Stereotypes and Self-Representations of Women with a Muslim Background: The Stigma of Being Oppressed

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No serious and credible policy on human rights can ignore the abysmal record of the Saudi royal family, which has imposed on the Saudi Arabian people one of the most oppressive regimes in the world. The brand of Wahhabi Islam imposed in Saudi Arabia is seen in no other country. Qatar, which follows Wahhabi doctrine, has been launching a series of social and political reforms affecting women in the past few years.

American support for the Saudi royal family has permitted that government to violate human rights and to ignore the pleas of Saudi men and women for reforms. Crown Prince Abdullah, who has assumed more powers in the past two years in the wake of the near incapacitation of King Fahd, has publicly alluded to popular demands for social, political, and legal reforms affecting Saudi women.


Yet Washington, which routinely interferes in the minute affairs in the region and in the internal domestic situation of many Arab countries, has not made one public statement in support of Saudi women in the face of state oppression and discrimination. How can the U. The Saudi Arabian branch of Wahhabiyyah Islam targets women: they are denied political roles, they are deprived of driving privileges, they are confined to educational institutions inferior to those reserved for men, and they are still subject to the legal practice of guardianship, which treats women as legal inferiors who cannot move or travel without the notarized legal permission of their fathers, brothers, husbands, or a remote male relative in some cases.

While Saudi Arabia welcomes technology allowing it to accommodate U. The campaign against gender equality and religious reforms spearheaded by the Saudi royal family, is directly or indirectly sponsored by the U.

Stereotypes and Self-Representations of Women with a Muslim Background

Though the Saudi case is exceptional, it is illustrative of the determinants and consequences of U. Unfortunately, U. Although the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have belatedly accommodated themselves to the needs of civic organizations around the world, the U. The Canadian foreign aid program is geared toward the empowerment of both the poor and women, and it awards grants and aid on the basis of need. But the largest recipient of U.

Hybrid Identities of Characters in Muslim women fiction post

Moreover, the U. Instead of supporting the courageous feminist and human rights nongovernmental organizations NGOs in the Middle East, the U. This type of aid only serves to promote a culture of corruption in the recipient countries and keeps unelected officials in power.

In recent years, Washington has been giving some money to civic associations, but the amounts are minuscule when compared to U. Many private philanthropic organizations in the West have shifted their largess to aid civic associations.

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NGOs now proliferate throughout the Arab world, and these organizations suffer not only from political repression but also from lack of resources. Feminist organizations in particular have to navigate between the hostility of the state and the hostility of Islamic fundamentalists in society. These organizations, and female-led groups promoting economic development among women, would benefit from U.

Yet even when some groups like the feminist organization led by Nawal Saadawi in Egypt receive private American aid, their rank-and-file members object. Wary of American motives and foreign policy, such groups often detest and suspect American funding. Although the U. Saudi Arabia exemplifies the essential flaws and errors of U.

Books by Margaretha A van Es

Furthermore, U. We must demand better from our media. One way to counter this is to invite an alternative way of thinking and to challenge the discourse and culture around Muslims and their representations. So how do we demand better representation? With its growing data set, the Riz Test is a great way of drawing attention to the problem — presenting the movie makers with evidence is a great first step that can challenge the film industry at large.

Not only do we need to diversify the roles in our current film industry, but we also need to diversify the kinds of films we watch. At a time of political chaos and isolation, Farhadi has familiarised the world with his home country through its art and human stories.

What It's Like To Be A Woman In Islamic State

The visual medium is strong — and representation matters. UEA Inaugural lecture: Alternative performance measures: do managers disclose them to inform us, or to mislead us? Edition: Available editions United Kingdom.

U.S. Muslims Concerned About Their Place in Society, but Continue to Believe in the American Dream

Anjli Mohindra as Nadia in The Bodyguard. BBC PIctures. Zahra Khosroshahi , University of East Anglia. Read more: It's not just about race and gender — religious stereotypes need tackling too With backgrounds in education research and tech respectively, Sadia Habib and Shaf Choudry have kickstarted a project that not only asks this question, but also strives to offer evidence-based answers.

We have a dedicated site for Germany. The focus is on women active in, and speaking on behalf of, a wide variety of minority self-organisations in the Netherlands and Norway between and The author reveals how these women have internalised and appropriated particular stereotypes, and also developed counter-stereotypes about majority Dutch or Norwegian women.

She demonstrates, above all, how they have tried time and again to change popular perceptions by providing alternative images of themselves and of Islam, paying particular attention to their attempts to gain access to media debates. Her central argument is that their efforts to undermine stereotypes can be understood as an assertion of belonging in Dutch and Norwegian society and, in the case of women committed to Islam, as a demand for their religion to be accepted. Providing new insights into the dynamics between stereotyping and self-representation, it will appeal to scholars of gender, religion, media, and cultural diversity.

Margaretha A.