Women's rights & islamic family law: perspectives on reform
This volume explores the present-day realities of Islamic family law, with particular emphasis on the rights of women. Three contrasting country cases have been selected: Egypt, the most populous Arab state with a constitutional clause on the place of "principles of the shari`a" as the principal source of legislation; the West Bank and Gaza, family law here being a contested site between different visions of national identity in the process of trying to build a Palestinian state; and the United States, where some in the minority Muslim communities seek to regulate their family relations in accordance with "principles of the shari`a" within the context of a non-Muslim state applying civil law requirements to all family matters. A concluding study ranges further afield in order to explore the challenges and potential of "principles of shari`a" in advocacy on the question of violence against women. The family is where legal rules presented as part of the Islamic shari`a are most widely applied in the Muslim world. This connection, often differently elaborated by particular social constituencies, can present difficulties to the advocates of law reform. At the same time, the resonance of the issues at which advocacy is targeted creates an opportunity for creative exchange in addressing practical strategies for change. This volume explores the present-day realities of Islamic family law, with particular emphasis on the rights of women, and focusing on law in its living social context as reflected in public opinion and personal experience.A concluding study ranges further afield in order to explore the challenges and potential of 'principles of shari`a' in advocacy on the question of violence against women.This book makes possible a detailed examination of possibilities of, and constraints on, legal reform in the area of Islamic family law in specific contemporary contexts.
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