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Women and Resistance to Colonialism in Morocco: The Rif 1916-1926
C. R. Pennell
The Journal of African History
Vol. 28, No. 1 (1987), pp. 107-118
Published by: Cambridge University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/181451
Page Count: 12
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This article attempts to investigate the role of women in rural society in Morocco, and by extension in the Muslim world of the Near and Middle East. It does so by examining the evidence thrown up by a major crisis, the Rif war of the 1920s. The mobilization and organization of tribal society by Muhammad bin 'Abd al-Karīm (Abdelkrim) to fight the war against the Spanish and the French extended to women as well as men, involving them in new tasks under new laws. In the end, however, the evidence points not so much to a revolution in women's lives as to the activation for the purposes of war of a traditional 'female space'. In so doing, it points to the real importance of the women's sphere in a society which was sexually strongly segregated, confirming the impression derived from studies of more literate, urban and aristocratic Muslim societies of North Africa and the Middle East.
The Journal of African History © 1987 Cambridge University Press