Civil and political rights - - MENA region

The Arab Spring for Women? Representations of Women in Middle East Politics in 2011

28.04.2016 / Created by (EMWF)

This article explores the complex, and difficult space in which stories of women in “the Arab Spring” were wielded as parts of political narratives of gender, race, class, religion, democracy, and Westernization in Western media as the Arab Spring unfolded. It examines those stories by using the tools of postcolonial feminism. After briefly describing what is meant by (gender and) the Arab Spring, the article outlines a method for evaluating the significations of the media narratives surrounding it. It defines two dissonant narratives (of gender as emancipatory and of gender as problematic) and asks what assumptions about gender (and sex and race and culture) have to be made to produce these particular representations. The article argues that the dissonant narratives have in common using the situation of women as a barometer for the success of Westernization, liberalization, and democratization. The article concludes by exploring the implications of these findings.


  • Type of publication : Article
  • Author : Laura Sjoberg & Jonathon Whooley
  • Publishing house : Journal of Women, Politics & Policy
  • Publication date : 2015
  • Number of pages : 25
  • Language : English


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