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A Religious Feminist

Hidayet Tuksal

Hidayet Tuksal, born in 1963, holds a PhD in Islamic theology from Ankara University. She is author of a book on the hadith (account of the words and deeds of the Prophet) and describes herself as a 'religious feminist'. She is thus part of a new generation of Islamic feminists advocating gender equality. She was also one of the founders of the Capital Women's Platform (Baskent Kadin Platform) in 1994 in Ankara. The platform draws attention to the injustice and discrimination that religious women suffer in secular circles. It challenges the religious basis of traditions that discriminate against women. As she told ESI "religion has been interpreted differently by different people throughout history, leading to male-dominated interpretations."

Tuksal sees progress in terms of collaboration among different women's groups.

"Many women opposing the headscarf are academics who come from university women's research departments. But even they reached the point saying 'Come and let us talk about the headscarf in a closed meeting.' They never said that before. Socialist feminists and women with headscarves sit next to each other "

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