Opportunities of muslim female socio-political interaction in Shariah legislation in the northern Nigerian provinces
This paper identifies the reasons for the lack of Hausa women's political participation and how women can self-determine regarding social change within their patriarchal societies, by focusing on the socio-cultural factors of religion, age, marital status, and education. The research method is literature based - field research concerning the social realities of Hausa women, interviews with Hausa women regarding their interpretations of their socio-political realities and the interpretation of religious material. Interpretations of Islamic scholars of the socio-religious material of the Qur'an and Ahadith addressed in its historical sphere yet contemporary environment. Findings within the variables were (a) that although Hausa follow the Maliki school of Islamic thought, the infiltration of Wahhabism permeates the religious ideology and culture influencing the position of women b) age determines the position of women within Hausa communities and accords them respect and greater freedom of movement once post-menopausal; (c) most adult women are between marriage and divorce and usually in polygamous relationships, as the rate of divorce increases more women fear being financially destitute and socially outcast as prostitutes for seeking financial security; (d) education for girls differs from that of boys but there is an increase in the attendance at Islamiyah schools which serves as a contemporary method to promote gender ideologies. These results are not unique to Hausa communities, but are a construct of the realm of male dominance and tyranny. There is much emphasis on the natural and biological differences between the sexes and the elaboration of prejudice through social and political institutions.