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Tahera Aftab 



Abstract of paper given at Islam and Ecology conference:
Women and Environmental Projects in Muslim Societies

The degradation of gender and environment, a hallmark of Muslim societies of today, finds no parallel in the history of Islam. On the contrary, there is much historical evidence that women played an active role in the preservation and protection of environment. This paper develops an argument that the relationship between environment and women has a historic tradition and that many Muslim women not only understood the concept of the all-pervading Beauty of Allah, but respected it. Support for this argument is found in the role played by women in South Asia from the 12th to the 18th centuries. The second part of the paper briefly looks at the factors responsible for restricting women from their active participation in community life. Summing up the paper are some suggestions for environmental awareness, such as curricula changes in institutions of higher learning.

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