Global Resources

Great Ancestors: Women Asserting Rights in Muslim Contexts - A Training and Information Kit

Author: A. Lee-Shaheed, F. Shaheed
Publisher: Shirkat Gah
Publication Date: Jan 2005

There is a myth that women's rights struggles are alien to Islamic societies. When taken as fact, these myths can lead to disengagement with contemporary women's rights discourse and deter women from standing up for their rights. By tracing the efforts of women in Muslim contexts to assert their rights from the 8th century through to the 1950s, this training and information kit challenges the notion that the struggle for women's rights has been confined to Europe and North America.

The kit comprises a training module and a volume of narratives which explore: women's assertions of control in their personal and family lives; the solidarity actions they have undertaken in support of other women; and the efforts of female scholars, saints and political activists to improve their societies. The module is based on cameos of women's lives and on extracts from their writings to illustrate women's historical efforts to affirm their rights. These have been converted into a script of narrative pieces to be read aloud. The book of narratives provides details of the lives and struggles of women which are not covered in the training module and gives detailed references of sources used.