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It has been argued that Islam liberated Muslim women by granting them full rights as citizens. Yet in reality we see that women have long been subjected to both cultural and political oppression. Instances such as forced marriages are sadly common in the Muslim World, as are restrictions on education and on their role in the labour force.
HAIFAA A. JAWAD is Senior Lecturer in Middle East and Islamic Studies at Westhill College, Birmingham. She previously taught politics and international relations at Al-Mustansiriya University, Baghdad, and New England College, Arundel. Born in Baghdad, Dr Jawad gained her PhD from Exeter University in 1989. She has specialised on Euro-Arab relations, the socio-political study of Islam, Islam and the west and women's issues in Islam. Among her most recent publications is The Middle East in the New World Order (1997). Currently she is on secondment at the Religious Department of Lancaster University.