Displaying items 16 - 30 of 39 in total
  • Archive Resource

    Narratives of Egyptian Marriages

    Mulki Al-Sharmani critically examines the institutional narrative of marriage constructed and sustained by substantive family laws, juxtaposed against the lived experience of marriage for many women in Egypt. Based on the doctrines of classical schools of Islamic jurisprudence, Egypt’s family laws uphold a contractual model of marriage in which a husband acquires the right to a wife’s physical and sexual availability in the conjugal home in return for the obligation to provide for her and their children. …

  • Archive Resource

    Our Bodies, Our Selves: The Bangladesh Perspective

    In Bangladesh there is a well-documented reign of patriarchal institutions and practices, causing women to have little control over their bodies and restricting their experience of the completeness of a vital body and a vital mind. However, this control over women’s bodies appears to be shifting, and nearly all the key elements tat constitute ‘bodily integrity’ are in a state of flux. Whether this is the beginning of a new era with weakened structures, norms and customs remains to be seen, but it certainly is a change. The male-dominated society and economy is now experiencing an increasing infiltration by women of all ages and social classes, with significant implications for siciety’s and men’s hold over women and their bodies. …

  • Archive Resource

    Recent Reforms In Personal Status Laws And Women’s Empowerment: Family Courts In Egypt

    This report presents the findings of a field study on family courts in Egypt. The aim of this twelve-month ethnographic research, which started in January 1, 2007, was to conduct an in-depth study of the litigation process in family courts in order to identify its strengths and weaknesses in regard to meeting the legal needs of female disputants and strengthening their rights. A secondary goal of the study was to examine the effect of the new structures of family courts (e. g. …

  • Archive Resource

    Recent Reforms In Personal Status Laws And Women’s Empowerment: Family Courts In Egypt Executive Summary

    This is the executive summary for a report which presents the findings of a field study on family courts in Egypt. The aim of this twelve-month ethnographic research, which started in January 1, 2007, was to conduct an in-depth study of the litigation process in family courts in order to identify its strengths and weaknesses in regard to meeting the legal needs of female disputants and strengthening their rights. A secondary goal of the study was to examine the effect of the new structures of family courts (e. g. …

  • Archive Resource

    Reforming Muslim Family Law For Developing Guidelines For Reforming Muslim Family Laws

    The aims of this workshop held in Cairo from 9-11 January 2009 were threefold: 1) disseminate the findings of the research on the reforms in Egyptian family laws and their impact on women’s empowerment, 2) exchange knowledge on reform trajectories in family laws in a number of Middle Eastern countries, and 3) have a regional debate about reform trajectories, strategies, challenges, and successes in regard to the question of women’s rights and Muslim family laws. The workshop was attended by members of women’s rights organisations, judiciary, lawyers, students of gender studies, researchers and academics, and representatives of relevant government bodies such as Ministry of Justice. …

  • Archive Resource

    Reporting Anita: Nudity in Nigerian Newspapers

    Charmaine Pereira’s and Bibi Bakare Yusuf’s chapter is a study of a sex scandal in which nude photos of a Nigerian actress, Anita Hogan, appeared in print media in 2006. The publication of the photos transgressed normative and legal prescriptions about what constitutes legitimate exposure of the female body in the public arena. …

  • Archive Resource

    Sexuality And Women's Sexual Rights In The Gambia, IDS Bulletin, 37.5

    Drawing on grassroots activism by the women’s rights NGO GAMCOTRAP, this article considers contested forms of sexuality in the Gambia. Among these are polygamy, early marriage, sexual abuse, female genital mutilation, marital/statutory rape, forced retirement by spouse from sex due to menopause, trafficking in women, and lesbianism. Arguments relating to Gambian culture and Islam are central to the contestations around these issues. For example, some men cite articles in the Koran as justifying polygamy, and many women accept this as their right. …

  • Archive Resource

    Small Powers, Little Choice: Contextualising Reproductive And Sexual Rights In Slums In Bangladesh, IDS Bulletin, 37.5

    How do young married women fare in an urban slum in Bangladesh? This article is based on in-depth ethnographic fieldwork among 153 married adolescent girls, aged 15–19, in a Dhaka slum, carried out from December 2001–January 2003. The author finds a shift away from the traditional arranged marriage practices, with 81 out of 153 young women having “love” marriages. Young women now have greater mobility and freedom to choose their own partners, but at the same time, face greater instability in marital relations. The lived experiences of engaging in sexual relations with their spouses are fraught with contradictions. …

