Kuwaitis Doing Feminism Their Own Way

feminismThe issue of women’s rights continues to be an important debate in Kuwaiti society. While the granting of female suffrage in 2005 might be perceived as the climax of the women’s movement, feminist discourse continues to thrive in civil and cultural circles. The Kuwaiti brand of ‘feminism’ having been forged in a traditional and conservative climate is entirely different from what we usually identify and recognize it to be. Alessandra Gonzalez, author of ‘Islamic Feminism in Kuwait: The Politics and Paradoxes’, describes these fundamental differences and discusses the nature of Islamic feminism prevalent in Kuwait today.

Alessandra L. González is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at JohnJayCollege, CUNY and a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Studies of Religion (ISR) at BaylorUniversity. She is the principal investigator of the Islamic Social Attitudes Survey Project (ISAS), a study conducted in conjunction with ISR on Islamic religiosity and social attitudes, including women’s rights attitudes in the Arab Gulf Region.

She received her Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Sociology from BaylorUniversity and received a B.A. in Sociology and Policy Studies from RiceUniversity. Dr. González has publications in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, the Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion, and an op-ed on Islamic Feminism in the Dallas Morning News.

She has presented her research at the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy’s Conference on “The Rights of Women in Islam,” the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies, the Dialogue of Civilizations Conference hosted by the Institute for Interfaith Dialogue in Houston, the Gulf Research Conference at the University of Exeter, and various other academic settings.

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