Although the promotion of women’s rights is often seen as a ‘secular enterprise’, efforts to incorporate religion within gender-related advocacy are growing. Muslim faith-based organisations (FBOs) are also being encouraged to engage in gender-related projects because of their supposed ‘comparative advantage’ in Muslim communities. This article critically analyses the efforts made by development agencies and women’s organisations to promote women’s rights within an Islamic framework or with the involvement of religious leaders. It then explores the possibilities and dangers of such approaches with a particular reference to Muslim FBOs.
Progress in Development Studies (2011) 11 (2) 87-99 [doi:10.1177/146499341001100201]
Engaging with Islam to promote women’s rights: exploring opportunities and challenging assumptions