Journal of the University of Alicante's
Institute for Gender Studies Research
No. 26, December 2015
FEMINISMOS EN LAS SOCIEDADES ÁRABES
Eva Lapiedra Gutiérrez (Coord.)
This article analyses the main historical and ideological features which have characterized Arab feminism since its origins in the second half of XIX century until nowadays. In its initial phase, Arab feminism was articulated within a nationalistic and secular discourse, and the first women’s organizations worked hard in defence of girl’s education, female work and the achievement of legal equality. On the very sensitive issue of wearing the hijab or not, most urban and learned women were against it. With the reislamization of Arab societies –a process that arose in the 70’s of XX century– the so-called «Islamic feminism» appeared both in Arab societies and in western countries. This is a new and controversial phenomenon that coexists –sometimes in harmony, others showing their strong differences– with secular and liberal feminism..
 Este artículo apareció originalmente en el n.º 46 (enero-abril, 2014) de Encuentros Multidisciplinares (UAM). Las editoras de este número de Feminismos han considerado adecuada su reimpresión en atención a su interés y a su adecuación al tema del monográfico.
This article focuses on the origin and development of Islamic feminist hermeneutics of the foundational texts of Islam – the Quran and Sunnah –. The reinterpretation of the founding scriptures of Islam, far from the traditional patriarchal and misogynistic readings, emerged in the late 80s and early 90s, giving birth to the paradigm of Islamic feminism as critical to the identification of Islam as a source of inequalities gender. Our analysis of the first methodological proposals – as well as more recent from innovative approaches – made by Muslim theologians and thinkers women about the liberating role of sacred texts can play in the emancipation of Muslim women concludes that exegetical hermeneutics, from the beginnings of Islam, registered methodological differences that have not looked in a global policy consensus.
Key words: Genre, Islamic Feminism, hermeneutics, the Quran, ijtihad.
Qasim Amin (1863/5-1908) was not the first Arab author in the context of contemporary Islam who wrote and campaigned for the liberation of women, but has been considered the first theorist and the antecedent par excellence in the history of the Egyptian feminist movement. The aim of this paper is to characterize the author feminism in relation to its assessment of the crisis in the Arab world. In particular, I focus on the following issues: Amin’s thesis on female slavery and the relationship between its causes and reformism of the author, according to the criteria he himself points out: freedom and common interest. To further characterize his position, I also consider Amin’s thesis in relation to some of the criticisms and proposals of Stuart Mill on the subjugation of women, one of his sources of inspiration.
Keywords: Arab contemporary reformism– liberation of the women – 19th Century Philosophy.
In this article we will approach the history of the Muslim Brotherhood since its foundation in 1928 until today, and the women’s section of the same Muslim brotherhood called Muslim Sisters. Then, we present and analyze the opinions or fatwas included in the official magazine of the Muslim Brotherhood about women, trying to prove with it the wrong interpretation that they do when they deal with women issues.
Keywords: Muslim Brotherhood, Muslim Sisters, Islam, Fetua, Women.
In January 2015, al-Khansaa Brigade –female section of the self-styled Islamic State– went a step further in his hitherto functions of propaganda, recruitment and moral police to disseminate a manifesto detailing the role of women in the new caliphate. The analysis of this document reveals the renewed challenge gender equality is facing in the Arab world before Islamic rigorism, as well as some similarities with other manifestations of the same fundamentalist and antifeminist tenor in non Arab Islamic environments.
Keywords: Al-Khansaa Brigade, gender equality, involution, rigorist fundamentalism..
This article ought to analyse the evolution of the strategies used by women’s organizations in three countries of North Africa (Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco) to achieve progress regarding their rights and equal opportunities in the context of the processes of political transformation under way in these countries since 2011. The article underlines several experiences of citizen mobilization and social activism trying to identify the links and relationship developed between women organizations and new movements and collective action led by young people. It describes these interactions and their impacts on strategies and modalities of work of women organizations. The paper also identifies the obstacles faced by these organizations to get greater influence in the transformation of their societies and better achievements related to gender rights and equality.
Keywords: social movements, North Africa, Women’s rights, gender, political participation
This paper traces changes in Tunisian public discussion of violence against women, comparing the situation before and after the start of the «Arab spring» in December 2010. It highlights key events following December 2010 and explores how these influenced public discussion. The paper concludes by looking at several cartoons from four women cartoonists, one from Tunisia, three from other countries in the Arab world, that address issues of violence against women. It suggests that humor may help denounce violence against women, and argues that the women’s movements in the Arab world must do more to include marginalized women in their struggles.
Keywords: Women, Violence, Arab, Tunisia, Cartoon
This article describes the training program for college students to become murchidat, female religious guides. The Moroccan state has developed and codified this new category since 2004, showing a traditional transmission of Islam by female and shaking the male establishment of the structures of the Islamic religion. The training and recruitment as officials of the new religious guides provides new job opportunities and a certain emancipation through religion to young believers students, transformed into community leaders whose mission is to convey a moderate Islam that has been strategically shaped by the Ministry of Religious Affairs to control religious speech and radicalization. Also it is shown in the text the voice of the new women religious guide showing the similarities of their speech to the concepts of the current Islamic feminism. Finally, it is proposed as the recruitment of women by the Moroccan administration can respond to a movement of re-Islamization of Moroccan society through an Islamic state feminism.
Keywords: Islamic feminism, women religious guide, mourchidates.
This paper aims to analyze the various feminist and women´s movements in Morocco and its movement to the Moroccan diaspora in France. Our objectives are, on the one hand, to study the feminist and women´s movements from their inception to the present day, and on the other hand, to understand the speeches of the militant migrant Moroccan women in France and their strategies of integration and militancy. In this analysis, we discover how the integration of militants into the host society is not homogeneous, nevertheless, the exercise of militancy reaches its peak due to the increased recognition of the skills of these women in the fight for the rights of Moroccan women.
Keywords: feminist and women´s movements, Morocco, migration, diaspora, France.
Mujeres, nacionalismos e islamismo en Palestina. Elementos para una lectura feminista de los conflictos en Oriente Próximo
As UNSCR 1325 completes fifteen years, feminism and pacifism need to rethink their relationships with women’s movement in the Middle East. The conflicts in the region have a gender impact that cannot be assessed without analysing the effects of western colonialism and imperialism over the construct of «woman», as well as the relations between main political forces on one side and feminism and women’s movement on the other one. The case of Palestine shows how in a context of prolonged military occupation, Israeli colonialism, Palestinian nationalism and Islamism have used women’s bodies to develop their respective rhetoric of ethnic cleansing, national liberation and Islamic authenticity. The so-called dichotomy between secular feminism and Islamic feminism is contextualized, and some recommendations are put forward to avoid new identity essentialisms. In between resistances and negotiations, Palestinian feminist movement points out innovative strategies to allow situated and equitable dialogue.
Keywords: arab feminism, women and peace, palestinian women, israelí-palestinian conflicto, feminism and multiculturalism.
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