Cultural norms dictate that girls should get married early in this West African country: according to various surveys, the average age for marriage amongst females in Niger is 13.
The workshop was designed to exchange information, knowledge and experience in the area of sexual and bodily rights and thus provide a broader regional framework for the ongoing efforts.
The patriarchal notion that women’s bodies and sexuality belong not to themselves, but to their families and society, is reflected not only in customary practices, but is also sanctioned by the penal and civil codes in all of the countries in the region.
A summary of the presentation by Marieme Helie-Lucas at the workshop on Muslim women and sexuality at the 2004 World Social Forum.
An information clearinghouse on sexuality and sexual health and rights issues in Africa for researchers, organizations and advocates interested in these issues.
Who remembers the “cleansing campaign” under President Chadli, more precisely in 1982? When you went out for a walk with your girlfriend/boyfriend, you could not walk 2 steps without running into ‘gendarmes’ or policemen who demanded your marriage certificate, or if you could not produce it, would take down your identity. It [seems to have] started all over again just like in 1982, couples in search of some green in Tipasa (a small town on the West coast of Algiers) have been taken to the police station by gendarmes or municipal guards – What’s the crime? Walking hand in hand.

Control of women’s sexuality remains to be one of the most powerful tools of patriarchy in most societies. The essays in this volume show that the sexual oppression of Muslim women is not the result of an ‘Islamic’ vision of sexuality, but a combination of political, social and economic inequalities throughout the ages.

History reveals that sexual oppression of women, in one form or another, exists in every society in the world. Nevertheless, it has been achieved by different methods, economically, intellectually, physically and psychologically. The control of women’s bodies, or in other words physical mutilation, was raised with the rise of patriarchy.

With the rise of patriarchy, many customs and traditions were developed. Of these customs and traditions, many have disappeared or were gradually abandoned, while some remain.
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