Women’s Rise to Political Office on Behalf of Religious Political Movements

Authored by: Mona Tajali

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Democratization and Political Participation
Region: Middle East and North Africa
Year: 2016
Citation: Tajali, Mona, “Women’s Rise to Political Office on Behalf of Religious Political Movements,” in Women and Gender in Middle East Politics, POMEPS Studies no. 19. Washington, DC: Project on Middle East Political Science [POMEPS], May 2016.

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Executive Summary

In many Muslim-majority countries, Islamic movements and parties tend to negatively view women’s access to political leadership positions. The dominant gender discourse of these movements, which is often based on patriarchal interpretations of religious texts, views women’s proper place to be within the domestic sphere as mothers and wives, and largely denies women’s active presence in the public sphere, including in political decision-making positions. Despite this official gender ideology, women have nonetheless been playing increasingly powerful roles within many Islamic political movements and parties, which have politicized and mobilized previously marginalized female sections of the society to enter the political sphere.