Home Institution

University of Oregon

Publication Date

Spring 2016

Program Name

South Africa: Social and Political Transformation


What began as an attempt to explore Islamic Feminism through the life narratives of Muslim women, actually enabled a journey into exploring ways of being a woman, through the practice of faith, and ideas of justice and equality. Through multiple in-depth interviews and conversations, a visit to the mosque for Friday prayer, and a night at a theatrical production in the Muslim community, I spent time with influential Muslim women activists in the Durban community of South Africa listening, learning and reflecting.

What I found was less concrete than labeling these women as ‘Islamic Feminists’ but it was also more unifying. Through telling these women’s stories, I hope to take the reader on a journey through the complicated nature of identity in order to not only shed light on a group of women who are making strides in social justice but to allow the thoughtful words of these women to help you along your own faith or identity journey.

In the end, I offer a look into how, contrary to feminist thought, rejecting labels of Islamic feminism and instead allowing for narrative discourse free of labeling can actually prove to be more unifying for women of all faith backgrounds.


Family, Life Course, and Society | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Islamic Studies | Women's Studies


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