Democracy, Oil, or Religion? Expanding Women’s Rights in the Muslim World

Citation:

Chaturvedi, Neilan S., and Orlando Montoya. 2013. “Democracy, Oil, or Religion? Expanding Women’s Rights in the Muslim World.” Politics and Religion 6 (3): 596–617. doi:10.1017/S1755048312000648.

Authors: Neilan S. Chaturvedi, Orlando Montoya

Abstract:

Of the 45 Muslim majority countries in the world, 42 have signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. While this does indeed signal a motive to improve women’s rights, there is wide disparity in terms of which countries expand rights and which do not. Social science literature suggests that in addition to economic factors like wealth and oil resources, or political factors like the quality of democracy in the country, Islamic culture may be at odds with the Western conception of women’s rights. We posit that Muslim countries are unique in this regard due to religious pressures that often conflict with conventional measures of human rights. Using data from the Cingranelli-Richards Human Rights Dataset and the Religion and State Project, we find that Muslim countries that restrict the influence of fundamentalist religion in the government and population improve women’s economic and social rights.

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Political Participation, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East

Year: 2013

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.