The impact of Islam upon women’s entrepreneurship in conflict zones is woefully absent from the entrepreneurship literature. This is due to the absence of published scholarship about this context rather than the absence of Muslim women’s entrepreneurship there. To address the gap in the literature, we offer a contextualized analysis and contribution by adopting an Islamic feminism lens, and explore how Islamic feminism empowers women entrepreneurs and their entrepreneurial activities and behaviours in conflict zones. We argue that Islamic feminism is a process of ‘ijtihad’ shaping the business ethics of Muslim women entrepreneurs operating in conflict zones and removing the traditional, patriarchal, colonial and other cultural layers with which Islam has been veiled. The findings from the 16 Muslim women entrepreneurs operating in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine and participating in our study reveal that Islamic religiousness plays a critical role in shaping the Muslim women’s entrepreneurial behaviour and their ability to endure the hardships of living in a conflict zone. Within all three research contexts, the participants interpreted and practiced their Islamic religiousness in ways consistent with Islamic Feminism prinicples and that deviated from patriarchal Islam dominating their conflict zones. This paper contributes to the growing research areas on Islamic feminist foundations for business ethics and women’s entrepreneurship in conflict zones by exploring how Islamic feminism empowers women entrepreneurs in Muslim conflict zones.
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Althalathini, DoaaAl-Dajani, HayaApostolopou, N
Oxford Brookes Business School
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