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Appropriating the mosque: women's religious groups in Khartoum

Salma A. Nageeb

Africa Spectrum, 2007, vol. 42, issue 1, 5-27

Abstract: This paper discusses the case of women's mosques groups in the capital of Sudan which have considerably spread since the National Islamic Front (NIF) seized power in 1989. The paper empirically demonstrates how the mosque groups are forming a social space for women and how this is leading to the appropriation and transformation of a public-religious and a highly masculine space such as the mosque. The main argument of the paper maintains that the case of the mosque groups contests the undifferentiated view that women in Islamic and specially Islamised societies are (necessarily) oppressed and that the only way to question the unequal gender relation and power structure is by getting away from religion. The paper asserts that, on the contrary, women active in mosque groups are claiming (more) power by becoming (more) religious. Through this power they constitute a space, transform public and religious ones and negotiate their gendered position vis-à-vis social and religious authorities and institutions.

Date: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:gig:afjour:v:42:y:2007:i:1:p:5-27