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dc.contributor.authorIdris, Iffat
dc.identifier.citationIdris, I. (2022). Approaches to gender/inclusion from conservative Islamist perspective. K4D Helpdesk Report 1220. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies. DOI: 10.19088/K4D.2022.141en
dc.description.abstractRestrictions on women’s rights are a common challenge in conservative Islamic societies; while these societies are often highly patriarchal, religion (Islam) is typically used to justify such restrictions. Attempts to overcome these using Western, liberal values largely fail because they are seen as alien and anti-Islam. This has led to the emergence of movements demanding rights for women based on Islam – the argument made is that Islamic sources have been interpreted historically by male scholars in a misogynistic manner. Reinterpreting these from a modern, feminist perspective can give women rights – and the Islamic origin of these makes them acceptable. Islamic feminists also cite historic examples of Muslim women playing leading roles, e.g. in the judiciary, to overcome resistance to women’s empowerment. Another approach is mobilising support from men, especially male religious leaders. Such approaches have been applied successfully in a number of Muslim countries, including Egypt to obtain the right to divorce for women, and Morocco where state-certified female Islamic scholars (Murshidat) promote a liberal, tolerant Islam. This review looks at approaches to promoting women’s empowerment in conservative, Islamic countries. It is based largely on academic papers as well as some grey literature and media reports. There is quite extensive literature on Islamic feminism, and some on the experience in different Muslim countries. However, this is largely focused on promoting women’s rights in relation to family/personal matters, as well as political participation, and far less on women’s economic empowerment. While reference was found to children/youth in the context of female empowerment (e.g. right to education) the review did not come across specific examples of promoting the rights of youth and children in conservative, Islamic societies. The available literature obviously had a gender focus, but was disability-blind.en
dc.description.sponsorshipForeign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)en
dc.publisherInstitute of Development Studiesen
dc.relation.ispartofseriesK4D Helpdesk Report;1220
dc.titleApproaches to Promoting Women’s Rights from a Conservative Islamist Perspectiveen
dc.rights.holder© Crown copyright 2022en
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  • K4D [937]
    K4D supports learning and the use of evidence to improve the impact of development policy and programmes. The programme is designed to assist the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and other partners to be innovative and responsive to rapidly changing and complex development challenges.

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