Women in the Middle East: Common Threads and  Diversity of Experience
Common Threads <ul><li>Fewer women than men in public life </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer women than men in the public workforce ...
Female Illiteracy Female literacy in the MENA region has tripled since the 1970s, but half the women in the region still c...
Women’s Participation in the  Formal Work Force & Politics <ul><li>About 80 percent of men participate in the formal workf...
Patriarchy :  a system that privileges males and elders, giving males legal and economic power over his family members.  I...
Patriarchal system <ul><li>Public: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Public office </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Court testimony </li></u...
Variations in Experience A Bedouin girl Moroccan women demonstrating. Some Iranian women.
Differences <ul><li>National  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Legal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul...
Source: Freedom House
A Turkish mayoral candidate greets locals at a Diyarbakir market.  Photo: NF Watts, 03/04
Regional Diversity – a Turkish case Map of Turkey; inset map of Turkey’s southeastern provinces
Regional diversity <ul><li>Literacy:  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>78 % literacy for women in Turkey overall (92 % men);  </li></...
Class differences: Jobs and status Former Prime Minister Tansu  Ç iller Female employee at a carpet restoration center in ...
Diversity in Dress: “Veiling” and the headscarf <ul><li>Veiling and exclusion from work NOT synonymous </li></ul><ul><li>F...
What do we mean by “veiling”?
Types of head and body cover Hijab: Head scarf Chador: Full body cover Drawings from the Seattle Times
Types of body covering cont. A burqa Hindu woman covering face with sari or other covering. Niqab, the face veil.
Head and body fashion, images Palestinian woman in Gaza American Muslim woman showing difference between the Niqab (left) ...
Hijab Fashion  Abbayas from Al-Iman Fashion Hijabs from Al-Iman Fashion Hijab & Abaya from alKaram fashion
 
Why do women veil? What does it mean for them?
Other perspectives? <ul><li>Covering as empowerment </li></ul><ul><li>Assertion of women’s rights </li></ul><ul><li>“ Post...
Clothing and the Quran <ul><li>&quot;Say to the believing man that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; t...
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Women In The Middle East Nov2005

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Women In The Middle East Nov 2005 Common Threads and
Diversity of Experience

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Women In The Middle East Nov2005

  1. 1. Women in the Middle East: Common Threads and Diversity of Experience
  2. 2. Common Threads <ul><li>Fewer women than men in public life </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer women than men in the public workforce </li></ul><ul><li>Higher rates of female illiteracy </li></ul><ul><li>Lower rates of female education </li></ul><ul><li>Patriarchal system in the home and in public life </li></ul>
  3. 3. Female Illiteracy Female literacy in the MENA region has tripled since the 1970s, but half the women in the region still cannot read or write.
  4. 4. Women’s Participation in the Formal Work Force & Politics <ul><li>About 80 percent of men participate in the formal workforce; only about 33 percent of women (in the MENA region) </li></ul><ul><li>About 3.5 % of parliamentary seats are occupied by women (lowest % in the world) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Patriarchy : a system that privileges males and elders, giving males legal and economic power over his family members.  In broader terms, the extension of male dominance over women in society in general. 
  6. 6. Patriarchal system <ul><li>Public: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Public office </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Court testimony </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dress codes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Segregated work spaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limitations on movement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Private: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Last names </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Child custody </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Divorce/marriage laws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom of movement & employment </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Variations in Experience A Bedouin girl Moroccan women demonstrating. Some Iranian women.
  8. 8. Differences <ul><li>National </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Legal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In Turkey, one in three doctors & lawyers is a woman; about 40% of Istanbul Stock Exchange traders are women </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Literacy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Regional </li></ul><ul><li>Class and status </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural </li></ul>Table 1: Percentage of women in the labor force Saudi Arabia 4% Egypt 30% Turkey 35%
  9. 9. Source: Freedom House
  10. 10. A Turkish mayoral candidate greets locals at a Diyarbakir market. Photo: NF Watts, 03/04
  11. 11. Regional Diversity – a Turkish case Map of Turkey; inset map of Turkey’s southeastern provinces
  12. 12. Regional diversity <ul><li>Literacy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>78 % literacy for women in Turkey overall (92 % men); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Southeast Turkey, only 55 % women literate. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Education: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>92% girls in elementary school in Turkey overall; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>only 75% in the Southeast </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Marriage: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>in the Southeast, 20% girls marry before age 15 (highly uncommon in the rest of Turkey) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Class differences: Jobs and status Former Prime Minister Tansu Ç iller Female employee at a carpet restoration center in Turkey. Market woman in central Turkey. My friend Selin making pottery.
  14. 14. Diversity in Dress: “Veiling” and the headscarf <ul><li>Veiling and exclusion from work NOT synonymous </li></ul><ul><li>Full-body covering not specifically required in the Quran </li></ul><ul><li>Historically, veiling primarily an upper-class luxury </li></ul>Village women in southeast Turkey.
  15. 15. What do we mean by “veiling”?
  16. 16. Types of head and body cover Hijab: Head scarf Chador: Full body cover Drawings from the Seattle Times
  17. 17. Types of body covering cont. A burqa Hindu woman covering face with sari or other covering. Niqab, the face veil.
  18. 18. Head and body fashion, images Palestinian woman in Gaza American Muslim woman showing difference between the Niqab (left) and the Hijab (right)
  19. 19. Hijab Fashion Abbayas from Al-Iman Fashion Hijabs from Al-Iman Fashion Hijab & Abaya from alKaram fashion
  20. 21. Why do women veil? What does it mean for them?
  21. 22. Other perspectives? <ul><li>Covering as empowerment </li></ul><ul><li>Assertion of women’s rights </li></ul><ul><li>“ Post-modern” reaction </li></ul><ul><li>Local custom </li></ul><ul><li>Peer or family pressure </li></ul>
  22. 23. Clothing and the Quran <ul><li>&quot;Say to the believing man that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands...&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>(Qur'an 24:30-31) </li></ul>
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