Islamic Feminism and Regional Background Research

My project research has focused in its early stages upon 20th and 21st century feminist thought in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Prominent figures from this section of analysis include Leila Ahmed (the second photo), Fatima Mernissi, Irshad Manji, and Amina Wadud (the third photo), all found in the first photo provided. Other authors like Mona Eltahawy, Saba Mahmoud, and Fatima Sadiqi are also significant participants in this dialogue but are not featured in hardback form in that primary picture. Some of these featured feminist thinkers enter into direct and indirect debate with each other and Islam’s role in women’s political lives in the Middle East. Thus, a diverse set of beliefs upon the subject across a diverse landscape broadens the opportunities for political interpretations and inspirations. I believe this research has been a crucial first step in my overall understanding of the intellectual and historical basis for women’s involvement in political reforms in the Arab World in the 21st century.
All Books

In addition to these more general texts on Islam and feminism, I have begun background research regarding the states I am focusing upon most in my project. Those states are primarily Morocco and Tunisia. Nonetheless, understandings of other states’ political experiences in the 21st century and before, especially in regards to women and gender, will provide important context later in my research. The third and final section of the project will encounter women’s engagement in the Arab Uprisings of 2011 and beyond, a dynamic which can most clearly be represented in cases like Egypt, Yemen, and Bahrain.

Leila Ahmed  Amina Wadud

I now have a strong basis to continue conducting my research with a broadened understanding of the underlying social and political settings predating women’s political involvement in reforms in the Arab World in the past 15 years.