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Gender and feminist geographies in the Middle East

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This article aimed to review the research carried out in the Middle East primarily on gender and feminist geography and also on place formation, urban space, movement and mobility in the social and political sciences. This aim turned out to be challenging primarily because of the colonial and post-colonial history of the region that continues to have a profound effect on the development of academic knowledge among Middle Eastern scholars as well as a restricted accessibility to material published inside the Middle East. Despite this, the article primarily focuses on feminist research on Middle Eastern women done by Middle Eastern scholars and published in Middle Eastern journals and books primarily in Arabic (and Hebrew in Israel). However, during the process of reviewing a large variety of articles, book chapters and books that exist on Middle Eastern women, we realized that it is sometimes difficult and rather artificial to review the material with only this division in mind. In the end, we reviewed the literature on gender and feminism in the Middle East mainly highlighting local published research and also briefly referring to research published in the West by both Westerners and local researchers. The article begins with presenting its research methodology. It then analyzes the website and literature review that we carried out on the contexts, frameworks and themes of gender and feminist geography and spatial research in the Middle East with particular attention on the research carried out in Israel/Palestine. We focus on the private–public spheres; migration and diaspora and the veil as key concepts in analyzing the literature in this section. In the last section, we explain the reasons for the limitations on gender and feminist research in geography inside the Middle East and mention some general conclusions.
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Keywords: Middle East; Oriente Medio; esferas privada-pública; feminism; feminismo; gender; género; migración-diáspora; migration–diaspora; private–public spheres; veil; velo

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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