This chapter outlines the conceptions of gender evident in Islamic legal tradition, summarises how classical Muslim jurists, in the dominant interpretations of the Shari'ah, conceived of gender difference and gender relations. It introduces the work of recent reformist and feminist voices and scholarship in Islam, and the political and hermeneutical challenges they face in their attempts to bring about an egalitarian construction of gender. The chapter explores the example of the work of Musawah, a movement of scholars and activists for justice and equality in the Muslim family. It shows how 20th-century developments – notably the rise of Muslim nation-states and changed relations between Islamic law, state and practice – challenged these traditionalist conceptions of gender. The majority of Muslims subscribe to these views, which are also reflected in the vast literature that emerged in the early 20th century under the rubric of ‘women’s status in Islam’.