In many ways, it is possible to say that feminism has erupted onto the Turkish political scene in
the latter half of the 1980’s. Since 1983, a number of publications and public
meetings organised by feminists have already made an impact on political and
intellectual circles in Istanbul and Ankara (cf. Tekeli 1986 and forthcoming).
The general public heard of these women on two separate occasions.
The research project on Women,
Religion and Social Change in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka currently being
undertaken by ICES provides a unique opportunity to explore the cross-cultural
dimensions of continuing tradition and the process of change as these relate to
women and in this the role of religion. A grey area of uncertainty, prejudice,
and very little research, the role of religion in determining the possible for
individual actors, particularly women, has rarely received the attention it
CHRLA is greatly alarmed by
the Cairo Court of Appeals ruling of June 14, 1995, which ordered the divorce of
Nasr Hamed Abu-Zeid (the Cairo University professor) from his wife, Dr. Ibthal
Younis, on the grounds that he was an apostate because of the opinions contained
in his published research.
The argumentation of the
ruling raises problems related to freedom of thought, religious interpretation
and belief, and the privacy of family relationships.
Throughout the world, and particularly in Third World
countries, feminists have been sounding the alarm about the rise of religious
and political fundamentalism. Historically, fundamentalism has always been a
move to strengthen patriarchal authority and maintain the "moral order" of
society. Patriarchy, understood as the relations of domination and subordination
that pervade human gender relations, takes different forms in different
historical periods depending on the prevailing material
The Muslim's Women's Research and Action Front considers the appointment of a
committee to examine Muslim Personal Law in the light of reform as a positive
step in the socio-legal and cultural upliftment of the community.
MWRAF as a group of committed and concerned Muslim women wishes to suggest a basis
for reforms, though we would like to reiterate the fact that our framework is
within the Qur'an and Sharia and the proposed changes would in effect be
implementation of not only the letter of the law but also the spirit of the law-
in other words the essence of the Qur'an