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About Ziba Mir-Hosseini

Ziba Mir-Hosseini is a legal anthropologist and a founding member of Musawah Global Movement for Equality and Justice in the Muslim Family. She is lead editor of the just-published book  “Gender and Equality in Muslim Family Law: Justice and Ethics in the Islamic Legal Tradition” ( I B Tauris). Ziba co-directed the BAFTA-winning documentary Divorce Iranian Style


Articles by Ziba Mir-Hosseini

This week’s front page editor


Adam Bychawski is an editorial assistant at openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Men in charge? Rethinking authority in Muslim legal tradition

The new book Men in Charge? shows that the assumption that God gave men authority over women is a theological fiction that became a legal fiction, whose main function now is to sustain gender inequality.  

How to challenge the patriarchal ethics of Muslim legal tradition

One lesson from the 1979 Iranian revolution and the 2011 Arab revolutions is that activists seeking to promote women’s rights, human rights and the transition to democracy must challenge patriarchy from within the Muslim legal tradition. 

Feminist voices in Islam: promise and potential

Religion is back in public space, and the thesis that modernization means the privatization of religion has been seriously questioned. Some religious and feminist dogmas need re-examination. What do ‘secular’ or ‘religious’ or ‘feminist’ mean in today’s contexts?

Decoding the “DNA of Patriarchy” in Muslim family laws

Why and how did verse 4:34, and not other verses in the Qur’an, become the foundation for the legal construction of marriage? Why are qiwamah and wilayah still the basis of gender relations in the imagination of modern-day jurists and Muslims who resist and denounce equality in marriage as alien to Islam? How can we Muslim women reconstruct the concepts ? 

Iranian responses to the “Arab spring”: appropriation and contestation

While the Iranian government authorities attempted to appropriate the Arab spring, claiming it was a continuation of the Iranian revolution of 1979, the events revived popular longing for democratic change in Iran. Ziba Mir-Hosseini tells Deniz Kandiyoti that no movement for change in Iran can afford to ignore women’s aspiration for equality – a lesson that some of the successful elements in the Arab spring may yet have to learn

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