Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Kristin Fabbe

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Rights Information

© 2014 Lauren Thomas


This paper is divided into four chapters. The first one examines the shift in policies from Nasser to Sadat paying close attention to the effects on women. It contextualizes the space in which Islamic movements would come about. The second chapter traces the historical role of women in nationalist projects. It also looks at historical tensions between secular and Islamic women. Then the paper surveys the demographics of Islamic movement and the role of women within four parts of it: the Muslim Brotherhood, the Jama‘at, local mosque communities, and charity work. The third chapter then reviews liberal feminist critique of Islamic female activism. This critique is divided into three sections: tradition v. modernity, patriarchy in Islam, and the veil. The chapter then looks at three problems (universality, lack of context, and positionality) with this critique and briefly looks at the material consequences of such an 4 approach. The fourth chapter gives a background of postcolonialism, applies it to Islamic female activism, and demonstrates why it is crucial to work within a postcolonial framework.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.