Weiss, Anita M., Interpreting Islam, Modernity, and Women’s Rights in Pakistan , New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, 204p.

weissIn Pakistan, myriad constituencies are grappling with reinterpreting women’s rights. This book analyzes the Government of Pakistan’s construction of an understanding of what constitutes women’s rights, moves on to address traditional views and contemporary popular opinion on women’s rights, and then focuses on three very different groups’ perceptions of women’s rights: progressive women’s organizations as represented by the Aurat Foundation and Shirkat Gah; orthodox Islamist views as represented by the Jama’at-i-Islami, the MMA government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (2002-08) and al-Huda; and the Swat Taliban. Author Anita M. Weiss analyzes the resultant « culture wars » that are visibly ripping the country apart, as groups talk past one another – each confidant that they are the proprietors of culture and interpreters of religion while others are misrepresenting it.

Table of Contents

PART I: INTRODUCTION: WOMEN’S RIGHTS AND ISLAMIC CONCERNS WITH IJTIHAD OVER THOSE RIGHTS
1. Pakistan as a Microcosm of Both Global Issues
2. Organization of the book Acknowledgements
PART II: LEGAL REFORMS AND STATE POLICIES AFFECTING WOMEN’S RIGHTS
3. Legal Reforms and Women’s Rights
4. Implementation of CEDAW, UN Responses and additional Actions
PART III: MAINSTREAM AND POPULAR PERCEPTIONS ON WOMEN’S RIGHTS IN PAKISTAN
5. Traditional Views on Women’s Rights in Pakistan
6. Contemporary Nationwide Public Opinion on Women’s Rights
7. Views on Marriage
8. Education
9. Purdah
10. Mobility and Work
11. Political Participation
12. Islam in Political Life
13. Rights
PART IV: PROGRESSIVE WOMEN’S NGOS’ INTERPRETATIONS OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS
14. Shirkat Gah and the Aurat Foundation: the Organizations and their Visions
15. Pushing Women’s Rights Further: Additional Issues of Concern to Women’s Rights NGOs
PART V: ORTHODOX ISLAMIST INTERPRETATIONS OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS
16. The Jama’at-i-Islami’s Vision on Women’s Rights
17. The MMA Government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 2002-08
18. Al-Huda
PART VI: THE TEHRIK-E-TALIBAN IN SWAT
19. Foregrounding the Emergence of the Swat Taliban
20. The Swat Taliban’s ijtihad on Modernity and Women’s Rights
PART VII: MOVING ONWARDS
Bibliography
Index

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