Muslim Feminism & Women's Rights in Islam

Islamic and Woman symbolsThe debate over women's rights and Islam is often politicized and riddled with stereotypes. Muslim women are not all Woman power logovictims, renegades or standard-bearers for religious or cultural authenticity. They are not foils with which to bash Islam or through which sympathetic Westerners can congratulate themselves on their cultural superiority. True solidarity with women in the Muslim realm means paying less attention to self-serving male rulers and to cosmetic official initiatives and more to the lively, often contentious debates taking place within Muslim societies. True solidarity means paying more attention to the diverse voices of women and to their ideas of how they want to advance their own cause. These voices are secular and religious, young and old; they are also often critical of Western policies in the region.

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Muslim Women Activists and Leaders

Photo: Nawal El Saadawi during a women’s march / Source: Wikipedia

Photo: Nawal El Saadawi during a women’s march / Source: Wikipedia

Fatema Mernissi, a Founder of Islamic Feminism [] * Remembering Islamic Feminist Fatema Mernissi [NPR]

Social - Gender Issues

Feminism & Rights

Literature. (Recommended Readings)

The Rise of the Islamic Feminists | The Nation [2013]

Is there such a thing as Islamic Feminism? / Ghulam Esposito Haydar (

Feminism and Islam: Legal and Literary Perspectives is the title of Saudi scholar Mai Yamani's 1996 book comprising the essays of a substantial number of women scholars who are articulating an emerging Islamic feminism. (Published for CIMEL by Ithaca Press, 1996).

Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) Dossiers

Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) Newsletters

Islamic Law & Law of the Muslim World eJournal

Feminism Inshallah : the story of Arab feminism. New York, NY : Woman Make Movies, [2014] Filmmaker and author Feriel Ben Mahmoud tracks the progress of Arab women in their long march to assert their full rights and achieve empowerment. 1 videodisc (52 min.) In Arabic and French subtitled in English. [@ Dean Room Videodisc 6065--Uris Library Hours/Map].

Contesting female, feminist and Muslim identities : post-socialist contexts of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo / edited by Zilka Spahic-Siljak. "Prepared in the framework of the Regional Research Promotion Programme in the Western Balkans (RRPP), which is run by the University of Fribourg upon a mandate of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, SDC, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs" Foreword / Margot Badran -- Introduction / Zilka Spahić-Šiljak -- Women and politics / Lamija Kosović and Zilka Spahić-Šiljak -- Feminisms and Islam / Zilka Spahić-Šiljak -- The contexts of BiH and Kosovo / Gorana Mlinarević, Jasmina Čaušević, Ardiana Gashi [and others] -- Being a woman / Zilka Spahić-Šiljak and Lamija Kosović -- Becoming a feminist? / Zilka Spahić-Šiljak -- Conclusion / Zilka Spahić-Šiljak.

Feminist Movements in Egypt. Throughout the world, there have been a variety of marches, protests, events, and movements to encourage women's rights. Whether it be for voting rights, reproductive rights, or professional rights, women and their allies have had to fight for their place. In this article, Arab America contributing writer, Carrie Stewart, discusses Egypt as the most active Arab country with feminist movements. Read more


Featured Resources

Islam & Feminism (Video/Streaming)

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Islamic feminism | Malika Hamidi | TEDxFlandersSalon

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Islamic Feminism

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