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Gender Blindness And Societal Influence In Late Ottoman Damascus: Women As The Creators And Managers Of Endowments

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Based on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Damascene waqf documents as well as juridical normative sources, this article focuses upon the pious foundations as a gender blind institution. In other words, stipulations (shurūt) which regulate the creation and management of endowments are identical for both men and women: the question, apparently superfluous, was, in fact, not even raised in the normative literature - it was simply a given. The article also reflects upon the fact that both men and women founders of waqf, juridically free to choose the beneficiaries and the administrators of their endowments, were in reality subject to societal influences which conditioned their choices.

Affiliations: 1: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut de Recherches et d'Etudes sur le Monde Arabe et Musulman, Maison Méditerranéenne de Sciences de l'Homme, Aix-en-Provence


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