Women's Rights in the Islamic World

  • Creating the New Image of Women: Halide Edib’s Activism in The Daughter of Smyrna Hediye Ozkan, Department of English

    When Halide Edib published Ateşten Gömlek (The Daughter of Smyrna) in 1922, the Turkish nation was going through dramatic socio-political change. The Ottoman Empire lost the First World War in 1918, as a result, found herself in chaos, trauma, and an identity crisis. Witnessing the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and foundation of the Turkish Republic afterwards, as a feminist, activist, scholar, and intellectual, Edib focused on the transformation from Empire to republic and the reformation of the nation, reflecting the struggle between modernity and tradition in her novels. Questioning hegemony, authority, and conventional gender roles, Edib attempted to define a new role for women in Turkish society through her revolutionary female characters identified with herself.  

    Hassnaa Mohammed, Department of Political Science, “Islam: Initiating Transformations in the Role of Women in the Arab World”

    Islam, one of the world’s widely practiced religions, seems to be surrounded with many myths and misconceptions. This paper will take a closer scope to women rights in Islam. It is claimed by many that Islam has been perceived as an oppressor for females and a main source of humiliation to them. The current saddening cases of women oppression in the Arab world, where the largest majority of the Muslim population reside, seem to support those misconceptions. This paper attempts to unleash the myth around the fact that the oppressive acts of the Arabian societies against women have cultural and not religious roots. 

    Samah Elbelazi, Department of English, “Redefining Islamic Feminism”

    The term Islamic feminism has been widely used and variously defined by several feminists and women activists.  Where on the one hand it is considered oxymoronic for some Muslim feminists, it is understood as religious term for others. This presentation focuses on my journey of understanding and interpreting the term Islamic feminism. Drawing from the theoretical framework of my dissertation entitled, Theorizing Libyan Feminism: Poetic Representation of Libyan Muslim Women’s Experiences, this presentation aims to facilitate the voice of Libyan women and make it accessible to wider audiences.