Gender, Feminism, and Islam and the West

Friday, 20 July 2018: 15:30-17:20
RC22 Sociology of Religion (host committee)

Language: English

The shift towards secularization that took place in the 1960s in most Western societies resulted in a change in values including a conception of gender roles as being equal, a liberal understanding of sexuality, and a rejection of a traditionally anchored (and religiously legitimized) sexual morality. Facing pressure to achieve gender equality and the equal treatment of women in the 1970s and 1980s, the UN General Assembly passed a convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. These gender norms are now once again on the agenda. On the one hand, they serve in Western secular host countries as a means to criticize the position of women in Islam, in which the Western gender order serves as a means to characterize Muslim women as unfree and oppressed. On the other, we can observe an anti-gender rhetoric conducted in conservative religious and political circles, one that is oriented to the religious notion of a divinely determined difference between the sexes, and that polemicizes and mobilizes against the “dictatorship of genderism”. What is criticized here is the questioning of the traditional core family, the equality of homosexual marriages, and a “polymorphic sexuality”.

The panel invites contributions that deal with these two complementary discourses: The debate on the (unequal) position of women in Islam; and the anti-gender rhetoric, in which we can observe an alliance of Evangelical, Catholic-fundamentalist and Muslim actors around the world, an alliance that Putin (amongst others) has also joined.

Session Organizer:
Christel GÄRTNER, University of Muenster, Germany
Christel GÄRTNER, University of Muenster, Germany
Oral Presentations
The Headscarf and Nikab Politics in France, the Netherlands and Germany: Appropriating Feminism and Negotiating Difference
Gokce YURDAKUL, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany; Anna KORTEWEG, University of Toronto, Canada
Islamic Feminism School and Its Challenges
Afsaneh TAVASSOLI, Alzahra University, Iran
Commitment to Moral and Religious Principles Among British Muslim Women
Masoumeh VELAYATI, Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education, United Kingdom
Desexualization of Gender: The Concept of "Can" As an Opportunity for the Equality of Alevi Woman?
Elif YILDIZLI, Westphalian Wilhelms-University of Münster, Germany