Being the First, Opening the path: About my lecture on Islamic Feminism in Gender Studies Congress
It is a pleasure for me to share with you the text and presentation of the lecture I gave on Tuesday 22 May at the National University of Cordoba, Argentina as part of the Second Congress of Gender Studies "The Personal is Political" which was performed between 22 and 24 this month, with large attendance of students, academics and researchers in the field both from Argentina and Latin America.
With the support of Muslims for Progressive Values asociation (MPV) of United States as a sponsor, and the personal contribution of Muslim brothers and sisters I could attend and became the first Muslim woman to speak in such event in an academic setting about Islam and Gender. I hope is not the last time for me and I expect many Muslims who can be heard in the future.
My lecture was successful. I shared a panel with Catholic theologians as Marlen Escobar from Colombia and Andrea Sanchez Ruiz, from Catholic University as well and Mateo Paganini from Argentina, a researcher in gender and religion.
I was surprised at first how much audience among students and teachers. One tends to think that religion does not matter to anyone. But no. The room was full and after the session had begun, people kept coming. Second, it was pleasing for me to note interest was genuine and intense about Islam, reflected in public inquiries both in terms of politics, as in spiritual aspects.
Certainly the religious experience is integral to the actions of the individual as a political subject, ie,as an agent that interprets, intervenes and is related to reality and others. I am very happy to have contributed to a greater understanding of our faith from the part of non-Muslims and to arouse the curiosity of scholars of religion and social sciences in general about Islam beyond the prejudices and misconceptions that currently are circulating.
Regarding women issues, the debate centered around their rights and the current status of gender equality in the so-called Islamic countries, especially in the context of the Arab revolutions. I was also asked about homosexuality and abortion from an Islamic perspective. In Argentina, recently passed the Law on Gender Identity and debate on the legalization of abortion is in the spotlight today. Both issues, along with gender violence went across all conferences of the Congress during the 3 days. During the other days of the Congress I took part in debates on gender violence and the intersections between culture and gender where I share my view on this with other speakers and students.
Now, I have new requests to reply this speech in other spaces in Buenos Aires and also to be interviewed in some Radios about the topic of Islam and Gender. I hope my effort had been useful to melt the barriers between muslims and non muslims.
you can download it in attached doc or read it here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0Y3VhqDIOLqNzNqczN6Wk5ZOUU/edit