Syrian Women Professionals' Resistance Strategies within Islam

Room 110 University House
Wednesday 19 October 2016 (12:00-13:30)

Speaker: Professor Rania Kamla (Heriot-Watt)


Rania joined the School of Management and Languages at Heriot-Watt University in July 2012.

Prior to this Rania was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Dundee (2006-2012), and from 2004-2006 Rania worked as a Lecturer in Aberdeen University Business School.

Rania gained her PhD in Accounting from Heriot-Watt University in June 2005.   Before joining academia Rania was the Chief Accountants in Al-Furat Petroleum Company in Damascus/Syria.


This study examines contestation strategies to patriarchal interpretations of women’s roles in Islam by Syrian women professional accountants. It contributes and expands discussions on gender subjectivity construction and resistance at work by focusing on women’s strategies through religion in a non-western context. The study introduces debates from Muslim feminism on contestation and resistance through feminist readings of Islamic texts. It parallels these debates with ordinary working Muslim women’s strategies to negotiate and contest traditional and patriarchal interpretations of their role in Islam. The article finds that Syrian women professionals contest their roles in society and in the workplace through religion using “defensive”, “offensive” and “authentic” strategies. It concludes that a greater understanding of contestations strategies within religion enhances our appreciation of the ways that gendering in the workplace and in professions is resisted and transformed in non-western, religious societies.

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