Muslim Women Leaders and Legal Reform in Postcolonial Kenya

in Hawwa
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The post-Cold War conditions created new socio-political spaces in Kenya for new articulations of Muslim women’s public activism and leadership. This essay focuses on two such Muslim women in terms of their leadership responses to issues of Muslim women’s rights in Kenya as framed within a secular paradigm, on the one hand, and within an Islamic one, on the other. In spite of their differences, the essay concludes the efforts of the two leaders complement each other in fundamental ways, especially with regards to their contributions to the national debates on the Shari’a and the reform of the Kadhi’s Court.


Journal of Women of the Middle East and the Islamic World



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See Kang (2015); Augis (2012); Schulz (2012); Hill (2010); Sounaye (2011); Masquelier (2009); LeBlanc (Alidou (2005) and Hadari (2005) for Muslim women’s public leadership and religious authority in Francophone West African societies.


See See Fortier, Corine. (2011) for study of siri (secret marriage) in Mauritania; Nagar (2004 and 1998) for a discussion of Siri marriage among the Shi’i Ithnasheri community in East Africa. Siri marriage is different from mut’a or temporary marriage also practiced among Shi’i as examined by Shahla Haeri (1989) and Nagar (2000).


See Augis (2012); Schultz (2012); Manjoo (2011); LeBlanc (2007); Alidou 2005; Ahmed 1992; Badran (2008, 2009 and 2011); Hill (2010); Robinson (2005), Haeri (2002). LeBlanc 2007.


See Shaykh (2012, 2011 and 2003); Rhouni (2011); Arkoun (2006); Hamid Abu-Zayd (2006); Shaheed and Shaheed (2004); Mernissi (1991a, 1991b) and Berkey (1992: 145–51).


Read Maryam Sheikh Abdi’ (2006)s poem entitled The Cut.


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