Separate and unequal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Through an ethnographic examination of legal processes in Family Court, this article maps some of the circumstances which Indian Muslim women confront in the area of Family Law. It provides a portrait of the politically interested spaces which govern their lives, indicating the osmosis between 'religious,' cultural and legal realms, rather than essentialisms about the nature of Islam. It provides a reminder that we can no more separate religious practices fundamentally from patriarchal logic than we can separate jurisprudence and the workings of law, indeed the State, from its constitution in multiple embedded sites of patriarchal logic and race and imperial regimes. Optimal strategies for Indian Muslim women to be socioeconomically and legally empowered are also interrogated in this context, as the paper explores the ways in which gender equality and cultural difference and community support can, or not, protect women. It emphasizes the importance of problematizing both notions of 'community' and 'gender equity' in any attempt to address women's rights and needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-517
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Feminist Journal of Politics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


  • Family law
  • India
  • Islam
  • Islamic culture and community
  • Islamic law and women
  • Muslim women
  • Women's rights

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'Separate and unequal'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this