Hide/Show Apps

CONVERGENCE AND DIVERGENCE IN THE STATUS OF MOSLEM WOMEN - THE CASES OF TURKEY AND SAUDI-ARABIA

1991-09-01
ERTURK, Y
The theoretical concern underlying this article is to explore the possibilities of developing an alternative perspective to overcome the inadequacies of both universal (but ethnocentric) and relativist (but legitimising) accounts of culture-specific analysis. The problem addressed is the status of women in Turkey and Saudi Arabia - two Moslem societies representing significantly different models of national transformation. While the cultural and structural variability is illustrated, by focusing on such diverse examples it is also argued that it is not Islam per se (i.e. the implementation of the Sharia) that accounts for the sex segregated structure of society, which places women in a subordinate position to different extents, but rather that it is the religious-political tradition of the `corporate identity' which is so profoundly embedded in the intimate levels of consciousness and gender relations. It is therefore concluded that the liberation of women in Moslem societies is not a religious problem but essentially one of political consciousness and struggle.