Occasional Papers

The dilemma of the Iranian regime in dealing with one of its very successful large scale public mobilizations in the seemingly innocuous activity of low-income women delivering basic health and family planning information.

As a network, Women Living Under Muslim Laws is part of the global women's movement and closely following the developments of interactions and alliances between women's organisations and networks.

There is a tendency in the West to exaggerate the gap between the evolution of Western family laws and the evolution of family laws in Muslim countries. By comparing the changes in the legal definitions of marriage and the relationship of the spouses in French law, the secular laws of Turkey, and the laws of North African countries, this article reveals similar patterns in legal evolution on the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean.

In contemporary debates regarding Muslim identity in South Asia no issue is as prominent or as hotly contested as the character and social role of Islamic law. Though the controversies are directly relevant to present day concerns the questions themselves are neither new nor innocent of colonial influence. The existing corpus of Islamic law in the subcontinent owes a great deal to the legacy of colonial jurists who systematised and gave shape to Anglo-Muhammadan law over many decades.

An interview with two well known Turkish feminists Ayse Düzkan and Meltem Akisha who recount the trajectory of the Feminist movement in Turkey throughout the 1980's.

Dans l'aire du temps des dernières décennies du siècle, il semble nécessaire et suffissant de mettre ensemble dans une même salle des personnes de différentes nationalités - sachant qu'en toute probabilité elles ne se reverront plus ou par hasard, et n'aurons plus ou guère de contacts entre elles, moins encore qu'elles travailleront ensembles - pour baptiser une réunion "inter-national".

The international network, Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML), was initially formed in response to several incidents urgently requiring action in 1984, all of which related to Islam, laws and women. In Algeria, three feminists were arrested and jailed without trial, then kept incommunicado for seven months. Their crime was having discussed with other women the government's proposal to introduce a new set of laws on the family (Code de la Famille) that severely reduced women's rights in this field.

The women's movement has long been active internationally and is often considered the exemplar of both the new social movements and a new kind of internationalism. Yet it is difficult to find even a single theoretical article on the historical or contemporary forms of feminist internationalism. There is, also, limited historical or contemporary research directly on the problem. It is therefore necessary to first ask why this might be so and then suggest how the vacuum might be filled.

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