Muslim Women and Sport

Muslim Women and Sport

Muslim Women and Sport

Muslim Women and Sport


Examining the global experiences, challenges and achievements of Muslim women participating in physical activities and sport, this important new study makes a profound contribution to our understanding of both contemporary Islam and the complexity and diversity of women's lives in the modern world.

The book presents an overview of current research into constructs of gender, the role of religion and the importance of situation, and looks closely at what Islam has to say about women's participation in sport and what Muslim women themselves have to say about their participation in sport. It highlights the challenges and opportunities for women in sport in both Muslim and non-Muslim countries, utilizing a series of extensive case-studies in various countries which invite the readers to conduct cross-cultural comparisons. Material on Iraq, Palestine and Bosnia and Herzegovina provides rare insights into the impact of war on sporting activities for women. The book also seeks to make important recommendations for improving access to sport for girls and women from Muslim communities.

Muslim Women and Sport confronts many deeply held stereotypes and crosses those commonly quoted boundaries between 'Islam and the West' and between 'East and West'. It makes fascinating reading for anyone with an interest in the interrelationships between sport, religion, gender, culture and policy.


The issue of women, sport and empowerment continuously remains on the agenda of global social change. The concepts of women’s empowerment, gender mainstreaming, gender equality and gender equity have been identified as key drivers for promoting women’s quality of life. The increased emphasis on the position of women and sport during the last half-century has now been embedded in the broader context of globalization. A record of this can be found in sequential United Natio attention to women’s rights and have served to facilitate a greater interest and participation in women’s sport. IAPESGW has, historically, supported the involvement of girls and women in physical education and sport since its inception in 1949. A half-century later, in 1999, IAPeSGw, through its members and leaders, responded to members’ requests to work more closely with and for Muslim women in physical education and sport. The strategic initiative involved acknowledging and combating negative stereotypes of Muslim women (predominantly held in the west, but also held in other parts of the world) as oppressed and virtually invisible in the sports arena; and bringing forth understanding, through knowledge exchange, about the diverse experiences of Muslim girls and women in and through physical education and sport internationally. One forum created was in locating the IAPESGW World Congress in Alexandria, Egypt, in 2001. This provided a world platform from which to facilitate an international agenda for the discussion of challenges and opportunities for Muslim girls and women in sport.

During the following 2005 IAPeSGw world Congress in edmonton, Canada, two important events coincided, the opening keynote by the then President, Professor Margaret Talbot, and a seminar on Muslim women in sport. The former raised concerns about the exclusion of Muslim girls and women from physical education and sport, while the latter identified contested views concerning the participation of Muslim women in the Olympic Games. As a result of subsequent discussion between a group of scholars with mutual interest in facilitating the participation of Muslim women in sport, a commitment to pursue an opportunity for extended dialogue at an international level was agreed. Dr Tansin Benn, then an Executive Board member of IAPESGW, and the current President, was . . .

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