CMRB (Centre for research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging) is delighted to invite you to the book launch for
Refugee Women: Beyond gender versus culture
which will take place in
EB.G.05 Docklands Campus, University of East London, E16 2RD, nearest tube: Cyprus DLR
Monday 18th March, 4-6pm
Discussant: Prof. Maleiha Malik
Leah Bassel is New Blood Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Leicester. Her research focuses on the political sociology of gender, migration, race and citizenship. Her work has also been published in journals including Politics & Gender, Ethnicities, Government and Opposition and French Politics. She is an Assistant Editor of the journal Citizenship Studies.
Maleiha Malik is Professor in Law at King’s College London. She is a barrister and a member and fellow of the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn. Her research focuses on the theory and practice of discrimination law. She is the co-author of Discrimination Law: Theory and Practice which was published in 2008.
Refugee Women: Beyond Gender Versus Culture
Debates over the headscarf and niqab, so-called ‘sharia-tribunals’, Female Genital Operations and forced marriages have raged in Europe and North America in recent years, raising the question – does accommodating Islam violate women’s rights? The book takes issue with the terms of this debate. It contrasts debates in France over the headscarf and in Canada over religious arbitration with the lived experience of a specific group of Muslim women: Somali refugee women. The challenges these women eloquently describe first-hand demonstrate that the fray over accommodating culture and religion neglects other needs and engenders a democratic deficit.
In Refugee Women: Beyond Gender versus Culture, new theoretical perspectives recast both the story told and who tells the tale. By focusing on the politics underlying how these debates are framed and the experiences of women at the heart of these controversies, women are considered first and foremost as democratic agents rather than actors in the ‘culture versus gender’ script. Crucially, the institutions and processes created to address women’s needs are critically assessed from this perspective.
Breaking from scholarship that focuses on whether the accommodation of culture and religion harms women, Bassel argues that this debate ignores the realities of the women at its heart. In these debates, Muslim women are constructed as silent victims. Bassel pleads compellingly for a consideration of women in all their complexity, as active participants in democratic life.
For more information on this book: www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415603607/