Gender and Sexuality in Islam: An Interface of Patriarchy, Religion and Customary Practices
Keywords:sexuality, Female Genital Mutilation, political Islam
This paper discusses some of the dominant discourses on womenâ€™s body and sexuality besides other structural and institutional factors which impact on womenâ€™s sexual rights and sexuality and the interplay between these factors and Islam. Also the focus is on the way womenâ€™s sexuality is constructed in Islam through various interpretations of the text (Qurâ€™an and hadith), and how the traditional/customary practices curb womenâ€™s body and sexuality. The paper also highlights the issues and challenges for womenâ€™s movement in Muslim countries in raising the issue of womenâ€™s sexuality and reproductive rights. These issues are important mainly for two reasons: firstly, the emergence of conservative forces using religion to curb womenâ€™s rights and secondly, cultural or customary practices are overriding the textual Islam and thus, depriving women of their rights. The paper is mainly based on secondary sources.Â
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