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ConferencesGCWRI

Promoting Women’s Participationin Public, Private, and Political Lifein Nigeria


Azizat Omotoyosi Amoloye-Adebayo holds an LLB degree in Common and Islamic Law from Usmanu Dan Fodiyo University, Sokoto and an LLM degree from the University of Ibadan, Ibadan. She also holds a PhD degree in Sharī‘ah and International Human Rights Law from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. She is a senior lecturer and the Postgraduate Programmes Coordinator in the Department of Islamic Law, Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin, Ilorin. She is a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, a Commonwealth Scholar and an associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Nigeria, and United Kingdom. Her research interests and areas of publication are Sharī‘ah and International Human Rights Law; Human Rights violations, Islamic Law of Inheritance and Islamic Family Law; Issues in Law and Religion; Gender Issues in Law; Feminist theories and Islam. She has contributed chapters in edited volumes such as Judicial Dialogue and Human Rights (Cambridge University Press 2017). She was a part of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies’ Young Scholars Fellowship on Religion and the Rule of Law class held at Christ Church, Oxford, UK, in 2019.


This paper argues for greater participation of women in public, private, and political life in Nigeria, a country with a significant Muslim population. The author, a scholar of Islamic law, emphasizes that cultural norms and interpretations of Islam are often used to limit women’s opportunities. She cites statistics showing a vast gender gap in political representation and professional sectors. For instance, there are far fewer women in government positions compared to men, even though their educational attainment is similar.

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The paper argues that the private and public spheres are not strictly separate, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to work from home. The author criticizes the societal view that undervalues housework, which is primarily done by women. This devaluation discourages women from pursuing public roles and reinforces gender stereotypes. The paper also argues against the misinterpretation of Quranic verses used to justify male dominance. The author believes a proper Islamic perspective would allow women more agency in choosing their roles in society.

The paper concludes by calling for increased involvement of women in studying Islamic law to challenge traditional interpretations and promote gender equality.

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