Equality? â€˜Real Muslim women in Mali don’t want it – it’s un-Islamic!’
TENS of thousands of people in Mali’s capital, Bamako, have been protesting against a new law which gives women equal rights in marriage.
The law, passed earlier this month, also strengthens inheritance rights for women and children born out of wedlock.
The head of a Muslim women’s association says only a minority of Malian women – “the intellectuals” as she put it – supports the law, according to the BBC.
Several other protests have taken place in other parts of the country.
The law was adopted by the Malian parliament at the beginning of August, and has yet to be signed into force by the President.
One of the most contentious issues in the new legislation is that women are no longer required to obey their husbands.
Hadja Sapiato Dembele of the National Union of Muslim Women’s Associations said the law goes against Islamic principles.
Dembele told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme:
We have to stick to the Koran.A man must protect his wife, a wife must obey her husband. It’s a tiny minority of women here that wants this new law – the intellectuals. The poor and illiterate women of this country – the real Muslims – are against it.
According to this site, violence against women, including wife beating, is tolerated and common in Mali, where Islam is said to be practiced by around 90 percent of the population.
Furthermore, at least 93.7 opercent of women are subjected to female genital mutilation.