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Understanding the Status of Arab Women Jordanian Women as an Example.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding the Status of Arab Women Jordanian Women as an Example."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding the Status of Arab Women Jordanian Women as an Example

2 Arab Women between stereotypes and actual living conditions StereotypesOppressedPassive Veiled and secluded Victims of religion and male dominated culture Numbers Health (high fertility rates, high maternal deaths, least effected by HIV/AIDS) Education (one of the highest regions in female illiteracy, lowest in school enrollment. Increasing university enrollment. economic: increasing participation in / 19% increase of women’s participation to 3% increase in the whole world. the lowest economic participation in the world 33.3% %world percentage economic: increasing participation in / 19% increase of women’s participation to 3% increase in the whole world. the lowest economic participation in the world 33.3% %world percentage legal discrimination: family laws legal discrimination: family laws

3 Arab Women are then lagging behind and discriminated against!! Their lagging behind is not unique!!! OppressedPassive

4 Never over-generalize Arab World is heterogeneous in terms of Political development and conditions Gender Culture The level of politicized Islam The socio-cultural accommodation of Islam/ Pop Islam The structure of and gaps between Social classes level and type of social development level and type of social development Type of economy These conditions explain better the status of Arab Women than cultural-determinist arguments. Religion and Arab Culture

5 Significant achievement are taking place Women in politics Legal amendments The politicization of women’s issues in public space

6 Changes have the following factors to thank The struggle of the women’s movement The international women’s agenda The atmosphere of democratization and political opening Globalization Changing patterns of women’s lives

7 The two wings for the rise of women A societal reform A societal movement

8 Obstacles The challenge of Islamism The challenge of tribalism, Patriarchy and neo-patriarchy The challenge stability and security in the region The challenge of transition Troubled development

9 Arab Women’s Movements: what framework to employ? Long History Western/ Universalistic feminist approaches Islamic Feminism: a promising project Islamic not Islamist

10 Major achievements of Islamic Feminism The bill of rights in the bedroom The bill of rights in the Mosque

11 Rights in the Bedroom Women have an Islamic right to respectful and pleasurable sexual experience. Women have an Islamic right to make independent decisions about their bodies, including the right to say no to sex. Women have an Islamic right to make independent decisions about their partner, including the right to say no to a husband marrying a second wife. Women have an Islamic right to make independent decisions about their choice of a partner. Women have an Islamic right to make independent decisions about contraception and reproduction. Women have an Islamic right to protection from physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Women have an Islamic right to sexual privacy. Women have an Islamic right to exemption from criminalization or punishment for consensual adult sex. Women have an Islamic right to exemption from gossip and slander. Women have an Islamic right to sexual health care and sex education.

12 The Islamic Bill of Rights for Women in Mosques Women have an Islamic right to enter a mosque. Women have an Islamic right to enter through the main door. Women have an Islamic right to visual and auditory access to the musalla (the main sanctuary). Women have an Islamic right to pray in the musalla without being separated by a barrier, including in the front and in mixed-gender congregational lines. Women have an Islamic right to address any and all members of the congregation. Women have an Islamic right to hold leadership positions, including positions as prayer leaders and as members of the board of directors and management committees. Women have an Islamic right to be full participants in all congregational activities. Women have an Islamic right to lead and participate in meetings, study sessions, and other community activities without being separated by a barrier. Women have an Islamic right to be greeted and addressed cordially. Women have an Islamic right to receive respectful treatment and exemption from gossip and slander.

13 Jordanian Women “Tradition” vs. “modernity”

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