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Feminism in Multicultural Societies
An analysis of Dutch Multicultural and Postsecular Developments and their Implications for Feminist Debates

Eva Midden

A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment for the requirements of the degree of PhD at the University of Central Lancashire May 2010

Student Declaration

Concurrent registration for two or more academic awards

I declare that while registered as a candidate for the research degree, I have not been registered candidate or enrolled student for another award of the University or other academic or professional institution

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I declare that no material contained in the thesis has been used in any other submission for an academic award and is solely my own work

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___PhD_________________________________ ___Centre for Professional Ethics___________

1

Abstract It was long assumed that both multiculturalism and feminism are connected to progressive movements and hence have comparable and compatible goals. However, both in academia and in popular media the critique on multiculturalism has grown and is often accompanied with arguments related to gender equality and/or feminism. According to political scientist Susan Moller Okin for example there are fundamental conflicts between our commitment to gender equality and the desire to respect the customs of minority cultures or religions. If we agree that women should not be disadvantaged because of their sex, she argues, we should not accept group rights that permit oppressive practices. Okin’s claims led to a complex and highly important debate both in academia and in public debates. The main aim of this thesis is to explore in depth the different discourses about multiculturalism and feminism and develop a more inclusive and nuanced...

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