A “gender jehad” to seek justice for women. Slowly, Surely Iraqi Women Increase Visibility

March 18, 2005: Amina Wadud (right) leads both men and women in prayer at Synod House at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. DON EMMERT/AFP

Fetters on freedom Frontline AMINA WADUD, the celebrated United States-based scholar of Islamic Studies, who is waging a “gender jehad” to seek justice for women within the global Islamic community, is a person feeling deeply offended today.

Similar is the state of mind of a group of intellectuals and scholars of Islam and students who were looking forward to listen to her special lecture on vital issues relating to “Islam, gender and reforms”, a topic of high relevance in Tamil Nadu which of late is witnessing increasing activism against gender disparity within the faith.

The reason: a phone call, followed by a message from the Chennai Police a day prior to the programme on July 29 asking the organisers, the Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed (JBAS) Centre for Islamic Studies, University of Madras, to cancel it.

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A woman applies lipstick at a beauty parlor in Baghdad Sept. 21, 2011. (photo by REUTERS) Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/08/iraqi-women-push-through-struggles-toward-progress.html#ixzz2bIc53nHZ

Slowly, Surely Iraqi Women Increase Visibility, Ro… Al-Monitor Iraqi society has witnessed a growth in the role of women, who are joining fields of work that were once limited to men and beginning to wear a more modern form of hijab, distinguished by the way it is worn and by its unique colors. Iraqi women — both Muslims and non-Muslims — were known for decades for wearing traditional black cloaks.

Despite rigorous calls by religious parties and conservative groups, media, social and even economic openness to the world — as well as Iraqi women’s will to live by their own beliefs — have caused women’s activities and projects to flourish. These include beauty salons, women’s massage parlors and gyms, casinos, shops and businesses that are either owned by women or employ them. The steady increase in the number of female university students is one of biggest the signs of the growing role of women in Iraqi society.

About psawomenpolitics

The UK Political Studies Association Women and Politics Specialist Group. Resource for researchers working on women and/or gender and for women in the PSA. The 2014 Specialist Group of the Year.
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