Women's Roles in the Middle East and North Africa
by Ruth Margolies Beitler and Angelica R. Martinez
April 2010, 225pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-36240-8
$67, £52, 59€, A92
eBook Available: 978-0-313-36241-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Many people would be surprised to know that women assumed combat roles during the time of the Prophet Muhammad and are even credited with saving Muhammad’s life. Less surprising is the fact that, today, women in the Middle East make up only 28 percent of the labor force, considerably lower than other regions. Yet, a new and fascinating picture of these women is emerging.

This concise, content-rich volume provides an overview of women's roles in the Middle East and North Africa from the advent of Islam to the present.

Recent research shows that women in the Middle East and North Africa have played much larger roles in society than previously acknowledged. Women’s Roles in the Middle East and North Africa explores these roles from both historical and contemporary perspectives, describing and analyzing the lives of women in the regions from the advent of Islam through contemporary times.

The book begins with an introduction that examines the pre-Islamic Middle East and North Africa. The balance of the chapters are organized thematically and provide detailed country studies for 19 nations. Chapters discuss work, law, religion, family, politics, and culture, exploring the changes women have undergone over a period of roughly 1,500 years.

Features

  • A chronology of women's roles in the Middle East and North Africa encompassing work, religion, family, law, politics, and culture from pre-Islamic to contemporary times
  • Photographs illustrating various aspects of women's lives in the region
  • A selected bibliography including contemporary articles on new topics in women's research
  • A brief glossary of key terms such as abaya, sharia, and mahr
Ruth Margolies Beitler, PhD, is professor of comparative politics in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. Dr. Beitler is the author of The Path to Mass Rebellion: An Analysis of Two Intifadas and coauthor of The Fight for Legitimacy: Democracy vs. Terrorism.

Angelica R. Martinez is a U.S. Army officer who teaches international relations and comparative politics at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. She served in Iraq and Kuwait as an operations officer in 2003 and as a company commander in 2005.

Reviews

"Beitler (Comparative Politics, U.S. Military Academy, West Point) and Martinez (International Relations, U.S. Military Academy, West Point) explore the historic and present-day roles of women in Middle Eastern and North African societies. Providing detailed information for 19 countries, chapters examine work, law, religion, family, politics, and culture, showing how the lives of women have changed since the rise of Islam. Revealing how women have played a much larger role in the region than had been thought, this interesting and well written book will appeal to readers wanting to know more about women’s lives in this increasingly important part of the world."—Reference & Research Book News, August 1, 2010
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