Dossier: Women in the Islamic World

Emel Zeynelabidin (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Book review: Emel Zeynelabidin's "You grow up only in this life"

The headscarf is not a gauge of devoutness

In her book "Erwachsen wird man nur im Diesseits" (You grow up only in this life), the Turkish-German author Emel Zeynelabidin reflects on the period of her life when she wore a headscarf and explains why she stopped doing so without abandoning her faith. By Annalena JunggeburthMore

Rabeya Müller (photo: Ulrike Hummel)

Portrait of the theologian Rabeya Müller

Equality in the name of Islam

The women's movement within Islam is gaining momentum worldwide. One of the most influential German Muslim women in this respect is the theologian Rabeya Müller. With her clear views and breaks with taboo, she is pushing for change within the Muslim community in GermanyMore

Women in Libya

High hopes brutally dashed

The 2011 revolution raised Libyan women's hopes that they could in future play a more active role in society and politics, leading to the establishment of many women's rights groups. However, the militias' power games and ongoing violence are putting the progress achieved thus far at risk. By Valerie StockerMore

Activists attend a silent protest march against a recent rape case in Calcutta, India, 15 June 2013. Photo: EPA/Piyal Adhikary

India's rape problem

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New rape laws must be implemented

A series of brutal gang rapes in India has once again highlighted the rampant problem of violence against women in the country. Despite recent law reforms and harsher penalties, little is being done by the authorities to prevent crimes against women. By Roma Rajpal WeissMore

Karama co-ordination meeting in Cairo on 7 October 2011 on the occasion of the establishment of the Libyan Women's Platform for Peace (photo: Dominique Margot)

Women's movements in the transitioning Arab states

For dignity, peace and equal rights

Despite all the setbacks suffered by many women's rights groups in the transitioning Arab states, regional co-operation has improved considerably over the past few years. Juliane Metzker takes stockMore

Joumana Haddad (photo: Ceyda Nurtsch)

Interview with Joumana Haddad

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"I don't believe in female solidarity"

The Lebanese journalist and writer Joumana Haddad is considered one of the most courageous women's rights activists in the Arab world. In this interview with Ceyda Nurtsch, she talks about the erotic magazine "Jasad", feminist stereotypes and why the "Arab Spring" was just another winterMore

Women protesting outside the parliament in Rabat on 17 March 2012 after the suicide of Amina Filali (photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Women's rights in Morocco

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Gender equality on paper only

Ever since a young woman took her own life two years ago after being raped and married off to her aggressor, equal rights between men and women have been the subject of heated discussion in Morocco. A set of laws that is riddled with contradictions further fuels the debate. By Susanne KaiserMore

Jubilant mujahideen on a captured Russian armoured personnel carrier during the war between Afghanistan and the USSR (photo: Getty Images)

Book review: Fadia Faqir's "Willow Trees Don't Weep"

Abandoned for the sake of jihad

Since the 9/11 attacks in the USA, many novels have been written about aspects of Islamist radicalism and the "war on terror". The Jordanian–British writer Fadia Faqir brings fresh perspectives to the subject in her fourth novel "Willow Trees Don't Weep". Susannah Tarbush read the bookMore

Protest against recent honour killings in Lahore, Pakistan, on 27 May 2014 (photo: AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Honour killings in Pakistan

Little hope of change

In the space of just a few weeks, two cases of honour killings in Pakistan shocked the world. Although some might expect such global outrage and attention to help trigger change, activists in Pakistan do not hold out much hope for improvement in the near future. By Roma Rajpal WeissMore

Hélène Cixous (photo: AFP)

Interview with the philosopher Hélène Cixous

"I don't regret attending the school that is Algeria"

The renowned philosopher and leading French feminist theoretician Hélène Cixous talks about her latest literary work, her lifelong friendship with the "father of deconstruction", Jacques Derrida, and her difficult relationship with Algeria. She is interviewed by Claudia KramatschekMore

Zahra Ali (photo: private)

Book review: Zahra Ali's "Islamic Feminisms"

Female emancipation based on the spirit of Sharia

In 2012, the French sociologist Zahra Ali published a book entitled "Féminismes islamiques" (Islamic Feminisms), a compilation of ground-breaking articles by female Muslim scholars and activists from around the world. It has just been published in German translation. Claudia Kramatschek read the bookMore

Palestinian women protesting in Ramallah (photo: Mohanad Adam)

Women's shadow councils in Palestine

Strengthening women's voices

In the Palestinian Territories, a legal quota stipulates that at least 20 per cent of all seats on municipal councils must be held by women. As progressive as this sounds, elected councilwomen often face opposition and obstacles. A local non-governmental organisation is lending them support in a most original way. By Reham Alhelsi and Petra SchoeningMore

Sihem Bensedrine (photo: DW)

Interview with the human rights activist Sihem Bensedrine

Tunisia's democratic awakening under threat

The well-known Tunisian human rights activist Sihem Bensedrine talks to Moncef Slimi about the arduous process of democratic transformation in the motherland of the Arab SpringMore

The Egyptian writer and feminist Nawal El Saadawi (photo: Arian Fariborz)

Interview with Nawal El Saadawi

"They don't want any really courageous people!"

The spirited Egyptian author and feminist Nawal El Saadawi is not afraid of castigating the hypocrisy of the political system and the continued violations of women's rights in her country. Arian Fariborz spoke to her in CairoMore

Women in Kabul (photo: DW/H. Sirat)

Abortion in Afghanistan

Trying to break a major societal taboo

Birth control is a taboo topic in Afghanistan, the country with the highest birth rate in Asia. Many women resort to having illegal abortions in order to avoid social exclusion and to prevent undesired additions to their family. By Waslat Hasrat-NazimiMore

Rosa Yassin Hassan (photo: DW)

Book review: Rosa Yassin Hassan's "Guardians of the Air"

Nine months of suffering, hope and fear

While Assad's regime seems more firmly ensconced than ever, and Syria seems to have descended into an apparently endless and brutal civil war, the novel "Guardians of the Air" by Rosa Yassin Hassan, a Damascus-based writer, provides an insight into the difficult lives of those directly affected by violence and displacement. By Volker KaminskiMore

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