Meeting a Real Mauritanian Feminist


My name is Malika, a human who gather all the contradictions of the universe. I believe in equality, even though I grew up in a society where discrimination is part of its religious and social culture. My entourage considers me a feminist, maybe I’m a feminist. I can not be sure enough, I can’t be sure at all. I lost Certainty in this kind of matters since years.

You asked me about my definition of feminism. Perhaps the closest definition to my heart is that one I’ve heard last year from former French Justice Minister Christian Taubira at a meeting organized by the French Cultural Center in Tunisia when she was asked by her interlocutor what is feminism,she told him that “feminism is humanity”, feminism is dignity, freedom and social justice for all. Regardless of their sexes, colors or religions.
Feminism is inseparable from the dismantling of the religious-economic-social political system.

I grew up in a Marabout family, I studied the Holy Quran when I was young. During my Teenage time The only available books for me to read were religious books, jurisprudence, Hadith and the biography of the Prophet etc…
My awareness of the extent of this system’s injustice and its lack of importance at the beginning of my adolescence when I was forced to wear a Veil It did not come alone but was coming with a pack of commands and prohibitions.

In middle school, I was engaged in serious discussions with my teachers and colleagues when they issued any comments expressing contempt for women or their appropriations. I had strong senses of such things. I remember once our professor of Arabic spoke about works that suit women, according to his point of view the works are divided on the basis of reproductive organs. He spoke to us about the actions that we as Muslims committed women must look forward to and he identified that actions by nursing and education for him These actions help us to raise our children and care for them and serve our community. I remember my objection to this profiling I did not take references to comment that day from religion or from any philosophical theory. I remember telling him that a woman could do anything she wanted. It was clear to me that our reproductive organs were not the ones who defined our jobs or the roles we were looking for. I was not convinced by the professor or by the tradition on which he was based on also from that day that tradition did not convince me and I haven’t relied on it to defend my rights for equality, as you may have noticed from the beginning, it was a personal matter.
Remained Personal until my graduation from university 2012.
That year I joined a group that i‘ve found on Facebook working to help survivors from rape and violence.
That year, my research began and found that the Mauritanian laws did not criminalize rape and discovered how huge the discrimination and violence intended in the Mauritanian laws I’ve discovered the contradiction between the personal status code that allows the marriage of minors and the penal code that does not take the testimony of women in some cases and does not criminalize rape and adapting it to the crime of adultery.. Also consider beating the wife and disciplining her as a husband’s right.

After joining the group and my work with survivors of violence and rape, I decided to return to studying, to learn the law academically. The goal was not only my attempt to find out and understand more the law system, neither our constant need for lawyers. The goal here was that I wanted to become a lawyer here too it was a personal matter.

DSC_0103-Edit-3Today I am free from working under any organization or any group. I am still a law student and insisting on continuing with it. I am also determined to continue my studies in my other specialization to get my PhD.

Sometimes I arrange some sentences and post it on Facebook.Some people called it writings, through these posts I met a group of girls and young men.
Maybe without Facebook and Twitter we could not meet and talk and share our experiences and become friends…
About my future goals, it is a single goal that i have which is to set up my own farm and to bring in my favorite animal Sloth from the Central American forests and sit enjoying watching him .

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