Women in the Gulf: Struggles and Successes

Since its inception in 2015, AGSIW has celebrated the role of women in the Gulf, examining their struggles and their successes. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we highlight some of the issues and events AGSIW has covered, and the women who are making a difference.

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Gray Area: Advocating for the Noncitizen Children of Kuwaiti Mothers

Nationality and naturalization laws are often ambiguous in Kuwait, specifically for the children of Kuwaiti mothers and foreign or bidun (stateless) fathers.

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Amaani Yahya: Reaching out through Rap

Amaani Yahya might not be the first Yemeni woman to rap, but she is one of the first to use the artform to try to reach people outside Yemen.

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Cracking the Glass Ceiling: Gulf Women in Politics

This post is part of a series examining women’s labor force participation in the Gulf Arab states, including areas of growth and challenges facing women in the Gulf.

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Internal Political Realignment Targets Saudi Women Activists

On June 24, Saudi women will be allowed to operate their own cars, ending the ban on women driving and effecting a momentous change in the conservative kingdom.

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Cracking the Glass Ceiling: Gulf Women in Manufacturing

This post is part of a series examining women’s labor force participation in the Gulf Arab states, including areas of growth and challenges facing women in the Gulf.

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Cracking the Glass Ceiling: Gulf Women in the Police

Saudi Arabia has recently announced decisions allowing women to apply for jobs in air traffic control, the traffic police, and the military, and to positions as investigators at the public prosecutor’s office. These decisions are made in line with Saudi Vision 2030, to increase women’s participation in the workforce from 22 to 30 percent.

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Cracking the Glass Ceiling: Gulf Women in Health Care

For many conservative people in the Gulf Arab states, practicing medicine as a woman is still unacceptable.

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Cracking the Glass Ceiling: Arab Women in Technology

Globally, computer science and information technology majors in universities are dominated by men. However, in the Middle East, 40 percent of university students specializing in computer science and IT are women.

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Driving Forward: Women in the Gulf Assess a Changing Landscape

The royal decree permitting women to drive in Saudi Arabia has focused attention on the social advances of women in the kingdom.

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Bisklayta: Pedaling through Hurdles in Saudi Arabia

Nadeemah Abulaynain started riding her bicycle in her Jeddah neighborhood and, through Instagram, slowly attracted other women to join her.

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Dar Al Aseel: Abaya Design for the Gulf Power Woman

One of Oman’s most acclaimed fashion designers, Amal Al Raisi, stumbled upon design after shopping for a wedding dress.

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Saudi Women’s Online Activism: One Year of the “I Am My Own Guardian” Campaign

This paper is an overview of the women’s campaign against the male guardianship system in Saudi Arabia and a window into the new landscape of media activism.

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Never Never Land: Saudi Women Screaming for Entertainment

Arwa Al Neami is a self-taught artist who was born in the mountainous village of Rijal Alma in Saudi Arabia’s southern Asir province.

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All the King’s Women: New Shura Council Members Stir Gender Debate

In the past few years, women have been increasingly assuming leadership positions in public and private sectors of Saudi Arabia.

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The Effect of Gender Norms on Women’s Health in Saudi Arabia

This paper examines the impact of inadequate health education and preventative health measures on women’s reproductive and sexual health care as well as mental health care.

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Gulf Women with Altitude: Climbing Mount Everest

Altitude sickness, frostbite, and severe weather conditions are just a few of the obstacles climbers have to overcome en route to the summit of Mount Everest.

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Women Driving Positive Change in the Middle East

The year 2016 witnessed a dramatic economic transformation in Saudi Arabia that triggered unprecedented political changes.

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Women in White: The Changing Abaya Fashion in Qatar

No visitor to Qatar, or any other Gulf country, would fail to miss that women’s flowing outer garments, known as abayas, are almost unexceptionally black.

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Women’s Labor Force Participation Across the GCC

This paper examines women’s integration in the labor force in the Gulf Arab states, paying special attention to differences in public and private sector employment, and national and migrant female labor participation.

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The Personal is Political: Gender Identity in the Personal Status Laws of the Gulf Arab States

This paper examines personal status law in the six Gulf Arab states, and the limitations PSLs impose on women’s autonomy and the role of women within the family.

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Riyadh Writing Club: Empowering Female Writers

When Hala Abdullah started the Riyadh Writing Club with her best friend, Mashael Alblehed, in 2009, they had in mind an easy way to meet and get inspired by other writers.

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Royal Women in the Gulf: Agents of Change or Defenders of the Status Quo?

Women of the ruling families of Arab Gulf states are well situated to lead or impede significant change for women in their societies.

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Women’s Rights and Family Law in the Middle East and North Africa

In November 2015 in Seoul, Korea, 50 women from around the world, including the United Arab Emirates, gathered at the International Women’s Democracy Network at the eighth World Movement for Democracy Assembly.

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Abolish 153: Tackling Domestic Violence in Kuwait

Abolish 153 is an awareness campaign started by a small group of women in Kuwait to eradicate domestic violence in the country.

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Personal Status Laws in the Gulf States

Personal status laws in the Gulf Cooperation Council states regulate and impact women’s rights in every domain: education, work, freedom of movement, marriage or divorce, children, and access to resources within or outside the family.

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Family Identification Documents for Saudi Women: An Identity Dilemma

A New Development In a recent development, the Saudi Civil Status Department started issuing divorced or widowed women family registry cards.

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The Saudi National Transformation Program: What’s in It for Women?

In a national workforce largely composed of men and foreign workers, can economic reform ensure women's participation?

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Women and Elections in Saudi Arabia

On December 17, AGSIW hosted a panel discussion on the December 12 municipal elections in Saudi Arabia, the first in which women were included as voters and as candidates.

Ahaad al-Amoudi: Imagining Saudi Past and Future through Art

Saudi Arabia’s contemporary art scene is becoming more vibrant by the day.

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Through its careful examination of the forces shaping the evolution of Gulf societies and the new generation of emerging leaders, AGSIW facilitates a richer understanding of the role the countries in this key geostrategic region can be expected to play in the 21st century.

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