Arabs, Islam, and the Oppression of Women?

Descending from a line of politically and socially active women, I always had a different perspective on women’s issues. I was just as vocal and as active as the generations of women that preceded me in my bloodline. I studied in Bahrain and came to the United Arab Emirates to pursue my university degree in […]

My Hope for a Better Afghan Society

Feminism is a word taken for granted. It is used by people who do not even know its true meaning. One of my first ideas of the word came from my high school English teacher who said, “the difference between a feminist and a normal woman is if you open a door for a normal […]

Breaking Stereotypes

I am Ermida Koduah, a young woman from New York City. This spring I studied in the American University in Dubai. Taking the Women & Gender in the Middle East course this semester has helped me view the Middle East in a more positive way. I see the similarities between here and my own culture, […]

Women and Religions (Workshop, American University in Dubai)

When it comes to religions, such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam, there are many approaches that describe the nature, status and roles of women: from egalitarian to complementarian and traditionalist, from liberal to conservative, and every approach refers to the sacred scriptures while using a different interpretation of the same verses. Should we look for […]

My Islam is that of Amina Wadud

My latest encounter with a fellow Lebanese so-called feminist led to her following statement: “There are no Muslim Feminists. It is a pure contradiction. Islam oppresses women. As long as Muslim women are defending their religion, they cannot claim being feminists”. Every discussion about “Islam” and “women” must begin with a definition of Islam. Simply […]

العذرية وترقيع غشاء البكارة:خواطر للمناقشة

  ١ – عدة معان لكلمة العذرية: الفرد الطاهر معنويا، الفرد الذي لم يقم بعلاقة جنسية مكتملة (ويختلف التشخيص للمثليين)، المرأة التي تعتبر طاهرة جسدياً قبل الزواج، إلخ. ٢ –  “عذرية المرأة الجسدية = شرفها وشرف عائلتها”: قاعدة هذه الفكرة التي أصبحت غقيدة في المجتمعات الشرق أوسطية هي النظام الأبوي. من خصائص هذا النظام: الأبوة […]

Perceptions du corps de la femme au Liban

Bien que les définitions de l’être femme soient diverses au Liban, il en est une qui constitue la norme et qui reste difficilement détrônable, quelles que soient les appartenances confessionnelles, politiques, socio-économiques et générationnelles : afin d’être acceptée par l’autre (individuel et collectif), de préserver son honneur et son intégrité (et l’honneur de la famille) et […]

God the Female

She, and by her, God reveals the feminine self. God, who combines both male and female characters, is only referred to as a “he”. This, not only limits the divine, but it also cancels the possibility of the feminine being part of God. This notion of God the female, that is revealed throughout the Bible, […]

Entre le religieux et l’a-religieux, j’appelle au dialogue des féministes libanaises

Je fais partie de la génération des enfants de la guerre des années 70-80 du siècle dernier au Liban. Suite aux accords de Taëf et l’arrêt des combats internes en 1989-1990, je portai en moi tant une mémoire meurtrie que la soif de la découverte de la vérité sur le passé. Construire mon identité en […]

What about Marital Rape?

I thought of writing this post a while ago, when students of mine were talking about marital rape as if it was a futile subject to tackle, claiming that women have the obligation of satisfying their husbands’ sexual needs (‘sex is a wifely duty’), that their own desire and consent do not matter, that God […]