Women Living Under Muslim Laws

About: Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) is an international solidarity network that provides information, support and a collective space for women whose lives are shaped, conditioned or governed by laws and customs said to derive from Islam.

For more than two decades WLUML has linked individual women and organisations. It now extends to more than 70 countries ranging from South Africa to Uzbekistan, Senegal to Indonesia and Brazil to France. It links:

  • women living in countries or states where Islam is the state religion, secular states with Muslim majorities as well as those from Muslim communities governed by minority religious laws;
  • women in secular states where political groups are demanding religious laws;
  • women in migrant Muslim communities in Europe, the Americas, and around the world;
  • non-Muslim women who may have Muslim laws applied to them directly or through their children;
  • women born into Muslim communities/families who are automatically categorized as Muslim but may not define themselves as such, either because they are not believers or because they choose not to identify themselves in religious terms, preferring to prioritise other aspects of their identity such as political ideology, profession, sexual orientation or others.

Our name challenges the myth of one, homogenous ‘Muslim world’. This deliberately created myth fails to reflect that: a) laws said to be Muslim vary from one context to another and, b) the laws that determine our lives are from diverse sources: religious, customary, colonial and secular. We are governed simultaneously by many different laws: laws recognised by the state (codified and un-codified) and informal laws such as customary practices which vary according to the cultural, social and political context.

Aims and focus: The network aims to strengthen women’s individual and collective struggles for equality and their rights, especially in Muslim contexts. It achieves this by:

  • Breaking the isolation in which women wage their struggles by creating and reinforcing linkages between women within Muslim countries and communities, and with global feminist and progressive groups;
  •  Sharing information and analysis that helps demystify the diverse sources of control over women’s lives, and the strategies and experiences of challenging all means of control.

WLUML’s current focus is on the critical issues identified as our priorities for collective analysis and action:

  • Peace-Building and Resisting the Impact of Militarisation
  • Preserving Multiple Identities and Exposing Fundamentalisms
  • Widening Debate about Women’s Bodily Autonomy
  • Promoting and Protecting Women’s Equality Under Laws

As a theme, violence against women cuts across all of WLUML’s projects and activities.

Contact: wluml@wluml.org

Website: www.wluml.org/



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