Advertisement

Women, Islam, and the State in North Africa

  • Fatima SadiqiEmail author
Living reference work entry

Abstract

This chapter portrays the ebb and flow of women at the intersection of Islam and the state in North Africa from the premodern to the postmodern eras. This intersection produced a holistic belief system that governs all aspects of life, including the political, the individual, the socio-economic, the moral, the spiritual, and the intellectual. The societies to which this system was introduced were heavily patriarchal and by no means “liberal,” but far from challenging this patriarchy, this system established and institutionalized a new set of patriarchal rules such as gender segregation, veiling and polygamy that harmonized with and gave a new impetus to the subordinate status of women. This institutionalization has been at the heart of political rule since the coming of Islam to North Africa. With the birth of the nation-state in the region in the middle of the twentieth century, legal Islam has been used to maintain patriarchal authority through the control of family laws, which are today the only ones still based on traditional fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence). With the coming of independence and the gradual spread of literacy, generations of women challenged the monopoly of legal Islam from various standpoints, hence producing women’s movements whose main demand has been reform of the family laws.

Keywords

Women Legal Islam State North Africa Patriarchy Agency Politics Premodern Postmodern Women’s movements 

References

  1. Abu-Lughod, L. (1998). Remaking women: Feminism and modernity in the middle east. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahmed, L. (1992). Women and gender in Islam: Historical roots of a modern debate. New Haven/London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Ahmed, L. (1999). A Border passage: From Cairo to America—A Woman’s Journey. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux.Google Scholar
  4. Aouchar, A. (1990). La PressMarociane dans la Lutte pour l’Indépendance 1933–1956. Casablanca: Wallada.Google Scholar
  5. Baron, B. (2005). Egypt as a woman: Nationalism, gender, and politics. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  6. Berkey, J. (1992). The transmission of knowledge in medieval Cairo: A social history of Islamic education. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Charrad, M. (2001). States and women’s rights: The making of post-colonial Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. Berkeley: University of California.Google Scholar
  8. Daoud, Z. (1993). Féminisme et politique au Maghreb: Soixante ans de Lutte. Casablanca: Editions Eddif.Google Scholar
  9. Ibn Azzouz-Hakim Mohammed. (1982). Sayyida al-Horra, Exceptionnelle Souveraine, in Larbi Essakali (dir). Le Mémorial du Maroc, Rabat, Nord Organisation, pp. 128–132.Google Scholar
  10. Marsot, A. (1995). Women and men in late eighteenth-century Egypt. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  11. McKee, M., Keulertz, M., Neggar, H., Mulligan, M., & Woeretz, M. (2017). Demographic and economic material factors in the MENA region. Working papers. http://www.iai.it/sites/default/files/menara_wp_3.pdf
  12. Mernissi, F. (1991). The veil and the male elite: A feminist interpretation of women’s rights in Islam. London: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  13. Mernissi, F. (1993). The forgotten queens of Islam. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  14. Moghadam, V. (1993). Modernizing women: Gender and social change in the Middle East. Boulder: L. Rienner.Google Scholar
  15. Musawah. (2018). http://www.musawah.org/
  16. Sadiqi, F. (2008). The central role of the family law in the Moroccan feminist movement. The British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 35(3), 325–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sadiqi, F. (2014). Moroccan feminist discourses. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sadiqi, F. (2016). Women’s movements in the aftermath of the so-called Arab spring. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  19. Sadiqi, F. (forthcoming a). Constructing North Africa: The role of Berber women. In N. Boudraa & J. Krausse (Eds.), Remembering Kahina. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Sadiqi, F. (forthcoming b). Daesh (ISIS) ideology and the challenge of women’s rights: An insider perspective. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Sadiqi, F., Nouaira, A., El-Khouly, A., & Ennaji, M. (2009). Women writing Africa: The Northern region. New York: The Feminist Press.Google Scholar
  22. Schimmel, A. (1982). As Through a Veil: Mystical Poetry in Islam. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of FezFezMorocco

Section editors and affiliations

  • Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political Science and Public AdministrationBabcock UniversityIlishan RemoNigeria

Personalised recommendations