This paper examines the literature surrounding women's rights in the Muslim world to determine the factors that have contributed to the oppression of women in the Muslim world and to understand the role that different interpretations of Islam can have on either restricting or improving the status of women in the Muslim world. The practices of Muslim people as a population deviate from what is prescribed by Islam in some cases, contributing to the misconception that the restrictive practices toward women in many Muslim-majority countries are founded in Islamic teachings. Factors such as individual levels of religiosity and adherence to traditionalist views influence support for gender egalitarian values, suggesting that religiosity itself, not adherence to a particular religion, may underlie the oppression of women. This literature review also found that specific teachings of the prophet Muhammad and verses from the Quran clearly contradict the practices of Muslim populations when it comes to issues such as women's veiling, education, and employment. When political, religious, and educational leaders align themselves with the fight for women's rights, they can influence positive outcomes such as increased awareness of violence against women and shortcomings in women's education.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair

O'Connor, Julia


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Medicine


Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences

Degree Program

Biomedical Sciences



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date


Restricted to the UCF community until 5-1-2021; it will then be open access.