Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Politics, power and matrimony : understanding women's marital rights in Egypt and Iran
Author: Cooke, Samantha
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 9063
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Thesis embargoed until 28 Feb 2019
Access from Institution:
This thesis explores how secularism affected women’s marital rights in Egypt and Iran between 1920 and 1939. Situated within the religio-legal jurisdiction of Shari’a, family law in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region has been critically scrutinised by both adherents to Islam and Western observers. There is consensus between both tradition that secularism had no meaningful impact on women’s rights in the private sphere due to the continued influence of Islam on social and cultural practices in the region. The nature of the Egyptian and Iranian states has altered with varying degrees of religiosity being evident. This is partially dependent on individuals in power; however, interactions with foreign actors have also contributed to fluctuations in the secular or religious nature of the state. Despite arguments that increased gender equality arises within more secular environments, the authoritarian implementation of policies in some secular states results in further impediments. Religious interpretations also heavily influence policy development, with debates continuing about the compatibility of women’s rights and Islam as prescribed in the Qur’an. Silences emphasised through contemporary events such as 9/11, 7/7, the Arab Spring and the emergence of ISIS highlight significant gaps in our historic understanding. Occidentalist arguments frequently emerge stating that increasing religious traditions serve to protect the identity and traditions of the state from Western influences. Whilst this perspective is heavily contested, patterns of a similar nature become evident in the early twentieth century following escalations in foreign presences in Egypt and Iran. Whilst twenty-first century family law in many Muslim countries remains firmly embedded in religious law, it is possible to see how the implementation of secularism during the early twentieth century influenced the trajectories of family law, facilitating the legal structures visible today.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available