Arab Feminism

Topics: Feminism, Gender, Islam Pages: 3 (653 words) Published: September 1, 2008
There is distinction between lives of Arab Women and their perception by American Media. The stereotypes spin out of control.
Rise of US Feminism and with the rise of ‘Islam’ as enemy emerged in 1970-80’s.

History of Arab Feminism is long, layered and impressive. (Oxymoronic) Women NGO’s in Middle East and North Africa have risen exponentially in 1980-90’s. Ex: New Woman’s group, Arab Woman’s Publishing House, the Alliance of Arab Women, the association for the development and Enhancement of Women, Progressive Women’s Union.(In Egypt)

Books & Authors stating something

Leveled the social balances for Women.
Women had the right to inherit property, own and operate businesses. Banned infanticide of newborn baby girls.
Shirley Gutherie author of ‘Arab Women in the Middle Ages’ Affluent Arab Women’s negotiated the details of Marriage Contract. Demanded their husbands to be monogamous.
Demanded right to initiate divorce proceedings.
Qasim Amin “Father of Arab Feminism” wrote book ‘The Liberation of Women’ Huda Sha’rawi a contemporary of Qasim Amin.
Founded Egyptian Feminist Union.
Her Pan-Arab Feminism worked closely with Pan-Arab movment, which was response to British Colonisim. Success of both the things was interdependent.

Question: Reason for Antagonism between Western and Eastern Feminism. Answer: Western sees men from East suppressing and scheduling their women and Easterner underlines the immorality of women in the west.

Arab Feminism Today
A recent memoir by Fay Ataf Kanafani,entitled ‘ Nadia, Captive of Hope: Memoir of an Arab Women’. Story is about a Palestinian woman who was married off to her cousin and then widowed during Arab-Israeli War. She describes the gender inequality during 1940-50’s and feminist principles. Noted Arab Feminist, Nawal al-Saadawi managed to keep her marriage intact despite an Egyptian lawsuit. She had been accused because of comments she made in an interview. ...
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