Gender Roles In Bedouins

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Ever since the beginning of time, society has been defined by gender roles. However, over the years, certain cultures and the societies within them in different locations around the world have adapted and these roles have been altered or have changed completely. Despite the rapid evolution of the equality of gender roles in some areas, others have held tight and have incorporated these roles into the main fabrics of their respective societies. One such society is the Bedouins in the Western Desert of Egypt. The ideologies of gender in Bedouin society are intertwined with moral discourses comprising modesty and honor. Gender ideologies are used to “rationalize the social hierarchy and inequities in the freedom of individuals to make choices about their lives and to influence others. Nowhere is this clearer than in Bedouin gender ideology… the network of values associated with autonomy is generally associated with masculinity” (118). Men are often affiliated with 'autonomy ' and women with 'dependency '. This notion depicts the social hierarchy assimilated within society of the Bedouins. Customarily, within the confines of economic and social systems incorporated into the society, women are seen as dependents, being conclusively reliant upon the male senior provider within their direct nuclear family. Additionally, Bedouin values are engrained in moral superiority within society. For instance, it is viewed as morally devaluing to have daughters over sons to the Bedouins.

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