The politics of being Muslim and female

Religion, feminism and hierarchies of knowledge

Authored by: Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor

The Routledge Handbook to Religion and Political Parties

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138500464
eBook ISBN: 9781351012478
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781351012478-10

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Abstract

Social hierarchies marginalise women by prioritising male ways of being and knowing, and existing. However, for centuries women have engaged in political activism to challenge their marginalisation and to demand equal recognition of women’s contributions to civilisation. Such activism by and for women is ‘politics’, yet for a very long time, women were ignored in western political theory. Focusing on the experiences of Muslim women and informed by a feminist epistemological stance, this chapter seeks to unravel women’s negotiations around religious and gendered identity markers, exploring how one influences the other to ‘politicise’ Muslim women. In doing so this chapter will take its readers on a journey through the evolution of feminist political thought, particularly where it intersects with women’s religious practices and beliefs.

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