Winds of change? Negotiating gender relations

in the Middle East and North Africa 1

Authored by: Annette Jünemann

Routledge Handbook of EU–Middle East Relations

Print publication date:  December  2021
Online publication date:  December  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367330767
eBook ISBN: 9780429317873
Adobe ISBN:


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Low standards of women’s rights in the MENA region are not simply a result of “Islam” but have manifold root causes. Decisive is the political struggle for power, which has been fought since colonial times on the battlefield of gender relations. State-feminism is still used as an instrument of autocratic power politics, playing off secular and religious feminists against each other. This contribution elaborates on the strong aversions within the Arab women’s movement that is further segregated by the socio-economic discrepancy between urban middle- and upper-class feminists and their underprivileged female counterparts especially in rural regions. There is much hope in the younger generation that has started to overcome these binaries for the joint cause of gender-democracy.

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