A Comparative Look at the Roles of Women and of Female Marabouts in the Context of Islam in Senegal
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The author interviewed ten female Marabouts, or Islamic teachers, in Senegal, as well as male teachers and scholars to test her assumptions about the role of women in Senegal. Contrary to her expectations, the author found that the phenomenon of female Marabouts does not represent a feminist movement in the country. Similarly, the presence of female Marabouts did not appear to be controversial to either male or female interviewees. Again, contrary to the author’s expectations, both male and female Marabouts fulfilled similar educational roles. Although this phenomenon does not have the impetus of a feminist movement behind it to act as a catalyst, the author believes that it has the potential to increase the role of women in Senegalese society.