Normative Islam, prejudice and women leaders: why do Arab women leaders suffer.

Tamer Koburtay*, Tala Abuhussein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The main aim of this study is to compare prejudicial practices against women leaders with egalitarian Islamic guidelines and current efforts towards achieving gender equality. The study also aims to highlight and offer new readings of the Quranic guidelines that may reform gender prejudice against Muslim/Arab women leaders. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 14 women leaders, the results show that egalitarian Islamic efforts towards gender equality are in conflict with certain negative gender practices. This leads us to conclude (and theorize) that Islamic guidelines, as originally retrieved from the Quran, support gender equality and remedy prejudicial assessment against genders. This study contributes to the literature through offering a partial counterview that highlights an egalitarian reading of Islamic principles relating to women leaders. To our knowledge, this is the first endeavour that incorporates Muslim women leaders’ insights towards offering new readings of the Quranic guidelines on gender equality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-189
JournalJournal of Gender Studies
Issue number2
Early online date16 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


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