Gender and Culture in Iran and the Middle East



  1. After the establishment of the Islamic Republic, Iranian women lost most of the social and political rights they had gradually obtained between the constitutional Revolution and The Islamic Revolution (1906-1979). How have they managed to raise their voices and participate in gaining their rights again? Discuss critically the role of women in challenges and movements during the last three decades under the Islamic Republic.
  2. How have women created their public space in music under the Islamic Republic of Iran? Why has rap music gone underground?


  1. What is the role of women in today’s Iranian cinema?




“The Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation has largely shaped Palestinian discourse about the place of women in society.” Discuss this statement in light of the depiction of Palestinian women in the arts.




Women in Egypt have long fought for their rights to be recognised by the state and society. Cinema and music have served as avenues for women to assert themselves and shape public debate. Discuss.



The portrayal of women in Lebanon through literature, cinema and music provides an avenue for discussions that help shape the gender debate. Discuss this in light of confessional politics in Lebanon.

Saudi Arabia:

Due to the kingdom’s conservatism, women in Saudi Arabia have long been denied the opportunity to participate in public life. Is this still the case? To what extent have women managed to push boundaries, participate and effect change through the arts?



The ability of Iraqi women to contest gender roles through the arts is extremely challenging as the country has gone through so much turmoil and conflict. Discuss the challenges faced by female artists, authors and filmmakers and their quest to push for female empowerment in Iraq.



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