Fifty Million Rising: The New Generation of Working Women Transforming the Muslim World

In This Review

Fifty Million Rising: The New Generation of Working Women Transforming the Muslim World
By Saadia Zahidi
Nation Books, 2018
288 pp.
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Between 2000 and 2015, 50 million Muslim women joined the global work force, raising the total to 150 million, with a combined income of $1 trillion. Zahidi, a member of the Executive Committee of the World Economic Forum, is one of them. In this lucid presentation, she draws on 200 interviews to depict an inexorable march forward for Muslim women, who are set to make up over 30 percent of the global Muslim work force by 2030. Zahidi feels no need to mount an Islamic defense of women’s right to work and argues that for now, Muslim women should avoid directly confronting the patriarchy. For a time, they will have to do it all: absorb most of the domestic work and master the job market. The Internet, the gig economy, and the traditional extended family can all make the transition easier. So can governments, by improving Internet access for women, promoting education, providing more public transport, reforming workplace rules, and more.

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