Bengal’s Muslims and the Global Politics of Feminism – by Elora Shehabuddin

Saturday 9 October 2021

Bengal’s Muslims and the Global Politics of Feminism By Elora Shehabuddin Saturday 9 October 2021, 4 – 6 pm Bengal History Week 2021


Stretching from the eighteenth-century Enlightenment era to the War on Terror present, Shehabuddin’s new book Sisters in the Mirror shows how changes in women’s lives and feminist strategies have consistently reflected wider changes in national and global politics and economics.

Muslim women, like non-Muslim women in various colonized societies and non-white and poor women in the West, have found themselves having to negotiate their demands for rights within other forms of struggle—for national independence or against occupation, racism, and economic inequality.

Sisters in the Mirror is organized around stories of encounters between women and men from Bengal, Britain, and the United States that led them, as if they were looking in a mirror, to pause and reconsider norms in their own society, including cherished ideas about women’s roles and rights. These intertwined stories confirm that nowhere, in either Western or Muslim societies, has had a material change in girls’ and women’s lives come easily or without protracted struggle.

Elora Shehabuddin is Professor of Transnational Asian Studies and Core Faculty, Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, at Rice University. In addition to Sisters in the Mirror, she is author of Reshaping the Holy: Democracy, Development, and Muslim Women in Bangladesh and numerous articles and book chapters, co-editor of Gender and Economics in Muslim Communities, and associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures

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