The role of Islam in the lives of girls and women in physical education and sport

Tansin Benn*, Haifaa Jawad, Yousra Al-Sinani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter addresses the relative exclusion of Muslim girls and women from physical education and sport arenas. It makes an interesting contribution because, although deemed a fundamental right as part of an education for all children, the subject of physical education and sport focuses on the body and its physicality as a medium for participation. This has led to some tensions at the interface of gender, religion and education in Europe and beyond. The subject is contentious in relation to Islamic cultural practices, for example, body modesty and gender segregation, as is illustrated with previous research presented here from England and Denmark. Wider dilemmas in the secular but Muslim-majority country of Turkey and an Islamic, recently emerging, country of Oman are also presented. The importance of situational context on the intersection of gender, Islam and physicality are foregrounded in these examples. Ways of understanding such diversity are then explored through historical, sociocultural and theological perspectives of Islam, gender and physicality through examining processes of change leading to the differences found in the realities presented. International efforts to build more conducive learning environments that respect Islamic requirements, where preferred, are discussed as a way of developing more inclusive education systems for Muslim girls and women.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGender, Religion and Education in a Chaotic Postmodern World
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9789400752702
ISBN (Print)9789400752696
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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