Accepted Paper:

The right to divorce for women (khul') in Islam gender practices in Mauritania  

Author:

Corinne Fortier (Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Sociale)

Paper short abstract:

Moorish women in Mauritania display an understanding, passed down orally from mother to daughter, of certain principles and provisions of Islamic jurisprudence, that enables them to take initiatives to protect their wishes and interests when contracting and dissolving a marriage.

Paper long abstract:

In recent years, several Muslim countries have instituted significant legislative reforms, especially with respect to marriage (nikâh or zawaj) and divorce (talâq). In Mauritania, the government introduced the first personal status code in 2001. This code recognizes women's right to divorce (art. 92) or khul`. But this personal status code has not brought about a sociojuridical revolution, because this right has long been recognized and enforced in the Moorish society of Mauritania. Mothers instill in their daughters an awareness of their rights, especially with respect to divorce. Moorish women display an understanding, passed down orally from mother to daughter, of certain principles and provisions of Islamic jurisprendence or fiqh as understood in the Maliki school, that enables them to take initiatives to protect their wishes and interests when contracting and dissolving a marriage.

Panel P045
Gender inequality: victimization of women in global context in tradition and modernity