I wrote this recently for an amazing website I recently came across called Feminism and Religion. Per their guidelines, I can share only the first two paragraphs of the article and provide a link to the original piece for the rest of it.
A question we get asked all the time as Islamic feminist--and especially a response to those who believe that Islam and feminism are an impossible oxymoron. Obviously, I disagree. Not that I need to defend my identity as an Islamic feminist, but I do believe it can help inform those interested in learning about Islam and feminist from an Islamic feminist herself as opposed to from the perspective of anti-feminists' or non-feminists'.
Why I am an Islamic Feminist
While Islam has undoubtedly granted women many rights—some of which were radical for much of the world in the 7th century, such as the rights to divorce, consent in marriage, education, and financial independence—many Muslim women around the world are denied those rights in practice. That these rights were “radical” for the 7th century is significant: one would think that this is an indication that our rights should be “radical” in all times. What Islamic feminism does is to help us deal with this tension of the existence of women’s rights in theory but their denial in practice.
I understand Islamic feminism to be a response to the mistreatment of Muslim women, whose rights have been marginalized, or completely denied, because of interpretations of Islam that do not acknowledge their full humanity and view them as inferior to men; Islamic feminism therefore requires re-visiting the Qur’an to re-interpret it from a standpoint that does not favor any one gender over another and sees all as equally valuable. Needless to say, Islamic feminism, or any other form of feminism, does not claim that women and men are “the same”; men and women need not be the same in order to be viewed as and treated equally and fairly.
To read more, please click here.