Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate

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Yale University Press, 1992 - History - 296 pages
4 Reviews
This book offers a history of the Islamic discourse on women and gender, locating the current debate within its historical framework. It is comprehensive, ranging from the ancient world to the present day, and considering the relationship of Middle Eastern women to education, culture, imperialism, social change, modernization, and feminism. Addressing central questions including the veiling of women, Leila Ahmed explores the various premises of Islamicist positions on women, including how the core Islamic heritage formulated issues of gender, how it altered in terms of the concepts and societies that Islam captured, and how Islamic discourse was affected by exposure to Western societies.
 

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This book is an excellent source for a historical analysis on the status of Middle Eastern women from both a female and Middle Eastern perspective. There are bits that are quite dry and full of historical information, but the scholarly method by which Leila Ahmed presents her information as well as arguments make this book an excellent resource for students researching this region of the world or Islamic culture in general.  

Review: Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate

User Review  - Jarl Anderson - Goodreads

Essential for a nuanced, global understanding of feminism that includes Islam. Read full review

Contents

Acknowledgments
1
The Mediterranean Middle East
25
Women and the Rise of Islam
41
The Transitional Age
64
Elaboration of the Founding Discourses
79
Medieval Islam
102
Social and Intellectual Change
127
The Discourse of the Veil
144
The First Feminists
169
Divergent Voices
189
The Struggle for the Future
208
Conclusion
235
Notes
249
Index
280
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