Date of this Version
In: The Journal of Modern African Studies, Volume 54, Issue 4 (December 2016), pp. 738-739.
Many people consider women’s rights and Muslim democracy as antithetical to each other. Conventional wisdom would have us believe that a Muslim majority country would be an unlikely place to see the adoption of women-friendly policies. In her terrific book, Bargaining for Women’s Rights, Alice Kang dispels this idea through her thoughtful research and richly nuanced analysis of negotiation over women’s rights reforms in Niger. She explains the variation in policy-making in Niger over time and argues that Islam per se is not the fundamental constraint to the adoption of women-friendly policies. Instead, mobilisation for or against policies, and the overall political environment are critical factors in determining policy outcomes.
Kang’s fine work prepares the ground for future research on the implementation of women’s rights policies in Niger and beyond.