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Women in Islam
Transcript of Women in Islam
Articulated by the Qur'an
Follows the teaching of Muhammad
Muslims believe Islam to be the most complete version
Islam spread first outside Arabia to Africa
45% Africa 2002
W men in Western Africa during the 1940's
Women of God's Bits of Wood
Niakoro: Represents the oldest generation of women in the story
Assitan: Wife of Ibrahim Bakayoko, Ad'jibid'ji's mother. She is the model Muslim woman
Ad'jibid'ji: Young girl, very precocious, involves herself in the affairs of men
N'Deye: Most westernized of the women
Penda: Fiercely independent, is not afraid to speak her mind or act in her own way
Ramatoulye: A middle-aged woman who stands up to the controlling men in her family
"Assitan was the perfect wife: docile, submissive, and hardworking, she never poke one word louder than another" (p.105)
"Her own lot was to accept things as they were and to remain silent, as she had been taught to do" (p.106)
Current Situation of West African Women
Since the already drastic gender role changes of the 1940's, women now play an even bigger and more important role in society. Women are gaining similar rights to men in the workplace. Much has been done with respect to women's situation during the rebuilding Africa due wars. Women became strongly involved in the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace. This movement has grown to include women across West Africa and truly changed the very specific gender roles of African women.
Just like how European monarchs were afraid France's change would encourage there citizens to want change, the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace influenced the rest of West Africa.
Women in Islam
Women in islam are primarily guided by the Qur'an (the central religious text of islam). The Islamic laws affect a woman's education, work, marriage, birth control, sex life, etc... Generally, women take care of the marital and maternal duties while the male takes care of the financial duties.
Women in Islam: Marriage
Women can get married at ages as low as 10.
Polygamy is allowed under Islamic law. A man can have up to 4 wives at one time.
Around 1/3 of all Islamic marriages end in divorce.
It is also common for first cousins/seconds cousins to marry.
Islam women are not allowed to marry non-Islam men.
The Qur'an and Women.
"Men are the maintainers of women...the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them..."
"Such of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the prescribed period, if ye have any doubts, is three months, and for those who have no courses (it is the same): for those who carry (life within their wombs), their period is until they deliver their burdens: and for those who fear Allah, He will make their path easy."
Other parts of the Qur'an state that a woman's witness testimony is half of a man's. Also, it states that a woman is only able to have half of the inheritance a man gets.
"...she had demonstrated a resolute independence which only increased as she grew up. As a young girl she had seemed to develop a hatred for men and had turned away everyone who had wanted to marry her." (p.138)
"Do you think I'm going to let myself be served by a whore?" (p.143)
"A woman slapping a man in public was something no one had ever seen before." (p.143)
God's Bits of Wood
And the men began to understand that if the times were bringing forth a new breed of men, they were also bringing forth a new breed of women.
"The people among whom she lived were polygamous, and it had not taken her long to realize that this kind of union had nothing to do with love" (p.57)
"N'Deye was not sure at all who this Prince Charming would be, nor what color his skin would have..." (p.57)
" 'It is true that I am your brorther, but I am also an El Hadji...' 'You are a thief...I wish that you should not be present at my funeral' " (p.45)
"It was a direct affront to the Imam, in front of the white men..." (p. 126)
Emerging power and influence of women
African women's social statuses have changed with the continent itself. Men and women had very different lives due to typical gender roles. But, during the 1940's, these roles drastically changed. For example Nigerian women started to get involved in domestic and long distance trading, crafting tools, and titled chiefs; some even became accomplished politicians.
" 'What use is the white man's language to a woman? To be a good mother you have no need for that.' [...] 'You don't even know how to prepare a couscous. That's what comes of always hanging around with the men, instead of staying beside your mother, where you belong.' " (p.5)
" 'Petit pere always used to take me with him, and besides, I am learning' " (p.4)