Özel Sayı, Şubat 2016
Laura NAVARRO

APPROCHING FEMINISM FROM THE MARGINS: THE CASE OF ISLAMIC FEMINISMS

ABSTRACT. This article tries to contribute to one of the most relevant debates within the framework of current Gender Studies and feminist activism: the debate dealing with feminism and religions. The aim is to provide these reflexions with some theoretical elements that help us to better understand some of the complex issues of this field, such as the meaning of considering secular feminism as the only acceptable feminist model, and the possibilities of building one feminist movement that takes into account all the diversity of women's needs, wishes and oppressions. The author goes in depth these questions through the analysis of the "Islamic feminism", which takes an element as the religion (historically discarded by the European hegemonic feminism) as its starting point. Firstly, the article puts it in context by analysing "new feminist currents from the margins" that, in the eighties, started to question the ethnocentric and classist visions of an hegemonic feminism that concentrated their struggles on the concerns and interests of western, white, secular and middle class women, leaving aside the specific claims of other women's profiles. Afterwards, the article goes deep into the characteristics shared by the different Islamic feminist movements, its areas of work as well as its main purposes. Finally, it highlights some of the most important Muslim feminist thinkers and activists emerged in recent decades in the United States, Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Keywords: feminism, religions, Islam, intersectionality, ethnocentrism.