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Publication - Dr Mengia Tschalaer

    Muslim Women’s Rights Activists’ Visibility

    Stretching the Gendered Boundaries of the Public Space in the City of Lucknow


    Tschalaer, M, 2015, ‘Muslim Women’s Rights Activists’ Visibility: Stretching the Gendered Boundaries of the Public Space in the City of Lucknow’. South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, vol 11.


    Within the last decade, Muslim women’s rights activists in postcolonial India have acquired increasing visibility within the contested public space. This paper looks pointedly at the manner in which three ideologically different Muslim women’s rights activists work toward carving out women’s spaces within the men-dominated political and legal landscape in the city of Lucknow. In doing so, it examines first: how Muslim women’s activists carefully orchestrate their appearance within the public space, and second: their strategic utilisation of the media for the dissemination of their alternative proposals concerning the ‘true Islam’ and the ‘ideal Muslim woman’. This paper argues that Muslim women’s rights activists’ interventions within the public space destabilise hegemonic patterns of knowledge and authority. Laying bare the possibilities Islamic discourse and its embodiment offer for women’s agency, this paper challenges liberal and modernist perspectives that view religion as being obstructive to women’s freedom and autonomy.

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