New article by Masooda Bano explores religiosity and female empowerment in Pakistan and Nigeria

05 July, 2018

A new article by Masooda Bano explores how religiosity relates to female empowerment using evidence from Pakistan and northern Nigeria.

Development theory and practice identify religious conviction as a challenge to female empowerment. Drawing on a new dataset of girls from madrasas and secular schools in Pakistan and northern Nigeria, and on ethnographic fieldwork, this article problematises this assumption.

The data show various levels of commitment to pursuing a professional career among Muslim girls with equally high levels of religious conviction. Further, stronger career commitment is correlated with socio-economic and cultural factors other than religion.

The article suggests that female empowerment might be more effectively supported by aid investments in female education, employment opportunities and media access than by campaigns aimed at reforming religious norms.

Masooda Bano (2018) 'Religion and female empowerment: evidence from Pakistan and northern Nigeria', Canadian Journal of Development Studies / Revue canadienne d'études du développement, DOI: 10.1080/02255189.2018.1470967.