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UT’s Center of Muslim Women to be topic of Feb. 19 lunch

Last fall, the UT Women’s and Gender Studies Department opened the Center of Muslim Women.

The center is housed within the Women’s and Gender Studies Department in University Hall.

Abdel-Halim

Campus and community members are invited to learn more about the center Tuesday, Feb. 19, from noon to 1 p.m. during a lunch program hosted by the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women. The free event will be held in Tucker Hall Room 015.

The center is a college-based entity serving the University and community as a resource center, a hub for programming, a research forum, and a gathering and support space for all UT students, faculty, staff and local residents interested in Muslim women’s issues.

“The center shall promote an understanding of Muslim women’s rights domestically and internationally,” said Dr. Asma Abdel-Halim, UT associate professor of women’s and gender studies, and director of the center. “We hope that it also creates interaction with all professional groups and individuals who have an interest in women’s issues and gender in Islam.”

Abdel-Halim said the center’s creation was possible with the support of Dr. S. Amjad Hussain, UT professor emeritus of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery, and former member of the University Board of Trustees; Dr. Sharon Barnes, professor and chair of the UT Department of Women’s and Gender Studies; and Charlene Gilbert, dean of the UT College of Arts and Letters.

A hope for the center is to create an inclusive environment working on different objectives, including but not limited to assisting students studying women in Islam to connect with experts at the University and in the community.

“The center is intended to utilize faculty and staff expertise in Muslim women’s status, gender and feminist issues to build a resource site for sharing knowledge and in-depth discussion of Muslim women, their issues and their lives,” Abdel-Halim said. “It is also intended to assist Muslim women students, faculty and staff in taking their place in the community, and to dismiss myths about them, their religion and their traditions.”

In addition, Abdel-Halim said the center will raise awareness about complex, intersectional issues of gender, religion, global location and culture among Muslim people.

For more information on the center, contact Abdel-Halim at asma.abdel-halim@utoledo.edu