International Research Collaboratives
The term “Islamic feminism” is used to describe a global, transnational movement of scholars and activists who are engaged in developing a feminist re-interpretive schema of the Islamic tradition. An integral part of the project is the advocacy of a normative gender equality within an explicitly Islamic discursive framework. The Islamic feminist project thus locates women’s rights within an exclusively Islamic framework and offers both a trenchant critique of orthodox Islamic thought as well as opening a new phase in the politics of gender and feminist theorisation in the Muslim world. The IRC is a comparative and inter-disciplinary project which covers three main categories of societies: first, Muslim majority countries (such as Morocco and Tunisia in the MENA region as well as South Asian countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh); second, those countries with a significant Muslim minority population (e.g. India); and third, those countries in the “West” with significant diasporic Muslim communities (such as the UK and the US). The IRC’s comparative analysis seeks to explore similarities, as well as differences in how women’s activism and strategic work deploys theoretical Islamic feminist thought in the pursuance of legal and political reform. In this way, the IRC explores the nexus between theory and praxis and the manner in which theorisations of gender equality are deployed in practice within the context of a variety of different geographical locations.