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Countering feminism: transnational Islamic women organizations

This project studies emerging transnational networks of Islamic women organizations in the Arab-Muslim world and their opposition to feminism.

An index finger with the statue of liberty in the background.
Photo: Jamison Lottering, Unsplash

About the project

There is an emerging phenomenon of transnational Islamic women organizations in the Arab-Muslim world. They are characterized by an opposition against both what they perceive as feminism and westernization and a global pro-activeness that seek to produce emancipatory projects for women that go beyond Islamicate societies.

While the transnational Islamic women organizations resist so-called westernization and globalization by evoking a localized Islamic culture, they too seek to represent global projects for women.

This study will explore in what ways anti-feminism is employed as an analytical, methodological and practical tool to construct and deconstruct knowledge production of Islamicate societies and how anti-feminism relates to international discourses and conventions on women.


Exploring the historical genealogy and the contemporary discourse and praxis of women activists and organizations that advocate for an anti-feminist approach, this project will look into:

  • the relationship that their anti-feminist paradigm has with their feminist counterparts, marked by proximity, ambiguity and opposition;
  • the emancipatory project that the anti-feminist paradigm espouses on gender related issues;
  • the institutionalization processes of anti-feminist organizations and their transnational networks; and
  • the specific activities that these organizations engage in to impact UN and EU initiatives, both within the UN and locally in their own societies.




Published Sep. 29, 2020 11:58 AM - Last modified Apr. 30, 2021 8:32 AM


Laila Makboul

Head of project