A Historical Perspective on Polygamy and Muslim Personal Law Reform in India

Issues of Muslim women’s marital rights have received significant media attention in recent years, whereby these women have highlighted gender inequalities in the unreformed legal system of Muslim personal law in India. Within these debates, the problem of polygamy has been a recurring theme, that has been lingering around the issues of Muslim personal law reform, and the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code in the interests of women’s rights.

Advertisements

Missionary Journals and a Rhetoric of Rescue: The Church of England Zenana Missionary Society and India’s Women (1880-1940)

Christian female missionaries played a prominent role in the spread and development of female education in colonial India. The missionary aim of ‘evangelisation through education’ placed literacy and learning high on the agenda of ‘women’s work for women’.[1] Such work and its attendant successes, setbacks, obstacles, and failures, were extensively recorded by female missionaries, and … Continue reading Missionary Journals and a Rhetoric of Rescue: The Church of England Zenana Missionary Society and India’s Women (1880-1940)

Islamic Reform and Female Education: Social Reforms for Muslim Women in Late Colonial India

Muslim reformers in nineteenth century India identified a need for Islamic reform due to a perceived decline of Islam in India. These reformers saw evidence of this decline in the adherence of Indian Muslims to false customs and practices disguised in the name of religion, and the accusations of ‘Muslim backwardness’ by colonial authorities.[1] Muslim … Continue reading Islamic Reform and Female Education: Social Reforms for Muslim Women in Late Colonial India

Indian Women’s Social Reform: Why Child Marriage, and Why Not Purdah?

Missionary Criticisms and the Religious Selection of Reform Social reforms in child marriage and female education were pursued in the late nineteenth century for the uplift of women’s conditions in Indian society. British criticisms on the treatment of women in India, encouraged Indian reformers to pursue changes to their conditions. The circumstances of British colonialism … Continue reading Indian Women’s Social Reform: Why Child Marriage, and Why Not Purdah?

Child Marriage and Female Education: the Religious Character of Social Reform for Hindu and Muslim Women in Late Colonial India

Child marriage and the lack of female education were problems across both Hindu and Muslim women, and were highlighted particularly in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Yet, in the Indian age of reform, each religious community chose to focus on different aspects of their women’s social conditions as subjects for their reform campaigns. … Continue reading Child Marriage and Female Education: the Religious Character of Social Reform for Hindu and Muslim Women in Late Colonial India

To what degree can we recover the voices of empires’ subalterns?

Recent historical scholarship has increasingly focused on looking at ‘history from below’ to recover voices from the past that have largely been ignored in grand historical narratives. This interest in illiterate groups has encouraged historians to explore a wider variety of sources, in order to recover the ‘history of ordinary people’s lives, and to some … Continue reading To what degree can we recover the voices of empires’ subalterns?

How Important is ‘Colonial’ Nationalism in Shaping Decolonisation?

Nationalism played a significant role in many historical processes of decolonisation. This was particularly apparent in the decolonisation of colonies such as India, Angola and the Thirteen British colonies of America. But the extent to which nationalism played a prominent role in shaping decolonisation is debatable. Nationalism can be defined as the aspirations common to … Continue reading How Important is ‘Colonial’ Nationalism in Shaping Decolonisation?