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Welchman, Lynn, Jouriou, Zahia and Sharafeldin, Marwa (2023) Muslim Family Laws: Trajectories of Reform. London: Working Paper Series: School of Law, Gender and Media.

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We open this paper with the question that guided us in its writing: What are the different pathways through which Qurʾanic ethics of equality, justice and care can be and have been incorporated today into the texts and practices of Muslim family laws? With examples from different states in the Middle East and North Africa, we first focus on strategies involving reform of substantive laws through arguments based on religion, constitutional law, human rights, socio-economic realities and other sources. We then examine approaches to legal change through procedural or administrative regulation. Finally, we look at efforts to influence family dynamics and practices by enacting or reforming legislation outside of family or personal status laws, such as in the enactment of laws related to domestic violence or revision of penal codes. In conclusion, we consider the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches and reflect on how, regardless of the approach, it is essential to have women’s groups and other civil society actors engaged in sustained action that can be amplified when political opportunities for reform arise.

Item Type: Monographs and Working Papers (Working Paper)
Keywords: Muslim family laws, Quranic ethics, equality of the spouses, civil society, women’s rights, male authority, normative repertoires, Musawah, Menski’s kite, violence against women WORDS: Muslim laws, law reform.
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Law
ISSN: 27553795
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2024 09:34

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