In this essay, Adrienne Edgar compares Soviet policies toward Central Asian women in the interwar period with gender policies in two other types of Muslim societies—those ruled by European colonizers and those governed by indigenous national elites. She argues that the Soviet “emancipation” of Muslim women in the 1920s and 1930s had little in common with the policies of French and British colonial rulers. Instead, it resembled much more closely the gender reforms of the neighboring independent Muslim states of Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan. In these Muslim states, as in the Soviet Union, the drive for female emancipation was part of an attempt to create a modern, homogeneous, and mobilized population. Because many Central Asians perceived the Soviet state as fundamentally alien, however, the political dynamic that emerged in response to Soviet gender reforms resembled the situation in the colonized Middle East, where feminism and nationalism came to be seen as mutually antagonistic.