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Islam, Gender, and Democracy in Comparative Perspective$
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Jocelyne Cesari and José Casanova

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198788553

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198788553.001.0001

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Making Spaces in Malaysia

Making Spaces in Malaysia

Women’s Rights and New Muslim Religiosities

(p.266) 11 Making Spaces in Malaysia
Islam, Gender, and Democracy in Comparative Perspective

Maila Stivens

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the significance of gender relations, gendered action, and women’s rights claims in making new politics, new publics, and new private spheres within the Malaysian national Islamic modernity project. The closely entwined moral projects of a modernizing state and revivalist Islam, especially the highly gendered cultural politics of the recent Islamizing order, have posed significant challenges for both Muslim and non-Muslim activists seeking spaces for women’s rights claims. Rejecting a simplistic association of struggles for gender justice with secularisms and secular modernity, however, the chapter points to the roles of Muslim women in the long histories of women’s organizations and women’s sections of parties, and the importance of women’s active engagements in the remaking of Muslim thought and practice in recent years. Contemporary womanist and feminist dialogue and practice are seen as highly significant elements in the ongoing reshaping of “public” and “private” spaces alike.

Keywords:   secularisms, women’s rights, Malaysia, gender justice, Muslim thought, womanist and feminist dialogue

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