Improvements in the Social Conditions of Women in the Maghreb and Possible Future Developments Because of the Arab Spring

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Isabelle Chapuis-Alvarez, Hope College

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Feminist movements in the Maghreb continue to attempt to redress the inferior social status of women, the result of multiple forms of oppression, by fighting against the social rules and customs concerning traditional gender roles in these predominantly Muslim countries. This article will explore three specific types of masculine oppression: within marriage and the family unit, of feminine sexuality, and in the workplace. The close ties between the government and Islam help to support the inferior status of women in these countries. Long-standing social traditions and widespread fear of dramatic change in the established patriarchal society also contribute to the oppression of women. Women’s roles are changing rapidly in Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco since the unrest of the Arab Spring last year. It will take time to see if, because of these recent developments, the condition of women in Maghreb has a chance of improving.

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