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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'There is No Stranger to Marriage Here!': Muslim Women and Divorce in Rural Zanzibar
Author:Stiles, Erin E.
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic terms:Tanzania
Islamic law
legal procedure
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Religion and Witchcraft
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Marital Relations and Nuptiality
Cultural Roles
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3556962
Abstract:In Zanzibar, many cases in rural Islamic courts involve disputes about whether or not a divorce has taken place outside the court. Zanzibari men have the right to divorce their wives unilaterally through repudiation; and, because many such divorces take place out of the wife's presence, women interpret certain structural events associated with divorce as divorce even when there is no evidence of lawful repudiation. By going to court, women want to legitimize the events of divorce with a receipt of registered divorce. Although the Islamic judge will not validate alleged divorces without proof of repudiation, he does not dismiss the cases as simple misunderstandings. Rather, he stresses the preservation of the marriage through reframing the cases as disputes about marital rights and obligations. Women acknowledge this shift and move to assert their rights to request better maintenance or a court-ordered divorce. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]