Contesting Feminisms

Gender and Islam in Asia

Edited by Huma Ahmed-Ghosh

Subjects: Feminist, India And South Asian Studies, Women's Studies, Gender Studies, Women In Religion
Series: SUNY series, Genders in the Global South
Paperback : 9781438457925, 292 pages, July 2016
Hardcover : 9781438457932, 292 pages, October 2015

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Table of contents

Huma Ahmed-Ghosh
Part I. Whose Feminism? Muslim Women Redefining “Empowerment”
1. Muslim Women’s Leadership in Uzbekistan: Religion and Emotion
Svetlana Peshkova
2. Feminization of Islam? Agency and Visibility of Women in Southern Thailand’s Branch of the Tablighi Jama’at’s Missionary Movement
Alexander Horstmann
3. Women’s Empowerment in the Xi’an Muslim District
Maris Boyd Gillette
4. The Influence of the National Question on Gender Issues in the Muslim Areas of the Southern Philippines: Maranao Muslim Women between Retraditionalization and Islamic Resurgence
Birte Brecht-Drouart
Part II. Feminisms and Muslim Women’s Movements in Contested Spaces

5. The Headscarf Ban and Muslim Women’s Rights Discourse in Turkey
Zeynep Akbulut

6. Intersecting Dynamics: Representational Activism and New Mobilities among “Muslim Women” in India
Nadja-Christina Schneider
7. Islamic Feminism between Interpretive Freedom and Legal Codification: The Case of Sisters in Islam in Malaysia
Yasmin Moll
8. Faith-based Challenges to the Women’s Movement in Pakistan
Afiya Shehrbano Zia
Part III. Transnational Feminisms: Locating Muslim Women at the Crossroads
9. From Dhaka to Cincinnati: Charting Transnational Narratives of Trauma, Victimization, and Survival
Elora Halim Chowdhury
10. Governance Feminism’s Imperial Misadventure: Progress International Law, and the Security of Afghan Women
Cyra Akila Choudhury
11. Islam, Feminism, and Agency in Germany Today
Beverly M. Weber

Creates a new space for hybrid feminist analysis of Asian Muslim women’s lives.


Contesting Feminisms explores how Asian Muslim women make decisions on appropriating Islam and Islamic lifestyles through their own participation in the faith. The contributors highlight the fact that secularism has provided the space for some women to reclaim their religious identity and their own feminisms. Through compelling case studies and theoretical discussions, this volume challenges mainstream Western and national feminisms that presume homogeneity of Muslim women's lives to provide a deeper understanding of the multiple realities of feminism in Muslim communities.

Huma Ahmed-Ghosh is Professor of Women's Studies at San Diego State University and the editor of Asian Muslim Women: Globalization and Local Realities, also published by SUNY Press.


"An educational, insightful, and powerful read. " — Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual

"Contesting Feminisms attempts to offer nuanced understandings of Muslim women's struggles that are firmly rooted in close attention to local social, economic, and historical contexts with an eye to opening up theoretical spaces in which to examine local and transnational feminist Muslim activism. As such, the volume offers rich insights into women's lives and struggles in moving away from the reductionist frame of a strictly Qur'anic view of women that is mobilized by both Western detractors and Islamic normativizers to constrain women's agency, and instead brings into view the heterogeneity of Muslim women's lives and struggles. " — Zayn Kassam, editor of Women and Islam