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Empowerment or Estrangement? Liberal Feminism's Vision of the 'Progress' of Muslim Women

University of Baltimore Law Forum, Forthcoming

Florida International University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-10

15 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2008 Last revised: 24 Feb 2009

Cyra Akila Choudhury

Florida International University College of Law

Abstract

This paper presents some thoughts on the progress of Muslim women towards gender justice. It argues that Liberal Legal feminism shares a common understanding of history and progress with those Liberal political theories that justified the British Empire. Because of this genealogy, Liberal feminism seeks to reform cultures and societies that do not comport with a particular Liberal teleology that forecloses the expression of alternative ideas of history, progress, and human flourishing. It further argues that Muslim women's organizations that partner with Northern organizations sometimes seek to fulfill Liberal expectations of victimhood at the hands of their culture. The consequence is that they often reap estrangement rather than empowerment. Finally, the paper raises some concerns about the feminist engagement with the state and with the international as a way of promoting women's progress.

Keywords: Women, Muslim women, progress, rights, Liberalism

Suggested Citation

Choudhury, Cyra Akila, Empowerment or Estrangement? Liberal Feminism's Vision of the 'Progress' of Muslim Women. University of Baltimore Law Forum, Forthcoming; Florida International University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1147768

Cyra Akila Choudhury (Contact Author)

Florida International University College of Law ( email )

11200 SW 8th St.
RDB Hall 1097
Miami, FL 33199
United States

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