resource

    Palestinian Women Contesting Power In Chaos

    Palestinian women's political participation is marked by the Israeli occupation and a volatile political situation. This article argues that the political chaos following the Oslo Agreement of 1993 has led to civil society fragmentation and the marginalisation of certain groups. However, women's traditional involvement within the Palestinian national movement led to their assumption that society would adopt a non-gender biased perspective during elections. Disappointing results led to the formation of a coalition to campaign for a quota system. …

  • Archive Resource

    Quotas: Add Women And Stir?

    At the Millennium Summit world leaders committed to reducing extreme poverty through a series of targets encompassed within the MDGs, with a deadline of 2015. One of these was to promote gender equality and empower women, and the ‘proportion of seats held by women in national parliament’ was set as a key indicator. With the MDG Review Summit meeting in September 2010, this is an opportunity to consider whether the proportion of women in parliament continues to be the most adequate proxy for women’s political empowerment. This IDS Bulletin explores what the quota has meant as a motorway to women’s accession to political power by drawing on research findings from the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment Research Programme Consortium (‘Pathways’), as well as a series of articles from a special seminar in the Brazilian National Congress as part of this programme, and contributions from other country case studies. …

  • Archive Resource

    Reclaiming Feminism: Gender And Neoliberalism

    Even the most devoted believers in the neoliberal paradigm will have had their convictions shaken recently, as the world’s markets have played havoc with their faith. For those who have long questioned the purported benefits of neoliberal economic policies and highlighted their injurious consequences, it comes as little surprise that this 'grab-bag of ideas' is in freefall. The focus of this IDS Bulletin is particularly apposite at a time when much-cherished axioms are being re-inspected and where new possibilities and directions are so badly needed. Contributors add to a growing, vibrant debate about Gender and Development. …

  • Archive Resource

    Women in Politics - Palestine

    This case study examines the role of women in local councils in Palestine. It asks how in a context of continued occupation where most of the governance system is paralysed can women wield any real political power? …

  • Research Project

    Complex Terrains - Islam, Culture and Women in Asia. Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 12.2

    The special journal issue sprung out of a special panel at the IACS 2009 Tokyo Conference. The panel, entitled ‘Women Negotiating Islam’ had looked at how women in different locations cope with the ways that religion, either as politics or as culture, enters their lives. …

  • Research Project

    Gender, Rights and Religion at the Crossroads, IDS Bulletin, 42.1, 2011

    This bulletin explores how religion has been used in an instrumental manner by global, local and national actors as a means of engaging with gender issues in Muslim communities. …

  • Research Project

    Local Governments between building the Islamic Nation and Women's Empowerment

    Islah Jad's research examined the role of the newly elected local councils in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, elected in 2005-2006. The Islamic Resistance Movement - HAMAS - participated in this election for the first time and was supported by large numbers of women.  …

  • Research Project

    Quotas: Add Women and Stir? IDS Bulletin 41.5

    This bulletin is devoted to exploring what the quota has meant as a motorway to women's accession to political power. It draws on research findings from Pathways, as well as presentations given at a special seminar held in the Brazilian National Congress. The bulletin raises the questions of who are the women who are best positioned to benefit from the quota as a fast track option, what are they enabled to do once in office via the quota seats, and what kind of gender agendas does the critical mass of women who have come to power via the quota espouse and advocate? …

  • Research Project

    Reclaiming Feminism: Gender and Neoliberalism. IDS Bulletin 39.6

    This bulletin arises from a conference of the same title that was held at the Institute of Development Studies in July 2007 in collaboration with Birkbeck College. It sets out to provoke reflection on the now ubiquitous notions of 'empowerment' and 'agency' within neoliberal development discourses on gender. It also seeks to raise broader questions about the politics and political economy of Gender and Development. …