Women’s Sport as Politics in Muslim Contexts
Publication Author: Homa Hoodfar
This book provides an urgently needed analysis of the bravery and creativity exhibited by women in the realm of sports, which has emerged as a major realm of contestation between proponents of women’s rights and political Islamist forces in Muslim contexts. Through focused case studies, this volume tracks the many sophisticated, context-specific, and constantly evolving strategies of women’s resistance to their exclusion in sport. Integral in their struggles for full inclusion in competitive sports, as both players and spectators, is women’s claim to their full and equal citizenship. The edited volume divulges the various ways women negotiate political and ideological boundaries, as they politicize and subvert spaces normally considered outside the realm of state politics in order to bring about gender-equitable opportunities while at the same time redefining women’s roles in society.
Hoodfar and other contributors have provided a ground-breaking analysis of the landscape of gender and sports in diverse Muslim contexts, covering Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Bangladesh, Europe, North America, and Senegal. This book offers a glimpse of the variety of ways that women debunk exclusionary masculinist logics in sports that are justified by nationalism, religion, and modernism. In the process they also expose, unpack, and critique, the policies and tactics imposed by both international mega-sport organizations and Islamist regimes that objectify and sexualize women’s bodies in their opposing perspectives.
The various chapters of the book document women’s insistence in participating in and politicising sports, which challenges and redefines gender norms that prevail in their specific context. This fascinating case studies that documents the variety of ways that women in Muslim contexts have initiated strategies to contest their exclusion from the public sphere, is part of the WLUML’s research and publication series on Dress Codes and Modes: Politics of Women’s Clothing in Muslim Contexts. The book is written in an accessible manner and is a timely resource for proponents of sports for women. It also serves teachers and scholars interested in women’s sports and resistance, as well as cultural and post-colonial studies. This book is an important and inspiring resource for feminists, activists, and scholars who are committed to ending the exclusion of women from sports, which is an important aspect of the public sphere.