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Women and the Family in the Middle East
This book consists of a collection of essays, short fiction, and poetry on the theme of women and family in the Middle East. The book is divided into six main sections: the family; health and education; war, politics, and revolution; religion and law; work; and identity. Most regions of the Middle East are included, with the exception of the Gulf States. By her choice of such a wide variety of texts, Fernea succeeds in conveying how varied women's issues and concerns are in the Middle East. In some sections, such as the one on work, women's experiences come across as being similar to those found in other parts of the world: wives are reluctant to work for fear of emasculating their husbands, yet a second income has become necessary to allow for patterns of increasing consumption. In other sections, we find information particular to the Middle East, especially in health and education, where Nawal Al-Sa'dawi describes the essence of gender development in Muslim families and Nahid Toubia presents facts about female circumcision. Although some of the texts are now somewhat dated, the book could still be a valuable source for information on the wide range of topics that it contains.
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