Europe's Muslim women: potential, aspirations and challenges
Author: Sara Silvestri
Publisher: King Baudouin Foundation
Publication Place: Brussels
Muslim women continue to be associated in European public opinion with low employment levels, scarce upward social mobility and infrequent success in highly paid professions, conservative moral positions vis à vis social relations, and traditional religious practices and beliefs. They are often accused of choosing to segregate themselves voluntarily, by embracing backward and inhibiting religious values and by refusing to empower themselves through education and employment, which are considered to be the two best recipes for steering away from socio-economic failure and from the possible radicalisation of youth. The purpose of this study, which is not a demographic or a quantitative work, is therefore that of chartering the main issues of concern for and trends of thinking among Europe’s Muslim women. This report has the ambitious objective to bring forth some voices and provide snapshots of the day-to-day experience, and relationship to their faith of the Muslim women who are living in Europe (both immigrants and citizens), rather than focusing on saturated discussions ‘about’ Muslim women and the Islamic scarf affair.
Table of contents
Foreword Executive summary Synthèse Samenvatting The author Acknowledgements Introduction Objectives Rationale and method Beyond the veil: The research process Women in Islamic texts and practice… Islamic female models Veiling: between modesty and honour… Sharia and marriage Islamic fundamentalism, Islamic feminism, Islamic femininity? Who are the Muslim women of Europe? Myths and realities The feminisation of migration Closely-knit family, economic inactivity and social exclusion… From isolation to self-assertion Submission, violence, honour killings Imported brides, forced and arranged marriages What responses? Individuals, groups, activism: a fluid and diversified picture… Beyond the veil: Issues emerged from the empirical research Relationship to faith… Learning and adhering to the faith Veiling and religiosity Living in Europe: rights and freedoms… Rational individuals between two worlds Conclusions… Innovation and limitations of the study The context… What do Europe’s Muslim women want? Typologies Looking forward References.