Toward Understanding Arab Women's Cultural Landscapes

Akram Shalghin


The cultural representation of women in the Arab world is a complex issue due to the sensitivity surrounding their status in the region. We are confronted with many ways in which women are misrepresented and distorted.  There are false claims used by male dominated culture(s) in the Arab world about women and their intellectual and physical capabilities. Indeed, Arab women are often prevented from representing themselves.  When they are present, they are conceptualized as serving a decorative purpose. When women are given platforms from which they may speak, they are expected to reiterate male discourses.The paper focuses on the cultural and political marginalization and misrepresentation of Arab women and describes a number of cultural biases against women in Arabic-speaking societies. Based on culturally constructed misconceptions, Arab women are effaced and excluded from decision-making processes both politically, where they are subjugated and denied a social voice in the public sphere in favour of male-dominated discourses, and within the private sphere of the family where they are subordinate to male relatives. 


Arab Women, Cultural Exclusion, Male Domination, Female Internalization of Male Discourses

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International Journal of Comparative Literature and Translation Studies

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