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Famine, Women Creative Acts, and Gender Dynamics in Manawashai, Darfur, Western Sudan

Baqie Badawi Muhammad


In studying “Muslim communities” the gender question has become a recurrent theme among scholars from different backgrounds. Misconceptions about Islam and gender have been and continue to be the most vocalized topic because researchers have often based their studies on “uncritical models” (see Hale, 1996:35). As Lila Abu-Lughod has argued, Islam represents only one aspect of the complexity of a given culture, not all culture is explained by Islam (1992:23). In fact, culture is far too complex to be interpreted, or evaluated by any one of its components. Knowing that what people actually practice in so-called “Muslim communities” is in reality a form of popular religion that comprises elements deeply rooted in culture, then researchers should consider the particularity of a given culture that might shape and govern gender relationships. In this article I discuss gender relationship from within its regional, economic, and social perspectives in a community where all its members are Muslims.

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JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editors: Nkiru Nzegwu; Book Editor: Mary Dillard.

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