Challenging preconceptions of Muslim women

Dr Siobhan Lambert-Hurley, Professor of Global History and Departmental Director of Research and Innovation.

Dr Siobhan Lambert-Hurley - image

'Gender equality is making the histories of Muslim women known so that they may challenge preconceptions in the present and open possibilities for the future.

To evoke the Muslim woman in the contemporary political climate is to conjure images of black veils and shrouded faces.

The hijab becomes a symbol of clipped horizons and curtailed movement. And yet many Muslim women throughout history have countered these omnipresent images in a multitude of ways.

My contribution to progressing gender equality is to tell these women’s histories including to analyse travel narratives by Muslim women from Indonesia to Morocco who crisscrossed the globe from the 16th century to the jet age. (Siobhan Lambert-Hurley, Daniel Majchrowicz and Sunil Sharma (eds), Three Centuries of Travel Writing by Muslim Women (Indiana University Press, 2022))

I've also worked on a gender-focused GCRF project on 'female literacy and empowerment in Pakistan and India through life writing (2019 - 2021). Resources and books have been published on the partner's website. 

As part of that, we are using the histories of inspirational Muslim women from the past to create children's books and literacy resources for girls' schools and women's organisations in Pakistan and India.'

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