How Women Are Transforming the Middle East

Speaker: Isobel Coleman
Presider: Richard N. Haass

In "Paradise Beneath Her Feet," Isobel Coleman shows how Muslim women and men are fighting back with progressive interpretations of Islam to support women's rights in a growing movement of Islamic feminism. Dr. Coleman argues that these efforts are critical to bridging the conflict between those championing reform and those seeking to oppress women in the name of religious tradition.

See more in Middle East and North Africa; Women

Foreign Affairs Article

The Better Half

Author: Isobel Coleman

Efforts to provide the world's women with economic and political power are more than just a worthy moral crusade: they represent perhaps the best strategy for pursuing development and stability across the globe.

See more in Women; Economic Development; Global

Must Read

Guardian: Human rights before religion

Author: Seyran Ates

Seyran Ates, a practicing Muslim, charges that  Germany has been downplaying human rights--and women's rights in particular--in an effort to remain politically correct with respect to religious practices.

See more in Europe; Religion; Women


Reform and Women's Rights Movements Intertwined in Iran

Isobel Coleman interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman

Following the 2009 disputed Iran presidential election, CFR's Isobel Coleman, a leading expert on women's issues, says that if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory stands, "you'll see a much more restricted Iran." This will "fall heavily on women, but it won't stop them," she says.

See more in Elections; Iran; Women