In Saudi Arabia, Sharia law has been used to prevent women from driving. In Nigeria an Islamic court sentenced a 31-year-old mother to death for having sex outside of marriage; human rights groups fought successfully for her acquittal. Malaysian women need a note from their fathers or husbands before they are allowed to travel. According to the BBC, most of the 1,800 women behind bars in Pakistan are there for offenses deemed crimes under Islamic law.

In 1991, the Ontario government passed the Ontario Arbitration Act, which allowed Jews and Christians to take civil and marital cases before religious arbitration. Rabbis could then adjudicate fights over inheritances and priests over disputes between parishes. Muslim groups in Ontario, quite understandably, wanted the same rights.
Ontario had thus backed itself into a corner. It was forced to either undo the Arbitration Act or give Muslims the same latitude as Jewish and Christian mediators.

Canadian women fought the law, and won


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