Abstract:
The one area of interest that arouse curiosity in the Muslim family law otherwise called Sharia is gender. This is because of the unequal status of men and women regarding certain rights. This is not however to say that the state of the Muslim family law is the same in all postcolonial societies in Africa south of the Sahara. Rather, the Muslim family law in postcolonial countries is diverse in terms of its application and its relationship with the state. In some parts of Africa south of the Sahara the Sharia (Muslim family law) is part of the legal system of the state. In other parts it is one that runs on informal lines. In other countries there are codes that rule the Muslim family law. In all the cases what pertain is the lack of universality in the present state of the Muslim family law as well as gender issues in the application of the law. This panel is concern with the condition of the Sharia in Muslim minority countries in Sub Saharan Africa. This panel seeks to give the broader understanding/presentation of the state of the Muslim family law, the embedded gender concerns that have raised academic discussions and its relationship with the state in Sub Saharan Africa. In short it seeks to answer questions around states’ responses concerning gender in the application of the Sharia in Muslim minority countries of Sub Saharan Africa.

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