Perceptions of empowerment: a study of muslim women living in the greater Cape Town Metropole
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This thesis is a small scale in depth exploration into the perceptions of power held by eight Muslim women residing in the Cape Town Metropole area. Using a Qualitative Feminist approach the study aimed to explore and shed light on the multiple ways in which Muslim women negotiate, construct and co-construct agency, power and authority in their everyday lives. This study also sought to explore whether Muslim women who appear independent or empowered actually feel in control of their own lives; and how their ability to make choices is mediated by intersecting identities such as race, class, age, etc. The research highlights a number of emergent themes in which discussion of the women views around education, finance, reproductive responsibilities, patriarchy, etc. takes place and also explores the ways in which the women contest and resist traditional cultural norms in their everyday experiences. Furthermore this study also sought to create a space where the researcher focused and refocused her gaze on the theoretical and epistemological aspects of her chosen method of enquiry in order to interrogate its merits and limits. Upon reflection the researcher also acknowledges that, similar to the participants, she also holds contradictory views on some of the issues discussed.