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Holding Marriage Hostage: Male Guardianship in Muslim Women’s Application for Marriage in Contemporary Malaysia

Event Date as Display String:

Thursday, February 18, 2021, 12:00pm - 1:00pm



Event Description:

Gazette Classification: Law,Religion,Social Sciences
Organization/Sponsor: Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World
Speaker(s): <strong>Nurul Huda Mohd</strong><br
/><em>Razif&nbsp;</em><br /><br /><strong>Evans Fellow</strong><br
/><em>University of Cambridge;&nbsp;Postdoctoral Researcher, CASE,
EHSS</em> Ticket Web Link:
Contact Info: pls@law.harvard.edu Harvard Key Required: No Link:
Under Malaysia's Islamic Family Law, Muslim women may only marry with
the signed authorization of a male guardian (wali), usually their
biological father. Drawing on court observations and archival research
conducted in the Syariah Court of the Malaysian State of Kelantan,
this talk examines "wali refusal" cases, where women's right to marry
is held hostage by estranged fathers who refuse to sign their
daughters' marriage application. Nurul first argues that the Islamic
concept of "male guardianship" as interpreted and practiced by the
Malaysian Syariah system often clashes with a more grievous reality,
in which the bonds of kinship in Malay families are at times fragile.
Second, she illustrates how the notion of "male guardianship" limits
the autonomy and agency accorded to women, compelling many Malay women
to elope to Thailand in order to marry without their father's
knowledge or permission. The Syariah's paternal and patriarchal
authority here is challenged by Malay women who hold that the father's
role as "male guardian" is not a given, but must first be earned
through the rights, roles and responsibilities from parent to children
required to maintain kinship ties. Professor Dominik Müller will be
the discussant for the talk.



Event Start Date as Date Type:

Thursday, February 18, 2021 - 12:00 to 13:00



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