Islam, Gender, and Democracy

The relationship between secularism, democracy, religion, and gender equality remains a complex and contested issue across Western countries. When we turn to Muslim countries, the situation is even more multifaceted. For many Western commentators, the question of women's rights is the litmus test for Muslim societies in the age of democracy and liberalism. Especially since the Arab Awakening, the issue is usually framed as the opposition between liberal advocates of secular democracy and religious opponents of women’s full equality.

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