"Lately, there has been an increase in interest in the study of public space with respect to women. This paper examines the meaning of public space in the experience and lives of Muslim women. Drawing on examples from Iran and India, we provide an understanding of the Islamic conceptualization of public and private. We describe situated notions of public and private and how Islamic religious ideas of purdah and gender segregation affect the conceptualization of "public space". Within this gender segregated society, males and females experience differential levels of inclusion and exclusion in public space. We discuss three forms of "public space". First, there are public spaces which are almost exclusively male where women are allowed limited or no access. Muslim women are rarely seen in tea shops where men spend a lot of time socializing and exchanging information, nor do they frequent the bazaar (market). Second, there are public spaces which women negotiate under certain conditions, such as when appropriately dressed (hejab), or accompanied by a chaperone, and at specific times. Examples of such spaces are public baths and public libraries. Third are those spaces which are almost exclusively female where men are allowed limited or no access. These are the neighborhood shrines (imamzadehs) some of which are used only by women for women's rituals and are guarded and maintained by women. Religion both limits the mobility of women in "male" public space and simultaneously provides the context, pretext, and the opportunity for women to appropriate and convene iii 'female" public spaces. We show how women, despite limitations, are not mute victims but exercise agency in appropriating, negotiating and using public space. In conclusion, we call for a reexamination of general notions of public and private, as well as a renewed focus on religion as a way to facilitate a better understanding and conceptualization of women's interactions with public space in non-Western settings."