  • Archive Resource

    The 'Religious' In Debates About Reforming Egyptian Personal Status Laws

    In this paper, presented to 'Pathways: What are we Learning?' Analysis Conference, Cairo, 20-24 January 2009, I want to argue against a common and perhaps a temptingly easy understanding that posits a direct and problematic link between the challenges of reforming Egyptian personal status laws and their seemingly inescapable religious identity. Such a reading has a homogenizing effect that: 1) collapses those who take issue with the proposed changes in the substantive laws from a religious perspective into one unitary position, 2) fails to appreciate the interconnectedness of secular (e. g. human rights) and religious discourses that frame the debates about the new legal reforms, and 3) conceals a number of underlying issues which go beyond the question of the religious boundaries of the family laws. …

  • Archive Resource

    Unmarried in Palestine: Embodiment and (Dis)Empowerment in the Lives of Single Palestinian Women

    Penny Johnson makes connections between the narratives of two generations of unmarried women and matters of embodiment, sexuality and (dis)empowerment. Marriage is a key institution through which heterosexuality as well as gender may be understood as being constituted and potentially reconstituted. …

  • Archive Resource

    Unmarried In Palestine: Embodiment And (Dis)Empowerment In The Lives Of Single Palestinian Women (Article)

    There are rising numbers of single women across the Arab world. While this is usually connected with delayed marriage, Palestine shows a unique pattern of early but not universal marriage. This article looks beneath the statistics to investigate the stories behind this trend. How do young unmarried women negotiate boundaries and understand and enact choice in the context of a society experiencing prolonged insecure and warlike conditions, political crisis and social fragmentation and where the high number of unmarried women can be an increasing locus of moral panic? In conducting focus groups with two generations of women, my research looks at the prevailing importance of education, civil society and security in negotiating space within women's lives and uncovers a long tradition of unmarried women leading full and significant lives which needs to be recovered from the past. …

  • Archive Resource

    Unmarried In Palestine: Embodiment And (Dis)Empowerment In The Lives Of Single Palestinian Women (Report)

    Using topical life stories, focus groups, data and discourse analysis, this paper, presented to 'Pathways: What are we Learning?' Analysis Conference, Cairo, 20-24 January 2009, explores the experiential diversity and thematic commonalities in the lives of Palestinian unmarried women, in the context of a society experiencing prolonged warlike conditions, political crisis, and social disruption. In particular, the project examines dynamics of choice, embodiment, responsibility, and survival, as well as attempt identify structural, social, political and economic factors shaping Palestine’s rather unique pattern of early, but not universal marriage, with a relatively high proportion of never-married women (but not men) over time. Comparing topical life stories of an earlier generation of largely educated unmarried women (now 40-65) who often had a clear trajectory of a life committed to the national project e and/or self-improvement with the diverse voices found in focus groups of contemporary young women (18-25) in diverse locations in the West Bank offers a window into how choice and responsibility operate differentially in the lives of unmarried women. Issues explored are how unmarried women place and value themselves in family and societal settings, how families and communities view unmarried women and shape these choices and responsibilities, and how unmarried women narrate marriageability, self-fashioning, and embodiment. …

  • Research Project

    Legal Reform and Feminist Activism

    This project researched the reforms that have been taking place in Egyptian personal status laws since 2000. The aim was to examine the unfolding reform story and what it entailed in terms of successes and challenges for women's rights activists in their pursuit of justice and equality in marriage and divorce rights, and for Egyptian women at large who seek legal redress in family courts. The focus of the study was on two aspects of the reform story: 1) the process of mobilising for the new laws, building alliances, choosing strategies, and making concessions, and 2) the implementation of the legal reforms in the new family courts that were introduced in 2004. …

  • Research Project

    Mapping Women's Empowerment: Experiences from Bangladesh India and Pakistan

    The collection of essays in the book aims to capture the variety of policies, discourses, debates and interventions that have influenced the lives of women in South Asia and to identify those that have led to greater empowerment of women. …

  • Research Project

    Negotiating Empowerment. IDS Bulletin 41.2

    This bulletin is devoted to exploring what empowerment means in the everyday lives of women in different situations and circumstances. …