Feminism, From Encyclopedia Of Sex And Gender Essay

Feminism, From Encyclopedia Of Sex And Gender Essay

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In the article, “Feminism”, from Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender there are four different authors, each discussing the topic of feminism in different parts of the world. The four areas of the world discussed are Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the West. The section of the article pertaining to the Middle East, written by Valentine M. Moghadam, focuses on feminism in the Muslim community. According to the article, modern Middle Eastern feminists tend to be employed and educated middle-classed women who fight for change in women’s positions both in society and religion. Such feminists strive for change in four main areas: family laws, violence against women, nationality rights for women and children, and involvement in politics, specifically political decision making. To achieve such changes Muslim feminists from the Middle East use organizations against discrimination of women, such as the CEDAW, Islamic history to back up women’s rights, and the Qur’an. The idea of feminism began to arise due to the urbanization and political development of cities. Specifically, in the Middle East feminists can be dated back to as early as the 20th century. In the beginning, Muslim feminists joined Islamic women organizations to help them fight for general rights, as well as change laws that treat women as inferior. For example, in 1990 a Moroccan feminist organization known as l 'Union d 'action feminin campaigned to change the patriarchal family law known as Moudawana. Although change was not accepted at first, thirteen years later in 2003 a “more egalitarian family law” took the place of the previous one. In addition to this campaign there have been various more campaigns in the Middle East, all in which positive change for women ...


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... ideas, as well as their understanding. Both Muslim liberal feminists as well as religion driven Muslim feminists agree that one cannot make people understand the need for change without them being properly educated first. It is with education that change will come, especially in societies like that of Egypt.
The reason I chose this book chapter for my annotated bibliography was due to the controversial issues that are discussed. Although many females identify as feminist, there is still differences in ideas and beliefs regarding what should be changed and for what reasons change should take place. This chapter gave the side of Muslim feminists who use the Qur’an and Hadith, as well as other Islamic sources to back up their reasoning for change while also giving the point of view of a liberal Muslim feminist who believes change should happen for secular reasons.

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