Women, Property and Islam

Women, Property and Islam : Palestinian Experiences, 1920-1990

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According to Islamic law, women are entitled to inherit property, to receive a dower at marriage, and are in full control of their income. Through an anthropological study of Palestinian women on the West Bank, Annelies Moors demonstrates that this is not always the case in practice. In fact, their options vary greatly depending on whether they gain access to property through inheritance, through the dower or through paid labour. The narratives of women from different stratas of society indicate under what circumstances they claim property rights, and when they are prevented from doing so in order to gain other advantages. While essentially an ethnographic study, the author's use of court records demonstrates how historical changes have affected women's claims to property, focusing on the relation between local traditions, international politics and transnational labour migration.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1 table
  • 1139240978
  • 9781139240970

Table of contents

1. Introduction: women and property; Part I. Politics, Economy and Kinship: 2. The lives of four women: introducing property and politics; 3. Women and inheritance; Part II. The Power: 4. The dower: marriage, gender and social stratification; 5. Marriage: the prompt dower; 6. Repudiation and widowhood: the deferred dower; Part III. Paid Labour and Property: 7. Poverty, wage labour and property; 8. Gender and garment production; 9. Education, professional work and property; 10. Women and property revisited.show more

Review quote

"...this is a well-written, engaging study--useful to social scientists, Middle East scholars, and specialists in gender studies." Choice "Engaging, convincing, and brilliantly crafted, Women, Property and Islam is one of the best scholarly books I have read in some time....The ten chapters of this book provide ample detail and a most useful level of specificity. They allow readers to appreciate the need for analytic caution before translating legal prinicples into data, and they quietly but effectively show the need to put any "ethnographic present" in a historical context." Virginia R. Dominguez, American Anthropologist "The strengths of Moors's study lie in its detail and in the ways this detail is linked to issues of larger theoretical substance....this is in many ways a fascinating and suggestive ethnographic study that raises questions about the relationship between written evidence and social practice that are useful for historians to consider." Ylana N. Millar, American Historical Review "Combining detailed examination and broad theoretical framework, Moors' study is an important contribution in understanding the position of women in a rapidly changing society." Rachel Simon, Ph.D., DOMESshow more