Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Body: Female: North Africa
(1,246 words)

Women's bodies are used everywhere to symbolize and project collective ideals. Perhaps nowhere has this been more the case than in North Africa, where issues of women's dress and women's very presence in particular spaces are used as ways of characterizing a host of moral, political, and religious notions. Recently, discourse and practice with regard to the ḥijāb (veil) has focalized a host of social and political opinions. Progressives see veiling as anathema to women's freedom, while Islamists promote the ḥijāb as a sign of religiosity. There were, as Germaine Tillion (20…

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Ossman, Susan, “Body: Female: North Africa”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 21 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0159e>
First published online: 2009

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