Egyptian women are frequently subjected to a variety of prejudices. From the’silly veiled woman’ that is portrayed as an oppressed prey in need of a savior, to the notion that women who wear veils are unable to assume for themselves or do not have any ambition. These preconceptions are dangerous in their portrayal of a culture, but also in the manner that they deny the trailblazing work of women responsibility designs across the location. Whether it is the first female president of a area in Iraq or the many Muslim female politicians, these women are a clear challenge to the narrative that has been created that says Arab women are powerless and never take charge of their own lives.

Studies conducted by George Gerbner, parents of Cultivation Theory, shows that unfavorable prejudices are cultivated through repeated press images. This is particularly true when it comes to the Arab media. During the coronavirus pandemic in 2019 for example, a large percentage of jokes circulated on social media sites reflected negatively about arab women. The’silly veiled female ‘ image was the most prominent one. Other negative images included women being illiterate, limited in intellectual capability, immoral, materialistic or opportunistic.

Dr Balaa highlights the importance of countering these stereotypes with positive portrayals of Arab women and how these are achieved in literature. She uses the example of Firdaus in Saadawi’s novel The Book of life where she is able to rebel against her rapist and show ‘ a different type of femininity.’ This is important as it illustrates that women can face multiple forms of oppression at the same time that are not solely related to their religion or their ethnicity as Arabs.

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