Negotiating Modernity with Caution: Women of Jama’at-e- Islami Pakistan

Jamat-e-Islami Pakistan and Women


  • Dr. Humaira Ahmad University of Management and Technology, Lahore
  • Dr Mian Muhammad Rafi



public sphere, synthesis, modernity, textual analysis, western feminism framework, selective tools, conspicuous consistency


Role of Muslim women in public sphere has been a highly contested topic among international academia since many decades. Dominant Orientalist approach assumes universal and monolithic Islam that is uncompromisingly oppressive to women and confines them in homes. Many of recent studies contest this view and term it as reductionists. This article focusses on the transformation of policies of Jama’at-e-Islami Pakistan (JI), as a representative of contemporary Islamic movements, on the issue of Muslim women’s participation in public sphere and adoption of modernity at their own terms. It investigates the underpinning of these trajectories traversed by the party, synthesising the modernity with Islamic Principles. Research is qualitative in nature and based on textural analysis of the documents i.e. published material (books, articles, proceedings, resolutions, interviews etc.). Input managed through few face-to-face semi structured interviews is also included. Study shows gradual change in party policy; from hesitation in granting even rights of vote to the women, to putting women candidates for assemblies, involving them in street protests and using all modern techniques to further party’s agenda but at their own terms. Study finds that JI has taken every step for opening of public sphere for women, using all the available opportunities, resources and platforms. However there is conspicuous consistency in their narrative that, the first and most important responsibility of women is her home and family. When policies of JI on the issue are viewed in western feminism framework, these seem quite restrictive, oppressive and detrimental to women rights, however, there are others who admit that slowly and steadily, JI women, by using selective tools of modernity, have taken over the major portion of public space, once solely dominated by the secular women organizations in Pakistan.



How to Cite

Ahmad, D. H., & Dr Mian Muhammad Rafi. (2021). Negotiating Modernity with Caution: Women of Jama’at-e- Islami Pakistan: Jamat-e-Islami Pakistan and Women. ĪQĀN, 4(01), 64–79.