Mali, a nation whose citizens are 90% Muslim, maintains laws that adhere to the regulations laid out in the Qur’an. Current law requires women to obey their husband’s commands, sets the legal age for a girl to marry at 12, gives male children priority access to inheritance, and denies women property rights. Mali, like many other countries who limit women’s freedom, has come under criticism from the United Nations (UN) and other international organizations for their curtailment of human rights.
General Moussa Traoré obtained power in Mali in 1968 when he led a military coup d’etat that overthrew the left-leaning nationalist government that had ruled since 1960. Opposition towards Traoré grew during the 1980s, but didn’t fully emerge until the 1990s. During this time, Traoré imposed programs to satisfy demands of the International Monetary Fund, which brought increased hardship upon the country’s population while elites lived in luxury.