Unveiling Modest Femininities: Sexuality, Gender (In)equality and Gender Justice

Priola, Vincenza and Chaudhry, Shafaq A. (2021). Unveiling Modest Femininities: Sexuality, Gender (In)equality and Gender Justice. British Journal of Management, 32(2) pp. 306–321.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8551.12390


The article theorises the juxtaposition between gender justice and gender equality within Islamic feminism, through the empirical analysis of gender practices in Pakistani banks. Theoretically grounded within Islamic feminism and informed by secular feminism, the paper discusses the findings emerged from two ethnographic studies aimed at exploring the influence of ‘religiously motivated’ patriarchal norms on experiences of gender inequalities in financial institutions in Pakistan. The research reveals that distinct practices and expectations exist in different organisations, specifically in the context of Islamic banks when compared with western banks operating in Pakistan. Gender oppression, thus, assumes different meanings, as gender norms and sexualities are differently negotiated by women and men in the two banks. While the Islamic bank enforces gender segregation and isolation and limits interactions among the genders according to orthodox Islamic practices, the multinational western bank provides a more equal and integrated work environment, though we observed the exploitation of femininities to pursue business objectives. The discussion further theorises Islamic feminism by problematising gender justice and its relation to gender equality in Pakistani workplaces and society.

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