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Wesleyan University

Publication Date

Spring 2006

Program Name

Morocco: Culture and Society


Menstruation is often perceived by individuals of different cultural and religious backgrounds as dirty or impure, and therefore has become a demeaning feature of womanhood. The dialectical concepts of purity and impurity are integral parts of Islamic religion, thought and practice as they draw lines between those things sacred and those profane. Women’s religious education, in particular, is critical in establishing positive reinforcement for their perceptions of their physical selves and their role in society. However, education in this manner cannot be limited to schools and religious institutions; family and culture are integral parts of a women’s education about subjects relating to her menstruation. Through an investigation of Islamic approaches to menstruation, this paper attempts to asses the relationship between the realms of formal religion as presented through texts and educators on menstruation and societal cultural perceptions of the subject in Morocco. Rituals of purity become a critical indication, manifestation and tool of the discourse that are both followed and redefined by different women.


Anthropology | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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