Muslim Women Speak Out in North Africa during the Arab Spring

Rachid Acim

Abstract


People – from the West and the East – hold different views about the status of women in Islam. Claims such as Muslim women are uneducated, subservient, and have no say in decision-making, that Muslim husbands are allowed to beat their disobedient wives, and that men and women are not equal before Allah predominate the Western discourse about Muslim women pre and post the Arab Spring. These claims, which have emanated from a misunderstanding of the basic teachings of Islam at certain times, old tales and proverbs at other times, generated a bad image about the Muslim woman. This paper probes into the status of women in the Islamic and the Judeo-Christian traditions. In the first place, the researcher discusses how Islam came to elevate women to a high status and eradicate all the demeaning stereotypes targeting them. Then, he puts more focus on some Muslim women who were acting as agents of change in North Africa in the Arab Spring arena. These women, who did not adopt almost any feminist tendency, come to paint a new picture of the Muslim woman as defiant, brave and strong enough to work alongside men for the sake of change in their countries.


Keywords


Islam, Women, Arab Spring, Feminism, North Africa.

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