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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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State, Islam, and Gender Politics

State, Islam, and Gender Politics

(p.15) 1 State, Islam, and Gender Politics
Islam, Gender, and Democracy in Comparative Perspective
Jocelyne Cesari
Oxford University Press

The existing literature on women’s rights and Islam falls short of addressing the relationship between the religious debate on women’s rights and the existing rules of law in Muslim-majority countries. This chapter will bridge this gap by analyzing the status of women in the legal systems of Egypt, Turkey, and Morocco. It will evaluate the influence of Islam on the shaping of these laws, compared to other factors like culture, socioeconomic development, and education. Except in marginal cases like Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan under the Taliban, women’s rights in politics, the economy, and education have advanced in all Muslim countries. But there are some limitations placed upon women’s rights using religious arguments. Everywhere, personal rights about family life, sexuality, and dress code remain discriminatory against women. In this regard, the woman’s body has become the main site of the politicization of Islam, by state and non-state actors alike.

Keywords:   gender equality, Muslim countries, women’s rights, socioeconomic developments, status of women

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