Women's Rights Research Seminar: Gendered Paradoxes of Socio-political Transformations in the Arab World After 2011

Women's Rights Research Seminar: Gendered Paradoxes of Socio-political Transformations in the Arab World After 2011

Monday, 8 May 2017 - 2:00pm
Venue: 
the Board Room, Middle East Centre
Speaker(s): 
Nicola Pratt (Warwick University)
Convenor: 
Soraya Tremayne and Marilyn Booth

Abstract:

This paper examines the gendered dimensions of the Arab Uprisings, with a focus on Egypt (and, if there is time) with a comparison of Lebanon and Jordan. I argue that the uprisings shed light on a paradox of gender in socio-political transformations. As a result of the uprisings and, in particular, of the violence faced by women protesters, women successfully mobilized to include calls for women’s bodily integrity as a legitimate part of the revolutionary agenda. Yet, paradoxically, the recognition of violence against women as a legitimate public issue has also served to politicize women’s rights in ways that have facilitated their appropriation by counter-revolutionary actors. In other words, women’s rights, particularly rights to bodily integrity, constitute both a gain of the Arab uprisings but also a part of the story of the defeat of the Arab uprisings. I trace this paradox to the historical relationship of gender to modernity and the latter’s contradictory impulses between order and emancipation in the context of state-building in the Arab world.

Nicola Pratt, Reader, International Politics of the Middle East, University of Warwick