Frontline World

NIGERIA - The Road North, January 2003


THE STORY
Synopsis of "The Road North"

MISS WORLD'S WOES
A Chronicle of the Pageant's Troubles

THOUGHTS OF A FAVORITE SON
Interview With Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka

NIGERIAN WOMEN SPEAK OUT
Five Diverse Voices

FACTS & STATS
Learn More about Nigeria

LINKS & RESOURCES
Sharia Law, Human Rights, the Role of Women

MAP

REACT TO THIS STORY

   


Nigerian Women Speak Out

Amina Lawal and her baby

"May Allah let me die
a Muslim, declaring my
faith in him."


Amina Lawal

Amina Lawal, a woman from a small village in northern Nigeria, last year found herself in the middle of an international media storm over women's rights and sharia law. Read five Nigerian women's reflections on the danger Lawal faces and on the challenge for women in their country.



Click on each image below to read excerpt from the womens' interviews.
Hauwa Ibrahim Amina Lawal’s attorney Christine Anyanwu Journalist Mario Bello Youth advocate Stella Din Publicist, Miss World organization Amina Ladan Baki Mohammed Women’s rights activist

Nigerian women featured prominently in the news last year. One group fought multinational oil conglomerate ChevronTexaco and won. They all witnessed the arrival -- and subsequent swift departure -- of the Miss World contest.

In these excerpts from interviews conducted by FRONTLINE/World in November 2002, five Nigerian women discuss the conditions under which they work, pray, earn an education, survive riots and stand up for themselves in what remains largely a man's world. The interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

Hauwa Ibrahim, Amina Lawal's attorney, describes her upbringing in northern Nigeria and details the long legal fight to save Lawal's life.

Christine Anyanwu, journalist, describes the crushing disappointment of learning that the state of Kaduna was going up in smoke and talks about the danger of being a journalist under current conditions.

Mario Bello, director, Adolescent Health and Information Project, talks of the need to educate women and to promote a more equitable and just interpretation of sharia.

Stella Din, publicist for the Miss World organization, details the pressures that resulted in the decision to move the final stages of the beauty contest to London.

Amina Ladan Baki Mohammed, a women's rights activist, says that women in Nigeria are making slow progress toward parity with their men.

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Nigerian Women Speak Out
by Jessie Deeter, an Associate Producer for FRONTLINE/World.