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In a Minority: Essays on Muslim Women in India

Zoya Hasan (Editor) Ritu Menon (Editor)
Synopsis Muslim women have been the subject of considerable debate in India, chiefly around the conflicting claims of personal law, identity, and gender. Existing literature on Indian women in general ignores Muslim women, considers their status a product of personal laws, and assumes sameness both in status and in forms of oppression. Based on recent empirical work, the essays in this volume present the diversity of Muslim women's lives in all its complexity. They analyse patterns of employment and the low participation of Muslim women in the labour market; explore gender differentials in educational attainment and its links to other aspects of social inequality; and examine the influence of religious and other factors on the access of Muslim women to property and work. The volume further explores constraints on educational advancement and draws out the linkage between rights and empowerment. While recognizing the validity of community identity and discourse, the contributors emphasize the force of material and social circumstances in shaping the lives of Muslim women. They reiterate that there exists no 'fixed identity' for Muslim women--rather that it is contingent and contextually determined. Drawing on a wealth of primary data, complemented by empirical analysis, this volume will interest scholars in gender studies, politics, sociology, law, education and social work, as well as activists in NGOs.
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About the authors

Zoya Hasan

Zoya Hasan is Professor of Political Science, Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She has published widely in academic journals and periodicals and is the author of Dominance and Mobilisation: Rural Politics in Western Utter Pradesh (1989) and Quest for Power: Oppositional movements and Post-Congress Politics in Uttar Pradesh (1998).

Ritu Menon

Ritu Menon is a published and writer. She is co-author of Borders and Boundaries: Women in India’s Partitioin, and of Unequal Citizens: A Study of Muslim Women in India: and editor, Unmaking the Natioin.

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Bibliographic information

Title In a Minority: Essays on Muslim Women in India
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195665848
length viii+398p.