Introduction: Deconstructing Women’s Empowerment in the Middle East and North Africa

  • Marwa Shalaby
Part of the Comparative Feminist Studies book series (CFS)


What is empowerment? Is empowerment a static concept, or does it constantly vary and transform across time and different contexts? How can empowerment be studied amid societal and political transformation? Is it time to abandon the long-standing cultural paradigm applied to the study of gender and usher in a new era of feminist studies—one with a deeper and more nuanced understanding of women’s issues across the MENA region? To answer these questions, the analyses presented in this book shed light on some of the most critical issues impeding the advancement of women’s rights, such as patriarchy and Islam, barriers to women’s agency in the legal and socioeconomic realms, women’s access to the decision-making process, citizenship rights, and the impact of conflict on women’s status.


MENA Empowerment Arab Spring Women Agency Patriarchy 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marwa Shalaby
    • 1
  1. 1.Rice UniversityHoustonUSA

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