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Muslim Women Managing Women's Shelters: Somaya, the Muslimwoman and Religion as Resource
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, Ethnology.
2015 (English)In: NORA: Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, ISSN 0803-8740, E-ISSN 1502-394X, Vol. 23, no 2, 93-108 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article focuses on Sisters’ Shelter Somaya in Sweden, an organization unique in its claim to be a women’s shelter by and for Muslim women, and in its combining of Islamic and secular feminisms. Examining the organization’s self-presentations, the author argues that there is, however, an ongoing shift from an emphasis on its Muslim profile to a dissolution of the very same. Looking into potential loss in the process (for clients, activists, allies, and feminism at large), the analysis draws on current research on anti-Muslim intolerance and normative secularism. The concept of the “Muslim woman” is employed to illustrate the stereotyping that continuously associates Muslim women with “victims” inhabiting shelters rather than capable “managers”. Intersectionality is pointed at as an emic strategy adopted by Somaya to overcome division, but also critically analysed as a consensus-creating signifier that hinders diversity. Thus,the article raises the increasingly important issue of the relationship between religion, gender, and feminism in the post-secular turn, and the author calls for critical self-reflection and creative affirmation in the interaction with heterogeneous others.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 23, no 2, 93-108 p.
Keyword [en]
Feminism, Intersectionality, Gender, Religion, Normative Secularism, Islam, Islamic Feminisms, Muslim Women, Muslimwoman, Women's Shelters, Sweden
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-114317DOI: 10.1080/08038740.2014.935744OAI: diva2:791192
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2015-02-26 Created: 2015-02-26 Last updated: 2016-08-08Bibliographically approved

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