Muslim women's activism and organizations in the Netherlands and Belgium

Margaretha A. van Es, Nella van den Brandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
63 Downloads (Pure)


This article is a thematic exploration of the organizations that Muslim women have established in the Netherlands and Belgium since the 1970s, and the forms of activism they have engaged in. The article provides insight into the complex dynamic between the lived experience of Muslim women in Dutch and Flemish societies, the shifting forms of their collective identities, and their efforts to bring about social change. We discuss the early organizational activities of migrant women from predominantly Muslim countries during the first few decades after their arrival. We explain the emergence of Islamic organizations and the growing participation of women in these organizations. We also explore the attempts made by Muslim women for feminist mobilization across ethnic and religious boundaries. Finally, we examine Muslim women’s engagement in (mixed-gender) anti-racist and LGBTQ movements. Our results indicate a rising visibility of Muslim women’s activism in the public sphere, and an increase in transversal mobilizations across ethnic and religious boundaries. The article concludes with the latest developments in Muslim women’s activism, and provides suggestions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-220
Number of pages30
JournalTrajecta: Religion, Culture and Society in the Low Countries
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Activism
  • Anti-racism
  • Feminism
  • Minority organizations
  • Muslim women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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