In Search of Islamic Feminism

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Dec 29, 2010 - Social Science - 464 pages
9 Reviews
"Islamic feminism" would seem a contradiction in terms to most Westerners. We are taught to think of Islam as a culture wherein social code and religious law alike force women to accept male authority and surrender to the veil. How could feminism emerge under such a code, let alone flourish? Now, traveling throughout Central Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, as well as Islamic communities in the United States, acclaimed Arab Studies scholar and bestselling author Elizabeth Fernea sets out to answer that question.

Fernea's dialogue with friends, colleagues, and acquaintances prompts a range of diverse and unpredictable responses, but in every country she visits, women demonstrate they are anything but passive. In Iraq, we see an 85 percent literacy rate among women; in Egypt, we see women owning their own farms; and in Israel, we see women at the very forefront of peacemaking efforts. Poor or rich, educated or illiterate, these women define their own needs, solve their own problems, and determine the boundaries of their own very real, very viable feminism. In Search of Islamic Feminism offers a groundbreaking new interpretation of the status and vision of Muslim women that will open up a new world to its readers, even as it challenges our own sense of what feminism means.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: In Search of Islamic Feminism

User Review  - Silke - Goodreads

This was an easy to read narrative of Fernea's travels and conversations with Muslim women in a number of countries. Ultimately, she finds that the majority of Muslim women reject the western ... Read full review

Review: In Search of Islamic Feminism

User Review  - Kate - Goodreads

didn't bother to finish because the point was obvious early on, that feminism is happening everywhere, but won't necessarily be called that, and will look different in different cultures because of differednt needs. Read full review

About the author (2010)

ELIZABETH WARNOCK FERNEA is Professor Emerita of English and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

Bibliographic information