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Islam, Law, and Human Rights of Women in Malaysia

  • K. SteinerEmail author
Reference work entry
Part of the International Human Rights book series (IHR)

Abstract

Malaysia has been struggling with the officially endorsed system of legal pluralism whereby Islamic and civil law coexist as perceived independent niches of the legal system causing significant legal, political, and social tension. One of the areas where those tensions between the different legal systems are apparent is in the area of human rights and in particular the rights of women. The two legal systems are vying for normative dominance as to what system prevails in cases of conflict. As human rights are enshrined in the constitutional framework of Malaysia, one might assume that the constitution prevails over religious laws. Yet, this is not necessarily the case. All three branches of government – legislature, executive, and judiciary – are not only at odds with each other but also conflicted within. This chapter considers the different communities that shape the discourse on the relationship between Islam, law, and the human rights of women in Malaysia. Civil society organizations have contributed significantly to the debate voicing in particular their concerns that human rights are threatened by the implementation of various Islamic laws, in particular Islamic family law and Islamic criminal law. The focus of this chapter is on how the human rights enshrined in CEDAW fare in the context of Malaysia, a country that is renegotiating its identity between a secular and Islamic state.

Keywords

Islam Malaysia Human rights Women 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Law SchoolLa Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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