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Please join us for drinks and nibbles prior to the event from 5:30-6pm! It is a pleasure to welcome Associate Professor Dr Minako Sakai as a guest speaker at the AIIA ACT Branch. We look forward to hearing her explore the case study of Indonesia as a leader in women's economic empowerment, as well as discuss the contents of her latest book.

Islam is often seen as being positioned against women's economic empowerment. Is this a reflection of the reality or is our understanding heavily influenced by strong patriarchy in Muslim countries?

Examples of patriarchy are the failure to educate women in Taliban-led Afghanistan, and gendered violence due to 'inappropriate clothing' as a Muslim woman in Iran. Associate Professor Dr Minako Sakai has researched this issue in the newly published book titled Muslim Women and Business Empowerment in Muslim Countries (Palgrave Springer 2022), co-authored with Professor Amelia Fauzia, a social historian from the State Islamic University, Jakarta and a Senior Visiting Fellow at HASS, UNSW Canberra.

Their findings illustrate that Indonesian Islam shows a way forward to resolve the issue. Their recent book examines supportive policies and economic programs to promote women's economic empowerment, and role modelling on the Prophet Muhammad's wives, Khadijah and Aishah.

Together, these provide a pathway for Muslim women to actively pursue and develop their small and medium business enterprises in urban areas. The emergent digital economy is accelerating this process. This presentation will explore why Indonesia is leading gender equality among Muslim countries and what can be learnt to achieve gender equality in Muslim countries.


AIIA National Office, Stephen House
32 Thesiger Court,
Deakin, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

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