Sharia Implementation and Female Muslims in Nigeria's Sharia States
SHARIA IMPLEMENTATION IN NORTHERN NIGERIA 1999-2006: A SOURCEBOOK, Vol. III, Chapter 3, Part III, pp. 76-118, Philip Ostien, ed., Ibadan: Spectrum Books Ltd., 2007
44 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2009 Last revised: 22 Nov 2009
Date Written: September 8, 2009
A great many female Muslims live in the twelve Sharia States of Northern Nigeria – nineteen or twenty million of them altogether. Of these, about 44% – between eight and nine million – are girls under 15 years old. This essay is a survey, first, of available generalisations about the condition under which all these girls and women live; then of the roles that Muslim women, including Muslim women activists, played and are playing in the Sharia implementation programmes begun in 1999; and finally of the ways in which some of the laws affecting girls and women were changed as part of these programmes and how the changes are working. Three conclusions are that most Muslim women do not feel particularly oppressed by Sharia implementation most of the time, that some think it has been good for them, and that most Muslim women activists are working within the Sharia implementation paradigm, trying to use the Islamic legal tradition to combat “merely traditional practices” oppressive to women.
Keywords: Nigeria, northern Nigeria, women, Muslim women, sharia, sharia implementation
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation