Seminario García Pelayo: "Women and Islamic Law: From Myth to Misoginy"

From stoning to servitude, clothing to constitutional rights, income to inheritance, dowry to discipline, polygamy to property ownership: who Muslim women are and what rights they have are subjects of academic scholarship within Islamic communities as well as fascination and criticism by the West.

What does Islamic law really say about these issues? Do Muslim men have the legal right to marry as many women as they like, and may they ensure obedience by beating their wives? Do Muslim women give up all independence as soon as they marry, and are they straightjacketed into remaining in restrictive marriages because of financial servitude and archaic divorce laws?

And who has the right to decide these and similar issues – traditional Islamic legal scholars, well-meaning international human rights activists, secular judges in western democracies – or someone else? Do women have any input in interpretations of their own rights?

Over the course of two hours we will explore answers to these and similar questions, lifting the veil on a topic of global fascination.


Christie S. Warren, Professor of the Practice of International and Comparative Law and Director of the Center for Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding, William and Mary Law School.


Antonio-Martín Porras Gómez,CEPC