Author(s)Whitcher, Rochelle S.
Contributor(s)Baylouny, Anne Marie
Russell, James A.
Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.).
Department of National Security Affairs
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AbstractApproved for public release, distribution unlimited
Women are potent symbols of identity. They signify a vision of society that identifies a nation. The Middle East provides a perfect example of this. It has one of the highest rates of population growth in the world, yet maintains one of the lowest literacy rates and labor force participation among women. This has a direct impact on their ability to be seen as modern states. Furthermore the Middle East has come under attack for having one of the poorest records of human rights, particularly in reference to women. Contrary to this implication Middle Eastern women have taken extremely active roles in the gender debate and the socio-political struggles within their societies. The results of this participation have yielded a number of different interpretations of what it means to be a feminist and if this title is even something that Muslim women want. It has also created a very complex relationship between the west and western feminism which has deep implications in contemporary gender politics.