Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Civil Society and Democracy Ideologies: South Asia
(2,591 words)

Approximately half of the world's 1.1 billion Muslims live in three countries of South Asia: 145 million and 130 million in Muslim-majority Pakistan and Bangladesh respectively, and 125 million in Hindu-majority India. Yet, the global discourse on Muslim women in civil society and democracy is shaped largely by the experiences of the Middle East where only 172 million Muslims live.

The Western media generally portray Muslim women as veiled and excluded from the public sphere. This is not so for South Asian Muslim women. Th…

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Jahan, Rounaq, “Civil Society and Democracy Ideologies: South Asia”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 27 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0070b>
First published online: 2009

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