1887
Volume 2012, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2220-2757
  • E-ISSN:

Abstract

Abstract

Human agency is a basic human right. Just as humans are entitled to basic human needs, they are also entitled to agency i.e. freedom of choice. Human dignity is centered on this simple fact. Sometimes cultures and religions have infringed upon this basic right. In Kenya, for instance, Muslim women continue to be conflicted between upholding their basic rights as human beings, and adhering to their religious expectations. This conflict mostly manifests in matters related to sexuality and gender roles. While some Muslim scholars have asserted that human rights principles are at the heart of Islam, others have devalued human rights arguing that they are foreign, and western propaganda intended to destroy Islam. Muslim women in Kenya are caught in this dilemma. In this article, I explore the possibility of negotiating agency and human rights in a Muslim context. I draw illustrations from surveying and interviewing thirty Muslim women from Kenya, to highlight the challenges they face, as they attempt to claim human rights. It is my argument that human rights are human entitlements, which are compatible with Islamic teachings. Muslim women should be able to negotiate agency and human rights entitlement within Islam.

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2012-06-01
2019-10-15
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