In Yemen, where current poverty is combined with a rich cultural heritage, the distinctions between the traditional and the modern are particularly difficult.
First published in 1979, this is a study of social change as experienced and perceived by the women of San’a, the capital city of North Yemen. It presents a synthesised view of the process of change rather than focusing on the issues of exploitation and emancipation, and draws upon observations of women’s daily routine and ritual activities as well as the media and the provocative insights of Yemeni poets.
The veil is the focus of the study because it can be seen as a symbol of the contradictions inherent in Yemeni society, not just about the female but also about all social relations. It can be interpreted as both an instrument of oppression and the incitement of liberation and is thus illustrative of deep cultural ambiguities.
This book will be of interest to those studying women, gender, Islam, the Middle East and anthropology.
Acknowledgements; Introduction and Background to the Study; 1. The Traditional Setting 2. Modern Forces 3. Journeys to Public Spheres 4. Changing Women: The Critical Attitude; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index
Women in Islamic societies are often seen as a hidden and homogenous group. The volumes in this set, originally published between 1960 and 1983, explore the wide variety of women’s roles in a range of Islamic societies, from Yemen, the United Arab Emirates and Kurdistan to Malaysia, West Africa, Iran and Turkey. Due to their anthropological focus, each book pays particular attention to the everyday lives of women in these regions, including their agency and power within their own communities. The titles also explore women’s changing roles in the modernising Muslim world of the 20th century.
This set will be of interest to those studying women, gender, Islam and anthropology.