Universiteit Leiden

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PhD Defence

PhD Defense Annemarie van Geel

Thursday 28 June 2018
Comeniuslaan 2
6525 HP Nijmegen
Academiezaal Aula

'For Women Only': Gender Segregation, Islam, and Modernity in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait

Saudi Arabia is among the most gender segregated countries in the world. In Kuwait, on the other hand, women and men generally mix freely in public spaces. This book shows how different historical processes have led to these present-day contrasting situations. Based on intensive fieldwork, ‘For Women Only’ looks at Saudi and Kuwaiti women’s own experiences with gender segregation and mixing in public spaces. It charts whether or not they agree with these practices in their countries, and why. The book shows that women’s arguments are connected to ideas about Islam, gender and the nation, and the way in which they believe their countries should develop. ‘For Women Only’ demonstrates that debates about gender segregation and mixing are intimately connected to ideas about progress, development, and ‘modernity’. It explains how Saudi and Kuwaiti women view ‘modernity’ as different from ‘westernisation’, and what this means for the position of women in present-day Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Annemarie van Geel completed her PhD dissertation at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. During her PhD fellowship, she developed and taught various undergraduate courses at University College Utrecht and Webster University Leiden. Additionally, she very much enjoyed disseminating her research in the media. Annemarie is currently working as an independent trainer and consultant on Middle East affairs in the public and private sectors. 

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