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Feminist voices in Islam and in Judaism

Thursday 24 February 2005, by Raida Aiashe-Hatib

All the versions of this article: [English] [עברית]

On February the 24th we had the pleasure to welcome two outstanding lecturers who gave talks about the position of women in Islam and Judaism.

The first lecturer was Dr. Anat Hoffman, who is Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center since 2002. She served as a Jerusalem City council woman for 14 years, carving out a niche for herself as an untiring warrior for justice and equality. She has dedicated her life to the Jewish principle of tikkun olam. Her commitment to this social action and justice has formed her career.

In her lecture, Dr. Hoffman focused on the women’s right to pray at the Western Wall and for women’s equal pay for equal work. At one point, she was imprisoned for her activities.

Saida Bayadse who is Director of the “Nisaa wa Afaq” (Women and Horizons)Association, which aims to improve the position of women in traditional Islamic society through contemporary interpretation of religious texts that relate to women’s rights. She graduated from the Hebrew University Faculty of Law in the year 1993, She worked for several years in representing and defending women in civil and Shariah courts. She has been giving lectures on this topic since 1993.

Her lecture discussed modern interpretations of Islamic texts brought by both men and women. She focused on women who are interested in sharing their understanding of religion. She said that while some women seek to escape the injustices imposed upon them under the pretext of religion, the majority wish to keep traditional Islamic values. She expressed the need of women to control their destinies within the framework of their religion.


Dr. Anat Hoffman Saida Bayadse Anat and Saida

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