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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Islam, Women and the Role of the State in Senegal
Author:Creevey, Lucy E.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa
Geographic term:Senegal
Church and State
Women's Issues
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Politics and Government
Cultural Roles
Sex Roles
Status of Women
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1581646
Abstract:Senegal is a secular republic with a governmental structure and system of laws adapted from the French and modified to suit national needs. Muslim leaders, however, have a major voice in Senegal and certainly have influence on the shaping of society and polity. Women in Senegal still occupy a second class position. This paper first asks to what extent the nature of Senegalese Islam, and its interplay with pre-Islamic local cultures and the colonial State, determined (and determines) the kind of impact Islam currently has on the role of women. Second, the paper explores the policy of the Senegalese national government in regard to the possible adoption of 'sharia' law, and the consequences for women in Senegal. Four points emerge from the discussion: 1) in the development of the State of Senegal, the interdependency of the government and the Muslim leaders restricted the authority of each over society; 2) Islamic beliefs, and the accompanying cultural baggage, had a negative influence on the role of women; 3) however pre-Islamic culture persisted and reemerged in the Islamic society now ruled by the brotherhood leaders; 4) the major Muslim leaders are conservative but their views are being rapidly offset by the spread of education and the increasing economic opportunities drawing women out of the traditional subsistence sector. Notes, ref.