University of Leicester
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The Jordanian women's movement : a historical analysis focusing on legislative change

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posted on 2014-12-15, 10:41 authored by Abeer Bashier Dababneh
This thesis examines historically the obstacles that have hindered and the resources that have facilitated the movement's efforts towards achieving women's liberation. A case study of Article 340 of the Jordanian Penal Code, concerned with the so-called phenomenon of honour killing highlights the influence of the Jordanian women's movement on the legal reform process. The methodology used to achieve these objectives was face-to-face interviews with key informants and analysis of documentary resources. My theoretical project is to contribute to the understanding of women's agency Gidden's structuration theory with its focus on the dialectical relations between agency and structure provides the theoretical framework for the research. Furthermore, an examination of selected social movement theories, such as resources mobilisation theory reveals the significance of resources on the emergence and efficacy of the movement. In addition, the theory of political opportunity structure efficiently captures the role that third world states play in determining the changes of third world women's movements. The study identifies two main categories of obstacles facing the movement. The first is obstacles internal to patriarchy, subdivided as structural obstacles and attitudinal obstacles. The second type of obstacles are those internal to the structure of the movement itself. Both external factors, such as UN resolutions, and internal factors, such as the particular history of Jordan were found to be crucial in determining the main historical characteristics of the movement's history from its beginnings as a charitable nationalist movement, through to its revival stage when it began to adopt a more determined feminist agenda. I will argue that women in Jordan posed a significant challenge to their most obvious target of disrupting dominant gender relations. In this respect, the role of religion, social traditions, tribalism, family, economy, and education are examined alongside perceptions of women's reproductive role.


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University of Leicester

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  • Doctoral

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  • PhD



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