Gender, faith, and education: A study of five muslim women in the United Arab Emirates as they struggled to overcome gender social and religious prejudices.


Kenneth Mufuka*

This paper explores the remarkable accomplishments of five women managers in higher education settings in the United Arab Emirates from pre school to graduate studies abroad. The paper uses the exegetes of Imam Izadi to lay out in uncompromising terms prescriptions which form the background to a righteous Muslim woman. These prescriptions had the effect of drawing a circumference beyond which the girl child could not compete with a boy child. From illiterate parents and poverty stricken villages (except one) but nurturing families, their journeys to successful academic careers were remarkable. As they met obstacles from within and without, they drew within themselves resilience and determination. The article adopts a critical feminist approach, drawing on available literature for comparisons. In conclusion, the question arises whether they are sui generis, or whether they can be regarded as pioneering gender role models.

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