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POLSC321: Mideast Politics

Unit 13: Women and Gender in Islam   The issue of women and gender has long been central to Western views of the Middle East.  In this unit, you will investigate the relationship between colonialism and European views of Muslim women.  You will also consider the centrality of veiling to the discourse of women’s liberation in the Middle East.  You will also consider the extent to which women have been successful in exerting power and gaining liberties in the Middle East.

Unit 13 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 2.5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 13.1: 0.75 hours

☐    Subunit 13.3: 0.25 hours

☐    Subunit 13.4: 1.5 hours

Unit13 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Summarize European colonists’ view of Muslim women. - Summarize the reasons why veiling is often viewed as central to women’s liberation in the Muslim world. - Identify the advantages and disadvantages of veiling. - Summarize the extent to which women have been able to mobilize politically in various contexts in the Middle East.

13.1 European View of Muslim Women   - Reading: Common Dreams: Katharine Viner’s “Feminism as Imperialism: George Bush Is Not the First Empire-Builder to Wage War in the Name of Women” Link: Common Dreams: Katharine Viner’s “Feminism as Imperialism: George Bush Is Not the First Empire-Builder to Wage War in the Name of Women” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire text, which discusses the way that feminism has been used to justify Western colonialism.  Please note that this reading also covers the topic outlined in subunit 13.2.
 
Studying this reading should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: PBS’s “What Factors Determine the Changing Roles of Women in the Middle East and Islamic Societies?” Link: PBS’s “What Factors Determine the Changing Roles of Women in the Middle East and Islamic Societies?” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire article.  Focus on the differences among Middle Eastern societies with respect to the status and rights of women.  Please note that this reading also covers the topic outlined in subunit 13.2.
     
    You should spend approximately 15-20 minutes on this resource.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

13.2 Relationship between Feminism and Colonialism   Note: This topic is covered by the readings assigned below subunit 13.1.  Focus on the way feminism has been used to justify colonialism.

13.3 Veiling   - Web Media: PBS’s “Global Connections: The Middle East” Link: PBS’s “Global Connections: The Middle East” (QuickTime)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and view this entire video clip.  Consider the reasons for veiling and compare veiling to patterns of dress for women in the West.
 
You should spend approximately 15 minutes on this resource.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

13.4 Women’s Movements in the Contemporary Middle East   - Reading: Foreign Policy: The Middle East Channel: Dalia Mogahed’s “Evaluating Women’s Freedom in the Middle East” Link: Foreign Policy: The Middle East Channel: Dalia Mogahed’s “Evaluating Women’s Freedom in the Middle East” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire article, which addresses trends that prevail across the Middle East as well as the ways in which women’s rights vary across the region.
 
Studying this reading should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Tom Dispatch: Juan Cole and Shahin Cole’s “The Women’s Movement in the Middle East” Links: Tom Dispatch: Juan Cole and Shahin Cole’s “The Women’s Movement in the Middle East” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire article, which discusses what the Arab Spring has meant for women’s freedom.
     
    Studying this resource should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.