For this exercise, you will read an article written by journalist Tom Dale about women in the Middle East. It was written in response to an article by Mona el Tahawy – “Why Do They Hate Us? The Real War on Women is in the Middle East,” published in Foreign Policy – which you can access by a link in the first paragraph of Dale’s response. Reading the original article is not necessary, although it may be helpful.
1. On what three points does Dale criticize el Tahawy’s article?
2. What factors does Dale say el Tahawy implicitly dismisses in explaining the oppression of women, and how does he measure those factors?
3. When does Dale argue the Middle East became more religiously conservative? What link does Dale make between economic development, religion, and conservatism?
4. How have British and US political and economic interests encouraged religious conservatism in the Middle East?
5. According to Dale, what factors lead to female empowerment, and what factors stand in its way? What “deeper roots” and “historical explanations” does he propose?
6. Which perspective do you think Dale uses in his analysis? How does he draw causal arrows among the various factors he discusses? To achieve female empowerment in the Middle East, what must be changed?