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Islamic Feminism: Leadership Roles and Public Representation

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Islamic feminism is a worldwide movement housed within the broader, contemporary reform movement operating in the Muslim world. This feminist subdivision consists of scholars and activists who are working to achieve gender equality and social justice within an explicitly religious, Islamic framework. Although a relatively recent phenomenon, the roots of this trend can be traced back to the mid-nineteenth century, when women in several Muslim countries voiced concerns regarding patriarchal traditions and practices in their societies and formulated principles about women's rights in explicitly Islamic terms. Yet these early feminist expressions were kept at the periphery and were not allowed to influence mainstream Islamic thought or to be implemented into political, social, legal and other rights. They remained marginal and isolated, chiefly due to hostile political and religious establishments.

Affiliations: 1: University of Birmingham;, Email:


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