RESEARCH: A website brings Muslim women together to control the conversation about their lives and choices
Concordia’s Arwa Hussain, a PhD candidate and Public Scholar from the Department of Religions and Cultures, studies how online platforms such as the website Mighzal, encourage Muslim women from the Dawoodi Bohra community to share their stories. Hussain is a member of the Dawoodi Bohra community, lending a personal aspect to her research.
Her new article, Covered, Not Bound: Young Dawoodi Bohra Women's Self-Representation and Agency through the Online Website Mighzal, explores the topic.
“In this article, I look at how young Muslim women of this community are actively participating in the creation of their own discourses while negotiating and questioning discourses of gender and religious stereotyping,” Hussain explains.
Mighzal was founded in 2016 by a group of young Dawoodi Bohra women who were seeking an inclusive platform to talk frankly about female-identified issues. Topics covered include religion, gender roles and everyday experiences being a member of this community.
Hussain's research uses a digital form of ethnography (online, on-the-scene learning about relationships and interactions between people). She notes Mighzal has provided an outlet for contributors to share their wisdom and experiences in a safe space, free from judgement or preaching, in communities where women often lack platforms to express themselves.
Hussain’s work shows Mighzal to be an example of how online platforms are used by Muslim women to empower themselves and create connections with other like-minded individuals.
Read Covered, Not Bound: Young Dawoodi Bohra Women's Self-Representation and Agency through the Online Website Mighzal in the Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture.