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Equity and Equality: The Economics Behind Women’s Property Rights in Islamic Law

On Tuesday, October 22nd, Professor Maya Shatzmiller of Western University spoke to an audience of eighteen scholars on “Equity and Equality: The Economics Behind Women’s Property Rights in Islamic Law.” Part of the PIL Islamic Law Lecture Series, this talk drew from research for Professor Shatzmiller’s forthcoming paper of the same name. She focused on the quantitative evidence for legal protections of women’s property rights in the medieval era. Gathered from the Cairo Geniza, these data provide the groundwork for Professor Shatzmiller’s argument that Islamic law responded to changes in the economic environment, namely the Justinian Plague, by protecting women’s property rights. The lecture was livetweeted under #shatszmillerlecture, and a video recording will be made available on the PIL website.