Date: May 2012
Creator: Sortor, Angela E.
Description: Due to the actions of radicals and extremists, many in the West have come to view Islam as a religion of gender inequality that perpetuates the severe oppression of women. However, there is actually great variation in women’s rights across Muslim countries. This thesis presents a theoretical framework seeking to explain this variation, by examining differences in family law. The theory supposes that variation can be explained by the strategic actions of political leaders. From this theory, I hypothesize that the variations in women’s rights come from the variation in family law, which in large, are due to the existence of groups threatening the power of the political leaders, and the leader’s subsequent understanding of this threat. Using a most similar systems research design, I examine 4 moderate Muslim countries, Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt. Through case study research, I find limited support for the above hypothesis.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries