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Situating Islamic feminism(s): Lived religion, negotiation of identity and assertion of third space by Muslim women in Pakistan

Zubair, S and Zubair, M (2017) Situating Islamic feminism(s): Lived religion, negotiation of identity and assertion of third space by Muslim women in Pakistan. Women's Studies International Forum, 63. pp. 17-26. ISSN 0277-5395

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Abstract

© 2017 This paper reports the findings of an exploratory, qualitative study with Pakistani women to explore how Muslim women studying English in higher education contexts in Pakistan engage with feminist thought. The broader aim of the study was to capture the relationship between these women's ‘secular’ education and their religious (and secular) social identities as young, urban, middle class working women in a Pakistani higher education context. In particular, the study sets out to explore how Pakistani women at higher education institutions interact with and use ‘new’ forms of knowledges, particularly those dominated by western frameworks of intellectual thought and reasoning, in the context of their own potentially different social lives and self-identities as Muslim women. The findings show that the young women academics in addition to negotiating with the Western notions of Feminism also simultaneously challenge the indigenous patriarchal hegemonies and conservative religious discourses in their social context by attempting to rework notions of Muslim women's identity in Pakistan, envisaging what Bhabha has termed a third space.

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