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Providing a Gender Perspective to Integration in Western Europe. Muslim Women’s Agency between Multicultural and Assimilationist Policies

Cristina Yasmin Ghanem (2017)

Contenuto in:

 Peace Human Rights Governance 1(3)

Tipologia pubblicazione

: Articolo / Saggio


: 307-332


: EN


While scholars have tried to assess the presumed increase of the civic integration approach and the failure of multiculturalism in Western Europe, little research has been conducted to uncover the ways in which these two understandings of integration could promote Muslim women’s agency within their communities and in the broader national space. This analysis will address the possible implications of each model’s integration policies targeting second and third generation Muslim women, taking into account the role played by religion to justify life choices with family and community members in the specific context of European Islam. A younger generation of Muslim women refers to religious identity and knowledge of ‘Pure Islam’ as resources to gain personal worth and respected roles within their communities. This article will first challenge the alleged backlash of Multiculturalism through a gender lens and then it will provide a framework of understanding of Muslim women’s agency. To conclude, the article argues that multicultural policies rather than more assimilationist or universalist measures, could have a better impact on the promotion of Muslim women’s agency. Measures such as those listed by the Multicultural Policy Index, developed by Keith Banting and Will Kymlicka at Queen’s University, are more likely to provide women with the tools used to negotiate life choices and their presence in the public space.

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