Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2205296
 


 



The Promise and Pitfalls of Women Challenging Muslim Family Laws in India and Israel (Chapter 4)


Yuksel Sezgin


Syracuse University


Sexuality in Muslim Contexts: Restrictions and Resistance, Anissa Helie & Homa Hoodfar (Eds.), London: Zed Books (2012), pp.98-123

Abstract:     
Across nations one of the most common ways that women’s sexuality and personal autonomy is controlled is through family law, particularly marriage, and divorce. In essence, many such laws are in place to govern autonomous and individual expressions of sexuality, most often through the use of moral arguments located within ethno-religious traditions. Yet matters of family law are often analyzed in terms of state- or nation-building and religious practices. Indeed as Carol Pateman (1988) has shown, family law remains one of the least democratic legal and social institutions, despite women’s struggles, with limited success, for family law reform. Resistance to democratizing family law is often most pronounced by elements within ethno-religious communities which hold a minority position vis-à-vis the state, and are thus excluded from the state political power structure. This has meant that women within such communities have to develop nuanced strategies to extend their sexual and personal autonomy without alienating their community. A comparison of the cases of India and Israel -- where the Muslim minorities’ relationships with the state are extremely politicized -- provides insight into the ways in which women are contesting the governance and control of their sexuality through the re-shaping of marriage and divorce laws.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 13

Keywords: Muslim Women's Rights, family law, Israel, India, personal status law

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Date posted: January 22, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Sezgin, Yuksel, The Promise and Pitfalls of Women Challenging Muslim Family Laws in India and Israel (Chapter 4). Sexuality in Muslim Contexts: Restrictions and Resistance, Anissa Helie & Homa Hoodfar (Eds.), London: Zed Books (2012), pp.98-123 . Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2205296

Contact Information

Yuksel Sezgin (Contact Author)
Syracuse University ( email )
Syracuse, NY 13244
United States
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