Motherhood as constructed by us: Muslim women’s negotiations from a space that is their own

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According to foundational Islamic texts, motherhood is a key aspect of women’s diverse social roles; however some Muslim religious commentaries position motherhood as the only aspect of women’s contributions to society. The everyday mothering experiences of Muslim women remain absent from these discussions. This anthropological article will examine Muslim women’s narratives of motherhood and mothering in contemporary Britain. In my research, Muslim women in Britain chose motherhood, firstly, as one of the many fronts on which to challenge patriarchy that is evident in some Muslim texts and to thus ‘reclaim their faith’ as articulated in foundational Islamic texts. Secondly, they also used motherhood as a construct to find commonality within a feminist sisterhood – motherhood was something these Muslim women believed they shared with their ‘sisters’ who were from backgrounds different to their own. Within their diverse and multifaceted struggles, Muslim women thus identified a space which they share with other women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-28
JournalReligion and Gender
Issue number2
Early online date19 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2016

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  • Motherhood
  • Islam
  • Muslim women
  • Feminism
  • Reclaiming Faith
  • Religion

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