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14. Political Science

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Chapter Summary

This chapter extends the analysis beyond the formal field of political science and examines influential works on women and Islam from the fields of sociology and anthropology as well. Steven Fish contends that women in countries in which Muslims are a plurality or a majority of the population suffer systematic discrimination and that this discrimination significantly hinders democratization. In contrast to Fish, who measures women's status with statistical measurements of socio-demographic indicators such as literacy gap and sex ratio, Ronald Inglehart and Pippa Norris cite opinion surveys to argue that attitudes towards women's rights are significantly more patriarchal in the Muslim world than elsewhere. The study of Muslim women must also be committed to an understanding of the political contextual influences that continue to shape the constraints, opportunities and challenges they face.

Keywords: Islam; Muslim women; Muslim world; Pippa Norris; political science; Ronald Inglehart; Steven Fish



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