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Resources: Gender and Sexual Norms

Lesbians, Sexuality And Islam

December, 2012

The most recent issue of the Journal of Lesbian Studies focuses on the theme of lesbians, sexuality and Islam. To see a detailed list of contents and find out about accessing the journal, click here.

Visibility and Visuality: Reframing Gender in the Middle East, North Africa, and Their Diasporas

October, 2012

In conjunction with the Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art, and Society project initiated by the Rutgers Institute for Women and Art, Signs presents a special virtual issue addressing the complexity of women’s lives, livelihoods, and circumstances in North Africa, the Middle East, and their diasporas.

The Civic Origins of Progressive Policy Change: Combating Violence against Women in Global Perspective, 1975–2005

October, 2012

The American Political Science Review has recently published an article “The Civic Origins of Progressive Policy Change: Combating Violence against Women in Global Perspective, 1975–2005” which reveals  that “feminist movements is more important for change than the wealth of nations, left-wing political parties, or the number of women politicians”
 

التجريم حسب النوع: النظر لقوانين الزنا باعتبارها عنفا ضد المرأة في البيئات الإسلامية

March, 2010
Ziba Mir Hosseini

English | Français |  Bahasa Indonesia |  فارسی 

In this discussion paper, I show how zina laws and the criminalization of consensual sexual activity can also be challenged from within Islamic legal tradition. Far from mutually opposed, approaches from Islamic studies, feminism and human rights perspectives can be mutually reinforcing, particularly in mounting an effective campaign against revived zina laws. By exploring the intersections between religion, culture and law that legitimate violence in the regulation of sexuality, the paper aims to contribute to the development of a contextual and integrated approach to the abolition of zina laws. In so doing, I hope to broaden the scope of the debate over concepts and strategies of the SKSW Campaign.

Memidanakan Seksualitas: Hukum Zina sebagai Kekerasan terhadap Perempuan dalam Konteks Islam

March, 2010
Ziba Mir Hosseini

Dalam tradisi hukum Islam, semua hubungan seksual di luar nikah yang sah dipandang sebagai suatu kejahatan. Kategori utama dari kejahatan ini adalah zina, yang didefinisikan sebagai hubungan seksual terlarang antara laki-laki dan perempuan. Pada akhir abad ke-20, kebangkitan Islam sebagai kekuatan politik dan spiritual memicu dihidupkannya kembali hukum zina dan pembuatan berbagai ketentuan atas pelanggaran-pelanggaran baru yang mempidanakan tindakan seksual konsensual dan memberikan wewenang bagi terjadinya kekerasan terhadap perempuan. Para aktivis telah berkampanye untuk menolak ketentuan tersebut atas dasar hak asasi manusia (HAM). Dalam makalah ini, saya menunjukkan bagaimana upaya menentang hukum zina dan kriminalisasi hubungan seksual konsensual dapat dilakukan dari dalam tradisi hukum Islam sendiri. Sebenarnya, pendekatan berdasar pemikiran Islam, feminisme dan HAM bisa saling menguatkan, terutama berkenaan dengan kampanye yang lebih efektif dalam merespon kebangkitan hukum zina. Dengan menelusuri kesalingterkaitan (intersection) antara agama, budaya dan hukum yang memberikan legitimasi pada penggunaan kekerasan dalam berbagai aturan tentang seksualitas, makalah ini bertujuan untuk memberi sumbangan pada pengembangan pendekatan kontekstual dan integratif untuk menghapus hukum zina. Melalui upaya ini, saya berharap bisa memperluas cakupan perdebatan terkait konsep dan strategi Kampanye SKSW.

Criminaliser la sexualité - Les lois relatives à la zina, une violence à l’égard des femmes dans les contextes musulmans

March, 2010
Ziba Mir Hosseini

La tradition juridique islamique traite tout rapport sexuel hors mariage comme un crime. La principale catégorie de crimes de ce type est la zina, qui s’entend de tout rapport sexuel illicite entre un homme et une femme. Á la fin du vingtième siècle, la résurgence de l’islam comme force politique et spirituelle a entraîné la réintroduction des lois relatives à la zina et la création de nouveaux délits qui criminalisent l’activité sexuelle consensuelle et autorisent la violence à l’égard des femmes. Des activistes militent contre ces nouvelles lois pour défendre les droits humains. Dans ce document de synthèse, je montre comment contester également les lois relatives à la zina et la criminalisation de l’activité sexuelle consensuelle, de l’intérieur de la tradition juridique islamique. Loin d’être mutuellement opposées, les approches du féminisme et des perspectives des droits humains qui découlent des études islamiques, peuvent se renforcer mutuellement, en particulier pour lancer une campagne effective contre la réintroduction des lois relatives à la zina. En explorant les intersections de la religion, de la culture et du droit qui légitiment la violence dans la réglementation de la sexualité, l’article vise à contribuer à l’élaboration d’une approche contextuelle et intégrée de l’abolition des lois relatives à la zina. J’espère, ce faisant, élargir le champ du débat sur les concepts et les stratégies de la campagne SKSW .

Activism Under the Radar: Volunteer Health Workers in Iran

May, 2009

Few would disagree that the 1979 Iranian revolution, despite the massive participation of women, rapidly became a catastrophe for women’s legal status and social position. Under the Shah, Iran had a mildly forward-looking family law limiting men’s rights to polygamy and unilateral divorce, and, at least theoretically, basing child custody on the best interests of the child. Within two weeks of the revolution, this legislation was annulled, on the grounds that it was against the shari‘a. The new Islamic Republic introduced retrograde laws that, among other things, valued a woman’s life at half of a man’s, and considered two women witnesses to be the equal of one man. The age of marriage as well as maturity for women was reduced to nine. At the same time, the regime promoted motherhood as the only viable life option for women and dismantled the family planning unit the Shah’s regime had founded. In 1989, concerned about the burgeoning population, the Islamic Republic made a volte face and introduced one of the most successful family planning programs in the developing world. In the process of transmitting health messages, however, these volunteers continuously found ways to redefine their mandate and expand their position in other areas of the public sphere.