Women’s movements have been one of the most resilient and influential drivers of democratisation and social justice in Muslim contexts. From the legal reforms they initiated to the social transformations they shaped, they have not only been important political actors, but also evolved into diversified mass movements more visible and vocal than ever in contemporary public debates.
This panel discussion brings together renowned feminist scholars and activists to overview the trajectory of women’s movements and feminist activism in predominantly Muslim countries. As part of AKU-ISMC’s 20th Anniversary Events, the panel aims to celebrate the achievements of the women’s movements for gender equality in Muslim contexts and discuss their legacies. It will analyse the main issues of struggle for women’s rights movements, the past and present of organisational structures, and forms of activism by reflecting especially on the cases of Egypt, Iran, Pakistan and Tunisia. The discussion will provide comparative insights into contemporary challenges women’s activisms face in Muslim contexts as well as avenues for transnational feminist collaborations.
Sevgi Adak is Associate Professor and Head of Research at the Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC) in London. She is on the editorial board of the Contemporary Turkey book series published by I.B. Tauris and co-editor of the In Translation: Contemporary Thought in Muslim Contexts book series of the Edinburgh University Press. Her book Anti-Veiling Campaigns in Turkey: State, Society and Gender in the Early Republic was published by I.B. Tauris in February 2022.
Hind Ahmed Zaki is Assistant Professor of Political Science with a joint appointment in the Department of Language, Culture, and Literature at the University of Connecticut. She is specialist in comparative politics with a special emphasis on gender and politics and the Middle East and North Africa. Her current book project analyses the politics of women’s rights and nationalist projects of state feminism in Egypt and Tunisia. She is an elected board member (at large) of the Association of Middle East Women Studies (AMEWS).
Deniz Kandiyoti (Discussant) is Emeritus Professor in Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her work on gender and rural development, implications of Islam and state policies on women, and theories of patriarchy has inspired generations of scholars in gender, women’s, and development studies. Among her numerous influential publications are Women in Rural Production Systems: Problems and Policies (1985), Concubines, Sisters and Citizens: Identities and Social Transformation (1997, in Turkish), Women, Islam and the State (ed., 1991) and Gendering the Middle East (ed.,1996).
Nida Kirmani is Associate Professor of Sociology in the Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Lahore University of Management Sciences. Nida has published widely on issues related to gender, Islam, women’s movements, development and urban studies in India and Pakistan. Her book Questioning ‘the Muslim Woman’: Identity and Insecurity in an Urban Indian Locality was published in 2013 by Routledge.
Nazanin Shahrokni is Assistant Professor of Gender and Globalisation at the Department of Gender Studies at the London School of Economics. She is on the executive board of the International Sociological Association and serve on the editorial board of the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies. Her book Women in Place: The Politics of Gender Segregation in Iran was published by California University Press in 2019.
*The discussion will be followed by a reception.
Date and Time
Friday 28 October 2022, 17:00 - 19:00 (London).
Venue (+ online)
Aga Khan Centre (Atrium Conference Room),
10 Handyside Street,
London N1C 4DN
The event is free, but booking is essential:
The Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC), London.