This post was originally published at wood turtle. This woman is my hero. I’m not saying this just because a newspaper is showcasing her fabulous strength and intelligence — or because I love amplifying stories of amazingly fierce women. This woman is my hero because we’ve laughed together, shared incredible experiences, seen each other at our most vulnerable, and have given each other support in countless ways. This woman is my AMAZING sister-in-law and I am incredibly proud of her and all… Read more

Coming Out Muslim: Radical Acts of Love is a storytelling performance that highlights the experiences of LGBT Muslims. While I was aware of Coming Out Muslim, I did not realise that one of the people behind the project is a West African Muslimah. I was connected with Terna Tilley-Gyado through a mutual friend Mikael Owunna and I am honoured to have had this interview with her. Anike: Please introduce yourself. Terna Tilly-Gyado: My name is Terna. I am a healer,… Read more

This post was written by guest contributor Kristin Peterson (@KrissyPetey), who also blogs at Third Spaces, a group blog for researchers at CU-Boulder’s Centre for Media, Religion and Culture. YouTube is frequently the go-to place to check out the latest hilarious video, view a clip from a movie, or watch a music video. Over the last few years, YouTube has also become a space where young people can create and post videos, sharing their personalities and advice on various topics,… Read more

Elections in Afghanistan are scheduled for April 5. While many activists don’t expect that the outcome will change much for the situation of women in country, millions of women throughout the country have registered themselves as voters. Jamila Karimi is a MP, known for staying far from corruption, who hopes to be re-elected in the conservative northern city of Kunduz. Three female candidates are running for the office of vice-president, which is a first for Afghanistan. Lebanon finally passed a… Read more

Every time we think this discussion about hijab and burqas has ended, the internet surprises us with new horizons on the issue. I was checking my Facebook the other day, and a video caught my attention because of its title. It was called “Hijabi Experiments.” I am not a big fan of watching such videos, but this particular one, originally posted in December 2013, had about three million views, so I thought there must be something different with it. I… Read more

Walking home recently, I rounded the corner from my apartment and noticed a poster that was banal and startling at the same time. I had previously written about the (mis)use of images of Muslim-looking women by Dutch non-profit organisations as an attention-grabbing device, which may or may not be related to the actual work being promoted. Here was another prime example: a film festival poster showing a pair of female legs and high heels peeking out under a blue burqa,… Read more

I recently read Layal Ftouni’s essay “Rethinking Gender Studies: Towards an Arab Feminist Epistemology” where the author thinks through those long-standing “stark, defined binaries between tradition, as indigenous and repressive of women; and modernity, as Western and progressive.” The essay is included in the book Arab Cultural Studies: Mapping the Field, and it is focused on feminist movements in Arabic-speaking countries. However, Ftouni’s central concern seems to be reassessing gender relations and women’s status in Islam. Essentially, she deals with… Read more

I am not a hijabi. My choice is not religious or political, but rather cultural. Upon my conversion to Islam, it didn’t take too long before I was asked when I would wear hijab, and I was taught how to “properly” wear it. I must admit that I contemplated it for a couple of years. In my community in Northern Alberta, hijab-wearing converts had access to a whole different level of community relationships. However, the more time passed, the more… Read more

The mayor of Indonesia’s second-largest city Surabaya, Tri Rismaharini, has vowed to close down the city’s largest brothel complex; other mayors have made similar promises, but this particular mayor is known for her can-do approach. Hundreds of Crimea Tatars, mainly women and children, are leaving Crimea for Ukraine, out of fear of how Russian rule will impact their lives and their community. One Pakistani lawmaker is battling to increase the punishment for child marriage; officially girls under 16 are not… Read more

Earlier this month, Slate featured a photography-poetry project, “The Secret Lives of Afghanistan’s Female Poets.” The photography-poetry collaboration stems from the work of journalist Eliza Griswold and photographer Seamus Murphy, who reported “Why Afghan Women Risk Death to Write Poetry” for the New York Times magazine in 2012. Griswold and Murphy’s work will be published in a book, I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan, next month. In the New York Times article, Griswold reveals the… Read more

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