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So Long A Letter, By Mariama Ba

1212 words - 5 pages

Mariamma Ba’s So Long a Letter and the role women and impact of western culture on Islamic women in post-colonial Senegal: A critical analysis of Aissatou.
European Culture vs. African: France occupied Africa and brought in the language and educational system, but the cultural traditions of marriage, living, and the place of woman is still under African traditions.
Senegal, a country colonized by the French, witnessed a slight change in the role and place of women. In Senegal the disparity between the men and women went in the favour of the men. Senegalese culture which was already a male chauvinist culture coupled with the Islam religion which in many ways favoured men was a recipe for ...view middle of the document...

The Quran requires that daughters be educated, and historically, Muslim women have been political leaders, scholars, teachers and doctors. The local culture may have more impact on the roles of Muslim women in public than their faith. In Senegal, it was believed that educating a woman was a poor investment because she would end up belonging to her husband and her in-laws anyway. Also many Senegalese men valued education only up to a point as they believed that too much education made a woman disobedient. The culture of Senegal dictated that women devote themselves to their families whether they were educated or not. The Muslim religion also stated under sharia law that men were more important than women
The Qur'an in Sura 4:34 says: “Men are managers of the affairs of women because Allah has made the one superior to the other.” Women were not allowed to or were not seen as worthy to obtain further education beyond high school level probably due the mentality that the males were meant to earn the daily bread and control the household whilst the woman’s role was to do the household chores, satisfy her husband and bear him children.
While the educated women tended to tow the path of the feminists, they were greatly outnumbered and so had little impact. Most feminist also found that many times that Islam conflicted with their feminist beliefs
What is most striking is how other women in Senegal could be more anti-feminist than even some men. Senegalese women are seen as valuable citizens of the country who not only offer their knowledge but also educate, nurture and instil the Islamic personality in the next generation. In every way the Muslim woman contributes to and has a vital and honourable role to play in society In the Islam faith, women were seen as subordinates to men. In the Quran it says: “And women (wives) shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree (of advantage) over them. And Allah is exalted in Power, Wise.” (Quran 2:28). This dictates the life of most Senegalese and in turn Ramatoulaye who is a Muslim as a result of her strong roots in the Islam faith. He doesn’t let her feminist views take over. ”The best of your women are those: Who are loving and kindly; who look after their chastity; Who are not arrogant or disobedient to their husbands; Who are faithful to their husband in their absence.” is another quotation from the Quran which explains how Ramatoulaye...

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