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Towards Gender Equality: Muslim Family Laws and the Shari‘ah

Gender equality is a modern ideal, which has only recently, with the expansion of human rights and feminist discourses, become inherent to generally accepted conceptions of justice. In Islam, as in other religious traditions, the idea of equality between men and women was neither central to notions of justice nor part of the juristic landscape, […]

  • Ziba Mir-Hosseini
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Towards Gender Equality: Muslim Family Laws and the Shari‘ah
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    Gender equality is a modern ideal, which has only recently, with the expansion of human rights and feminist discourses, become inherent to generally accepted conceptions of justice. In Islam, as in other religious traditions, the idea of equality between men and women was neither central to notions of justice nor part of the juristic landscape, and Muslim jurists did not begin to address it until the twentieth century. The personal status of Muslim men, women and children continues to be defined by understandings of Islamic law - codified and adapted by modern nation-states - that assume authority to be the natural prerogative of men, that disadvantage women and that are prone to abuse. This book argues that effective and sustainable reform of these laws and practices requires engagement with their religious rationales from within the tradition. The book offers a new framework for rethinking old formulations so as to reflect contemporary realities and understandings of justice, ethics and gender rights.

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    • Ziba Mir-Hosseini
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