Cover of Gender and Islam in Africa by Edited by Margot Badran
Gender and Islam in Africa
Rights, Sexuality, and Law
Edited by Margot Badran


336 pp.

Cloth ISBN: 9780804774819



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.

About the author

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.

"The volume provides a much welcome contribution to the literature on Islam and gender in Africa, and will be of interest to graduate students and scholars alike."

—Michelle Johnson, International Journal of African Historical Studies

"This book both presents new and original work and provides a glimpse at the state of the art among scholars who have a sustained commitment to an extremely difficult and contentious topic."

—Barbara M. Cooper, Rutgers University