Explores the history of Muslim women and debates over gender, which have developed since the golden age of Islam.
In modern Egypt, the pace of Islamic resurgence has increased as in other Muslim societies. Throughout the twentieth century, Egyptian women have fought fiercely for political participation and for legal and educational reform to improve their status. To many of them, the adoption of a new form of the veil seemed retrogressive and ominous. This book explores the history of Muslim women and the debates over gender, which have developed since the golden age of Islam. It considers the opinions, goals, and ideals of fifty Egyptian women, veiled and unveiled, and compares their views to the gender ideology of the contemporary Islamists. Women’s social backgrounds are examined in the context of the Egyptian state and its social policies.
About the Author
Sherifa Zuhur is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Table of Contents
1. New Images or Continuous Archetypes?
2. The Process of Listening
3. Her Story: Archetypes and Arguments of Middle Eastern Women
4. Studies of Self-Image
5. Construction of the Virtuous Woman
6. Unveiled Women Reply
7. Dreaming the Myth, and Veiling It