Gendered Spaces in the Arab World

P. K. Baburajan


Gender spacing is an important concept in sociology. It refers to the process of segregating individuals and the use of physical spaces based on gender. There are considerable variations in gender roles and the sphere of activities between societies. This research paper describes the gendered spaces in the Arab world. It explores the critical causes of gender-specific use of physical spaces and changing trends in Arab societies. Traditionally, in most societies in the Arab world, women are given only a supportive or submissive role. While men use and control spaces in public spheres, the home is the sphere of activities for women. Social structuring and religious values are important reasons for the spatial segregation of males and females. However, the sphere of activities of women and their roles are getting changed. Several Arab states put considerable efforts to diffuse gendered spaces. Palestinian territory, Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Yemen, and the UAE are some of the examples where women are encouraged to occupy spaces in public spheres. Advanced education, changes in attitudes and perceptions, and women empowerment activities are significant reasons for diffusing gendered spaces in the Arab world.

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