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Women Under Islam: Gender Justice and the Politics of Islamic Law

Women Under Islam: Gender Justice and the Politics of Islamic Law
Christina Jones-Pauly

With: Abir Dajani Tuqan

  • Hardback | In Stock | £90.00

  • Hardback | In Stock | $145.00

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How Islam treats women is one of the most hotly contested questions of our times. Islamic law is often misrepresented as a single monolithic concept, rather than a collection of different interpretations and practices. To move the debate on Islamic law and gender forward, it is necessary to establish how Islamic law actually operates. This groundbreaking work explores what conditions sustain the most liberal interpretation of Islamic law on gender issues. It examines the different interpretations, histories and practices of Islamic law in different countries. It finds that the political independence of judicial institutions is a far more important factor than the relative conservativism of the society. This wide-ranging book will provide new insights not only for those studying law and gender, but for anyone with an interest in Islamic societies.

Author Info

Christina Jones-Pauly is an independent consultant on women and governance for various international agencies. She holds a Dr Phil in Comparative and Islamic Laws (London) and a Dr Jur in international law (Harvard). She was Human Rights Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, taught Islamic Law at Harvard Law School, and was Associated Researcher at the Socio-Legal Studies Centre, Oxford University. Before this she headed the Human Rights and Development Unit at the University of Bonn. She has worked on numerous human rights projects for the UN. Abir Dajani Tuqan studied Islamic Law at SOAS, and is the first Arab woman to pass the Bar in Britain (Middle Temple), with First Class Honours in Islamic Law. She has spoken at various international conferences and in the media on Islamic family law.


A unique comparative study of women in Sharia, spanning four key countries in the Muslim world. The book is unprecedented, showing how culture, history, tradition, praxis and politics shape Sharia. It is written in the best tradition of ijtihad, the methodology for adapting Sharia to changing realities. It is a must read for human rightists and politicians alike.
Helena Kennedy, QC, Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws, Human Rights Activist

I believe the impressive scholastic endeavour which this book represents will prove to have made a significant contribution to a better understanding, both internationally and inter-faith, of the source and development of some of the sensitive issues relating to the status of women in Islam. I commend it as a challenging but rewarding read.
Sir Robert Johnson, former Judge in the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales and former Chairman of the Bar of England and Wales

'[Women Under Islam] provides a rich historical and legal tapestry spanning four Muslim societies, including three in Africa, and thus moves African studies beyond the timeworn, binary struggle between a supposed, sudden cleavage in syncretic traditions and the adoption of an austere, textual Islamic law.'
Sarah Eltantawi, Journal of Law and Religion

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: Library of Islamic Law

ISBN: 9781845113865
Publication Date: 29 Apr 2011
Number of Pages: 560
Height: 234
Width: 156

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