The Place of Feminism in Religious Revival: Islam, Feminist Groups, and Changing Public Policy in Morocco
Author(s)Hughes, Cortney L.
Arts and Humanities
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AbstractHow do we understand feminism in contrast to the images of oppressed and secluded Muslim women portrayed by popular discourses and the media today? While Morocco has not been the focus of much media or scholarly attention, political Islam in the country is on the rise. King Mohammed VI recently launched a new policy of development as part of his plan for democracy because according to the government, poverty breeds Islamic extremism.2 At a time when numerous Islamic television programs are being piped into homes from places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia and young men and women more than ever are joining Islamic groups, I pose the question, what is feminism’s role in all of this? The objective of this paper is to explore the relationship between feminist concerns and Islam through an analysis of public policy, specifically the Moudawana or Islamic family code and the abortion law. While I focus on Morocco here, I hope that my discussion speaks to broader theoretical concerns about the plurality and overlaps of Islam and feminist movements.