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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Shari'a Courts and the Manumission of Female Slaves in the Sudan
Author:Sikainga, Ahmad A.
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies
Geographic term:Sudan
Subjects:female slaves
abolition of slavery
Islamic law
Politics and Government
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Women's Issues
History and Exploration
Labor and Employment
Cultural Roles
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
Equality and Liberation
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/221303
Abstract:Recent studies on slave emancipation in Africa have made a distinction between the experiences of male and female slaves in their struggle for freedom. Although slave women faced some of the same problems as their male counterparts, they had to confront additional difficulties in obtaining manumission and in achieving economic security even after they had been legally freed. Colonial administrators discouraged the liberation of female slaves, arguing that they would turn to prostitution. Slave women in Muslim Africa faced additional problems in the application of 'shari'a' laws pertaining to slavery. This article examines these obstacles to the emancipation of female slaves, obstacles inherent in their productive and reproductive roles. Particular emphasis is placed upon the way in which slave owners in the Sudan used 'shari'a' courts and Islamic law to resist colonial antislavery legislation and keep their female slaves. The article questions the assumption held by some scholars that Muslim slavery was basically benign. It shows that manumission of female slaves in the Sudan had to await major judicial reforms in the 1930s. Notes, ref.