Who Provides? Who Cares? Changing Dynamics in Muslim Families

This thematic paper examines economic and parental rights and responsibilities in Muslim families using the holistic Musawah approach, which integrates Islamic teachings, international human rights principles, national guarantees of equality, and realities of women’s and men’s lives today. There are four main sections in the paper: an overview of how classical Muslim jurists understood the issues of spousal and parental rights and responsibilities, and how these juristic constructions relate to contemporary family law provisions; A discussion of contemporary realities of Muslim families, including key socio-economic trends and their implications for spousal and parental roles; an overview of some shifts that have taken place at the level of policies, laws, and norms that can help families move towards more egalitarian relationships; and recommendations for various actors to address concerns regarding spousal and parental rights and responsibilities using a framework that draws on Islamic teachings, universal human rights, national guarantees of equality, and the lived realities of Muslim men and women today.