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Accepted Paper:

Women's Power as Pilgrims: Narratives of Moroccan Women on the pilgrimage to Mecca.  
Kholoud Al-Ajarma (University of Edinburgh)

Paper short abstract:

This article explores the relationship between gender and power relations related to Muslim pilgrimage (Hajj) in women's everyday life in Morocco.

Paper long abstract:

Until recently, most Moroccans tended to associate Hajj performance with men rather than women, whom they associate with more local pilgrimages to saint shrines. Things are changing, however, and more female pilgrims are able to perform the pilgrimage today. However, women face many challenges before they are able to perform pilgrimage to Mecca. By examining the role of the Hajj in the lives of contemporary Moroccan women, I look at the power dynamics between male and female pilgrims. When and how do women decide to perform Hajj? Who pays their expenses? What are the social consequences of becoming a "Hajja"? How do women react to the authority of men and issues of equality in relation to pilgrimage? This paper also touches on the symbolic capital women gain among the local community after performing the pilgrimage. Approaching Hajj from the perspective of 'lived religion', I discuss how the significance of pilgrimage is incorporated into women's daily lives in Morocco and how women reflect on their pilgrimage experience in relation to their local communities, power relations, social practices and gender differences. The presentation will also feature a short film about women's pilgrimage in Morocco.

Panel P100
Migration, tourism, business: reconfiguring Muslim pilgrimage through the lens of women's new mobilities
  Session 1 Thursday 16 August, 2018, -