Gender and Islam in Southeast Asia

Women’s Rights Movements, Religious Resurgence and Local Traditions


The volume is the first comprehensive compilation of texts on gender constructions, normative gender orders and their religious legitimizations, as well as current gender policies in Islamic Southeast Asia, which besides the Islamic core countries of Malaysia and Indonesia also comprises southern Thailand and Mindanao (the Philippines). The authors trace the impact of national development programmes, modernization, globalization, and political conflicts on the local and national gender regimes in the twentieth century, and elaborate on the consequences of the revitalization of a conservative type of Islam. The book, thus, elucidates the boundary lines of cultural and political processes of negotiation related to state, society, and community. It employs a broad analytical framework, offers rich empirical data and gives new insights into current debates on gender and Islam. Contributors include Nelly van Doorn-Harder, Farish A. Noor, Siti Musdah Mulia, Amporn Marddent, Maila Stivens, Alexander Horstmann, Amina Rasul-Bernardo, Monika Arnez, Susanne Schröter, Nurul Ilmi Idrus, Vivienne S.M. Angeles and Birte Brecht-Drouart.
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Biographical Note

Susanne Schröter, PhD (1994) in Anthropology, is Professor of Anthropology of Colonial and Postcolonial Orders at Goethe University Frankfurt. She has published on religion, gender and culture including the edited volume Christianity in Indonesia (Berlin 2010) and the co-edited volume (together with Arndt Graf and Edwin Wieringa) Aceh. History, politics, and culture (Singapore 2010).

Review Quote

'This rich text is a welcome addition to the scant literature on women in Southeast Asia. [...] Highly recommended.' A. B. McCloud, CHOICE 51.5 (January 2014). doi: 10.5860/CHOICE.51-2959 “The main strength of the book lies in the examination of gender discourses in countries and organizations that have been under-researched. […] … an important contribution to gender studies and Islam.” Norshahril Saat in Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia 29.2 (2014). DOI: 10.1355/sj29-2o

Table of contents

Dedication Acknowledgements Susanne Schröter: Introduction Susanne Schröter: Gender and Islam in Southeast Asia. An Overview. Indonesia Nelly van Doorn-Harder: Polygamy and Harmonious Families: Indonesian Debates on Gender and Marriage Monika Arnez: A Dialogue with God? Islam and Lesbian Relationships in Two Post-Suharto Narratives Nurul Ilmi Idrus: Islam, Marriage and Gender Relations in Bugis Lontara’: A Critical Analysis of the Lontara Daramatasia Siti Musdah Mulia: Towards Justice in Marital Law: Empowering Indonesian Women Malaysia Maila Stivens: ‘Family Values’ and Islamic Revival: Gender, Rights and State Moral Projects in Malaysia Philippines Amina Rasul-Bernardo: The Role of Muslim Women in Democracy, Development, and Peace: The Philippine Case Vivienne S. M. Angeles: From Catholic to Muslim: Changing Perceptions of Gender Roles in a Balik-Islam Movement in the Philippines Birte Brecht-Drouart: Muslim Women Leaders in the Philippines Thailand Alexander Horstmann: Female Missionaries and Women’s Participation in Southern Thailand’s Chapter of the Tablighi Jama’at Amporn Marddent: Religious Piety and Muslim Women in Thailand Transnational Farish A. Noor: Woman as the Constitutive Other? The Place and Meaning of ‘Woman’ in the Worldviewof the Tablighi Jama’at Bibliography About the Authors Index


Scholars and students of various disciplines (social sciences, politics, anthropology, religious studies, gender studies), political activists, members of NGOs, national and international organizations, politicians