Muslim Women in Postcolonial Kenya: Leadership, Representation, and Social Change

Paperback | November 12, 2013

byOusseina D. Alidou

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In education, journalism, legislative politics, social justice, health, law, and other arenas, Muslim women across Kenya are emerging as leaders in local, national, and international contexts, advancing reforms through their activism. Muslim Women in Postcolonial Kenya draws on extensive interviews with six such women, revealing how their religious and moral beliefs shape reform movements that bridge ethnic divides and foster alliances in service of creating a just, multicultural, multiethnic, and multireligious democratic citizenship.
            Mwalim Azara Mudira opened a school of theology for Muslim women. Nazlin Omar Rajput of The Nur magazine was a pioneer in reporting on HIV/AIDS in the Muslim community. Amina Abubakar, host of a women's radio show, has publicly addressed the sensitive subject of sexual crimes against Muslim women. Two women who are members of parliament are creating new socioeconomic and political opportunities for girls and women, within a framework that still embraces traditional values of marriage and motherhood.
            Examining the interplay of gender, agency, and autonomy, Ousseina D. Alidou shows how these Muslim women have effected change in the home, the school, the mosque, the media, and more—and she illuminates their determination as actors to challenge the oppressive influences of male-dominated power structures. In looking at differences as opportunities rather than obstacles, these women reflect a new sensibility among Muslim women and an effort to redefine the meaning of women's citizenship within their own community of faith and within the nation.

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In education, journalism, legislative politics, social justice, health, law, and other arenas, Muslim women across Kenya are emerging as leaders in local, national, and international contexts, advancing reforms through their activism. Muslim Women in Postcolonial Kenya draws on extensive interviews with six such women, revealing how th...

Ousseina D. Alidou is the Director of the Center for African Studies at Rutgers University–New Brunswick and an associate professor in the department of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures. She is the author and editor of many books, including Engaging Modernity: Muslim Women and the Politics of Agency in...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:248 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:November 12, 2013Publisher:University Of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299294641

ISBN - 13:9780299294649

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations                            
Acknowledgments                             
 
Introduction                           
            Preliminary Remarks                         
            Muslim Women in Kenya: A Sketch                         
            Methodology                         
            Outline of the Book                           
 
Chapter 1: Bi Swafiya Muhashamy-Said: A Pioneer in Reforming Chuo (Madrasa) Nursery Curriculum in Kenya and Beyond                          
            Introduction                           
            The Colonial Beginning: A Historical Background to Muslim Education                 
            Postcolonial Developments: Muslim Education                               
            The New Vision: Modern Integrated Madrasa Nursery Curriculum                        
            Conclusion                             
 
Chapter 2: The Ma'had Tradition of Mwalim Azara Mudira                                   
            Introduction                           
            Creating a Women's Space for Islamic Teaching and Learning in Kenya                   
            Muslim Women Educators: A Background                           
            The Making of Mwalimu Azara Mudira and the Founding of Ma'had                     
            Conclusion: The Impact of Islamic Reformist Women                                 
 
Chapter 3: Muslim Women Members of Parliament: A Minority within a "Tribe" of Women       
            Women and Representative Politics: A Brief Overview                               
            Muslim Women MPs: A Minority within a "Tribe" of Women      
            Muslim Women Parliamentarians Confronting Adversity within Muslim Communities                 
            Unmarried Young Muslim Women in Parliament                              
            How Muslim Women MPs Transform Parliament and Schools                               
            Dress Politics in Parliament: Inscribing Kenyan Muslim Diversity                         
            Achieving Success within Their Constituencies                                
            Public Health Education: The HIV Pandemic and Community Sensitization                                   
            Conclusion                             
 
Chapter 4: Judge Abida Ali Aroni, First Muslim Woman Justice of the Kenya High Court                                   
            Introduction                           
            Muslim Women's Rights Activist of Mixed Heritage within Kenyan Ethnic Politics                                  
            Lessons from the Muslim Women Sisters Network                         
            Secular Accommodation of the Kadhi Courts                                   
            Bargaining with Patriarchy                            
            Gender and the Dialectics of Religious and Secular Literacy                         
            Building with Progressive Muslim Male Lawyers and Other Women's Rights Advocates              
            Conclusion                             
 
Chapter 5: Muslim Women, Rights Discourse, and the Media as a Political and Activist Platform
            Introduction                           
            The Nur Magazine: Islam, HIV/AIDS, Sexuality, and Women's Rights                    
            Ukumbi Wa Mamama: Islamist Radio Talk Show, Muslim Women's Political Activism                            
            Conclusion                             
 
Conclusion: Kenya Muslim Women's Rights Activism and Social and Political Change      
 
Notes             
References                              
Index

Editorial Reviews

“With rich ethnographic data, Ousseina Alidou has written another excellent and highly readable book, highlighting the creative agency of the multifaceted and multiracial community of Kenyan Muslim women.”—Shahla Haeri, author of No Shame for the Sun: Lives of Professional Pakistani Women