CE41 - Inégalités, discriminations, migrations

Inequalities, Radicalities and Women’s Citizenries: Plural Islamic Religiosities in the Maghreb /Muslim West Africa Space – RIMA

Submission summary

Led by IMAF (UMR 8171/243) with 3 scientific partners (ICAO Chair/UQAM/Canada; IFAN/Dakar, Senegal; and Kyoto Seika University/Japan) the RIMA project brings together 11 researchers from Africa (Mali, Ivory Cost, Senegal, Marocco), North America, Asia and Europe. In a pluridisciplinary perspective (anthropology, sociology, history, geography, political and linguistic science), RIMA focuses on women in the Maghreb and Islamized West Africa. It aims to study how women, in the face of the various discriminations they suffer (gender, territorial, ethnic, economic, religious inequalities), react, struggle and militate through Islam. Structured around 3 thematic axes (control over their own practice by women; religious radicalization of and by women; civic combativeness of women using religious practices and positions), RIMA intends to understand how Muslim women, in the contemporary context of the jihadist crisis in the Sahel, are reinventing their lives and social environments through religion. Based on empirical research in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria and Senegal, this project deepen the understanding of social dynamics regarding religious norms of religious, implemented today by Muslim women to combat the inequalities they suffer and to impose their identities as believers and citizens. RIMA’s originality comes through the geographic area studied (Maghreb / West Africa), its concern for religious diversity and the study of violence in the Sahel through the prism of women. The project relies on empirical research namely the ethnographic methodology (qualitative field surveys, interviews, participant observation), which will be supplemented by a study of materialities and portraits of women. A visual approach will be used both as a methodological tool (filming, photos, drawings) and as an objects to be observed and studied.
We anticipate that RIMA will have the following impacts in the scientific field; most notably, it will enable the renewal and transfer of knowledge, and it will take up the challenge of the co-production of knowledge in order to better understand major social and political issues regarding Islamic countries and population in the sub-region. We plan to organize several dissemination activities to communicate research findings, including a workshop (Montreal), a final symposium (Casablanca); publications in French and English filed in ORCID. RIMA will also have an impact in terms of knowledge transfer, particularly in Africa: participation in the training of Students (Masters, PhDs) in France, Canada and Africa; 2 summer universities (Bouaké and Dakar); 1 writing workshop in collaboration with the Cahiers d’études africaines. Besides academic effects, it is likely to have an influence on the social and associative milieus through the participation of women's rights associations (religious and civil) that are likely to collaborate with the project's researchers. Finally, RIMA will be of interest to the public authorities, in terms of knowledge and expertise. The expected impact is to answer questions from various actors (political, economic, NGO, development programmes such as G7Sahel, OECD, UNESCO) on contemporary tensions around the practices of Islam and social divisions in the Islamized West Africa/Maghreb region, especially on the role of women in present-day social transformations. The expertise carried out can serve as the basis for local public policies, but also for civil society actors involved in associations that will have, due to the results provided, a more comprehensive view of current issues in the sub-region.

Project coordination

FABIENNE SAMSON (Institut des mondes africains)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


UQAM Université du Québec à Montréal / Chaire de recherche sur l'islam contemporain en Afrique de l'ouest (ICAO)
Kyoto Seika University / Faculty of global Culture
IFAN Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire (Dakar)
IMAf Institut des mondes africains

Help of the ANR 272,693 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2021 - 48 Months

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