Gender and Islam in Africa: Rights, Sexuality, and Law
Gender and Islam in Africa examines ways in which women in Africa are interpreting traditional Islamic concepts in order to empower themselves and their societies. African women, it argues, have promoted the ideals and practices of equality, human rights, and democracy within the framework of Islamic thought, challenging conventional conceptualizations of the religion as gender-constricted and patriarchal.
The contributors come from the fields of history, anthropology, linguistics, gender studies, religious studies, and law. Their depictions of African women’s interpreting and reinterpreting of Islam go back into the nineteenth century and up to today, including analyses of how cultural media such as popular song and film can communicate new gender roles in terms of sexuality and direct examinations of religious and religiously based family law and efforts to reform them.
Margot Badran is a historian of women and gender issues in Muslim societies. She is a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center and a Senior Fellow at the Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University. Her most recent book is Feminism in Islam.
Middle East Program
The Wilson Center’s Middle East Program serves as a crucial resource for the policymaking community and beyond, providing analyses and research that helps inform U.S. foreign policymaking, stimulates public debate, and expands knowledge about issues in the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Read more