Kano State in Nigeria took a major step toward limiting women's rights this week. The Sharia Implementation Committee of Nigeria has proposed that the government mandate that male medical staff not be permitted to attend to pregnant Muslim women. Kano State has begun a process of implementing Sharia law. Sharia, claimed by extremists to be a strict interpretation of Islamic law, has been used by the Taliban in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and other countries to limit the rights of women. Many members of the Islamic faith disagree with the interpretations of Sharia held by these nations. The Taliban, the ruling extremist regime in Afghanistan, has used Sharia law to legitimize gender apartheid on women and girls living in the country that involves a ban on women working, their freedom of movement and a mandate that forces all women to wear the restrictive burqa. In Saudi Arabia, implementation of Sharia law forces women to follow strict dress code, does not permit women to drive and requires women to obtain permission from a male relative to travel. In many of these countries, implementation of Sharia law has prevented male health workers from attending to Islamic women. The Sharia legal code becomes fully operational on November 26, 2000 in Kano State.
Media Resources: This Day 9 October 2000, Feminist Global News Wire