Mackenzie Glaze


Although women's rights in many countries reflect Sharia Law, the interpretation of Sharia Law is not uniform across these countries. As a result, not all countries that follow Sharia Law protect women's rights to the same degree. We can hypothesize that the interpretation of Sharia Law in various countries, and therefore the protection of women's rights, is determined by the historical forces that have shaped that country's cultural life. To test this hypothesis, this Note traces the history of three countries in order to explore what led each country to develop vastly different beliefs surrounding the rights of women under Sharia law. Although historical determinism is a tricky concept, I believe the evidence suggests that between the identity of the colonizer, who fills the power vacuum after the colonizer is forced to leave, and the country's desire to westernize have the greatest effects on the rights granted to women.