Feminism is a term which has recently spread widely in the Middle East, or let me say, spread with more bravery nowadays.
In the Middle East, Feminists are presently being judged to be man haters, atheists, men imitators, and a whole host of other stereotypes. Fortunately, however, feminist groups are standing up for their rights, no matter what they face and in spite of the names that they are called. Because of this stand, Middle Eastern society now seems to be more at peace with understanding feminism. A recent music video was made by the Palestinian rap band, DAM, and the Palestinian singer, Amal Murkus, under the name “If I Could Go Back in Time”. The video depicted the sad reality of honor killings, arranged marriages and violence against women.
“Shashat”, an Arabic word meaning “Screens”, is a yearly Palestinian women’s festival, focused on screening different short films that were produced by Palestinian women, reflecting a female perspective on Palestinian politics and social issues.
Introduced in 2005, Shashat now also screens in Gaza under the title “I Am a Woman From Palestine”, attracting an audience of hundreds of women activists and ardent defenders of women’s rights. Showing the creativity of women and their deep insight on certain social issue, the screening hosts films centered on arranged child marriage, women and legal rights, divorced women and more social and patriotic stories. Shashat has become only one of many other feminist movements that support women in freely expressing their thoughts and minds.
Throughout the Middle Ease, media and people have grown to form a better understanding of feminism, accepting and realizing that feminism is simply asking for equality in all different aspects of life, not calling for putting themselves above men or degrading them.
Published in BROAD Feminist and Social Justice Magazine / Chicago – June 2013, Pages 17-18
By ABEER ALLAN