Islamic-Hausa Feminism and Kano Market Literature: Qur'anic Reinterpretation in the Novels of Balaraba Yakubu

Publication year
Research in African Literatures

Hausa women writers are undeniably feminist, in the sense that they possess an awareness of the constraints placed upon women because of their gender and a desire to dislodge these constraints, thus creating a more equitable gender system. The single most important consideration in the construction of Hausa feminism is the significance of Islam, given that the religious faith colors virtually every aspect of social relations. Writers have attempted to negotiate the tensions between cultural/religious tradition and the elements of modernization by identifying themselves as Muslim writers who do not see these forces as incompatible entities. (120)


Yakubu covers information ranging from the types of abortion to the effects of administered drugs, all facts definitely not acquired in typical households. Believing cultural avoidance of specific issues between mothers and daughters can prove detrimental to female adolescent development, Yakubu aids in the instruction of female health education and hygienic awareness. As she vocalizes her discontent for karuwanci and placates her right-wing audience, she indirectly speaks to young women who might find themselves faced with the reality of unwanted pregnancy and describes the alternative of abortion. (126)