Two “hot of the presses” resources have recently come out on women in Muslim societies.
The Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) has published a collection of essays by women leaders from Muslim societies. The publication is titled, “Women’s Leadership Network: Women’s Political, Public, and Economic Participation in the Muslim World.”
I think this report is particularly important given the current flap over President Obama’s comments about the building of a mosque near Ground Zero.
In the forward (p.3) of the report it states, “These papers both join and respond to the call for Islamic feminism as part of a modernist movement bent on contextualizing Islam. The women leaders in this Network are at the forefront of reform across the Muslim world and are mining the egalitarian core of Islamic jurisprudence. Women’s struggle for equality and basic rights has been intensified by the rise of a male dominated Islam that too often defines women’s empowerment as anti-Islamic or Western cultural imperialism. The women leaders featured in this volume embrace a progressive interpretation of Islam to support women’s rights. These leaders are working both within the tenets of Islam and the universal human rights framework to make changes for women and to broaden the frontiers of economic, political, and educational participation for women.”
Gender ideologies also affect Muslim women’s participation in physical activity and sport. Another new book just out addresses these issues, titled “Muslim Women and Sport.” According to the Routledge website, “The book presents an overview of current research into constructs of gender, the role of religion and the importance of situation, and looks closely at what Islam has to say about women’s participation in sport and what Muslim women have to say about their participation in sport.”