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ISLAMIC FEMINISM. 14.09.11. FEMINISMS No Boundaries Produced in particular places with context bound issues It is a plant which grows in its own soil. But that does not mean that there can’t be common issues. ORIGIN.

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  • No Boundaries
  • Produced in particular places with context bound issues
  • It is a plant which grows in its own soil.
  • But that does not mean that there can’t be common issues.
  • Qasim Amin father of Egyptian feminist movement. ‘Women’s Liberation’ 1899
  • Nisa ‘I’ – 1920’s
  • Al-Ittihad al-Nisai al Misri (Egyptian feminist union) 1923.
  • Malak Hifni Nasif in 1909 – Al-Nisaiyat (About Women)
  • Unthawiyat (womanists) –Nassawiyat (re-makers of women)

Nilufer Gole 1990’s ‘The Forbidden Modern’

& Margot Badran- ‘Opening the Gates: A Century of Arab Feminist writing’.

Feminists, Islam and Nations, Exploring Islamic Feminism etc

  • Mai Yamani 1996 ‘Feminism and Islam’.
feminists may be calles as
  • Muslim Feminists.
  • Believe in Islam, gender equality but also tend to use argument outside Islam such as an international human rights agreement to counter gender inequality or secular law of the country.
  • Focus on Quran rather than of Hadith and Shariah
  • Islamist Feminists

- Advocates for a political Islam- that Quran mandates an Islamic govt.

- Advocate women rights in public sphere but do not challenge gender inequalities in the private sphere


Islamic Feminists (IF)

  • Seek full equality of women and men in public as well as private sphere.
  • Some Alambardars have hijacked Islam & it is damaging
  • IF call for authentic interpretation of Quran
  • IF want to restore original Islam
  • Cultural & political interpretations damaging
  • Patriarchal laws have damaged the true spirit and equality of Islam
  • Family laws have been damaged by alien ideologies, distortion and intrusions.

IF want to connect theory and practice- male theorizing not helpful in every day life.

  • IF is based on ONENESS OF GOD TOWHEED- and not to obey “male power”.
categories of feminist
Categories of feminist
  • Economically dependent, uneducated, rural-urban group
  • Middle class, urban , educated, financially secure group. It also includes academics & researchers-as pressure groups.
  • Upper middle class and elite women, men whose position allows them to pursue liberation and development stances.
theoratical underpinnings
  • Liberal Islamic Feminists:

- Basically rebellious of patriarchal society

  • Women right for education
  • Equal rights in public space
  • Right to work
  • Challenge conventional authority of male, e.g. in marriage, inheritance
  • Women could be head of state

Modernist & Secular Islamic Feminists;

  • Liberal theory from within Islam
  • Self-control in sexual urges instead of dress codes and segregation.
  • Sometimes they compromise to situations for as women did in Iran and Sudan .
  • Critique of traditional interpretation of Islam
  • Fundamental human rights- to develop physical, mental and spiritual potentialities, pro-male structures are problematic and should be eliminated.

Radical Islamic Feminists:

- Second and third generation are radical activists.

  • They are concerned about the technicalities enshrined in legal and Islamic .
  • They do question male dominance but sometimes accept patriarchal norms as genuine as veil.
  • Dialogue on issues such as work place, worship place, family intermixing.
  • They critique male’s politicization of Quranic interpretation and Prophetic Sunnah.

Secular Feminists :

  • Religion is private affair.
  • Religion and state should be separate
  • They are concerned about internal variations of Islam-which has impact on our economic, political, cultural, subordination.
  • Inherent hostility of women rights and fundamental notion of divine laws are problematic
  • Human rights should be international and have no cultural boundaries
  • As Muslims their position itself becomes challenging.

Conservative Islamic Feminists:

  • Women are equal but different.
  • Segregation of sexes and purdah necessary to control.
  • They ask for segregated education, hospitals, business etc
  • Women at work place is a threat to morality and productivity of the society
  • They counter the efforts of liberal feminists
  • The younger generation has a different stance and they look for jobs, state generated discriminatory laws, domestic violence, marriage rights ….