On the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, women in most Muslim lands are still oppressed by sharia family law. Many Muslim female activists were demanding changes to gender discriminatory laws well before the current wave of reform started pounding regional governments. There are good reasons to listen to these dissidents, whose demands are indispensable to democratisation in the Muslim world.
Many activists are sophisticated intellectuals who do not fit the stereotype of the submissive Muslim woman. They are aware of their historic moment and pivotal role as stakeholders in Islamic reform, having the most to gain if freedom takes hold but the most to lose if radical Islam advances.
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